61Syx Teknique is Grand Rapids PREMIERE Studio for HipHop Culture. Focusing on the art of Breakdance, we provide both showcases, and instruction. By remaining an active part of the HipHop community and educating themselves from the generations before them, 61Syx Teknique has grown to compete, win, host, and judge events across the nation. As well as perform for concerts, festivals, colleges, sporting events, private parties, and more.
Our classes are for students of all ages. Weather you’ve been dancing for a decade, or are new into the Breakin’ and HipHop Culture. 61Syx provides a true school, all age environment for students to grow within the Community of Street dance.
If you are interested in learning more about classes, or showcases. Please visit tekniqueacademy.com
61Syx Teknique History
61Syx Teknique began as a group of friends from Northview High school. In 2004 the school hosted a local talent show and a few different crews of dancers came to showcase. After the talent show, Goblin, Sly, Gum-B and Randy continued to connect with Raw Steady (formaly known as Tiggur) for practices and sessions.
From there the crew was born. Late night practices, and long garage sessions were where the crew chemistry really began to grow and before you knew it, the crew booked their first official performance opening for B2K. After getting their first taste of the big stage, the crew soon named themselves 61Syx Teknique, and soon took the streets of Grand Rapids, dancing downtown at Blues on the Mall at the corner of Pearl and Monroe, and in clubs all across Grand Rapids.
The word soon spread and the cyphers started getting bigger. More dancers from around the city started joining on Wednesday nights. Including new members Seoul and Vertchu. The same faces began to show up to Blues on the Mall throughout each summer, and that festival remains a staple in the history of 61Syx Teknique. As our crew mentality grew, our hunger for battles starting growing with it. And in 2006, we went to our first jam in Benton Harbor called “Holding down the Harbor”. The event was thrown by Jacob “Christlike” Castorena, who would later become a part of 61Syx Teknique.
The event was the crew’s first real taste of the Midwest Breakin scene. Crews from Detroit, Lansing, Chicago, Ann Arbor and more were all in the house representing. The battles were crazy, the cyphers were dope, and there were a few heated call outs! That event showed 61Syx what it was like to be a part of the jam. From then on, we were hooked.
We headed right back into the lab and began training for battles, and performances. As we continued to show and prove, the opportunities were growing fast! The next year we went to as many battles as we could around the Midwest, and continued to build our teamwork, and crew routines for performances back home in Grand Rapids. Soon 61Syx were performing for artists like Lloyd Banks, Tony Touch, and Lil Flip! In 2007, we we’re performing for the (At the time) defending Arena Football League Champions, The Grand Rapids Rampage. These events soon lead to the crew signing a deal with Coleman Entertainment Company. Which brought them on tour across the country performing at over 100+ different colleges and universities.
It was during this time that 61Syx’s crew gained new members in Christlike, Vandy, Varos, Armor, and Raze1 (RIP). Raze (Formanlly known as BBoy Peoples) joined the crew in 2009 after moving to Grand Rapids from Sturgis, MI. One of the strongest characteristics of Raze was his hunger, and drive for Breakin. His ultimate goal was to be “Internationally known and respected” for his Breaking. And through his Principals of Sacrifice, Discipline, and Honor, His hunger would lead him to seek out knowledge from Coda (Weaponz of Rhythm). Coda who had been studying HipHop Culture directly from the Universal Zulu Nation at the time took Raze under his wing, and passed down timeless knowledge and history about the creation of HipHop culture. Raze was a direct tunnel of info to the crew of 61Syx.
Soon, most of the crew were studying under Coda’s mentorship. With a further understanding of the culture and community. 61Syx’s mentality changed. We learned how to play the game, and we took some of our strongest routines from our shows, and started using them in competitions. At the jams we would hit the cyphers, and the battles HARD. Over the next 5 years with the new additions to the crew like K2Roc, Jamone, Demo, Blank, Randum, and Earth. The crew were no longer just competing, but we were Winning, Judging, Hosting and promoting battles all over the country. Since our first battle in 2006, The crew have placed in over 100+ Battles across the world competing in almost all 50 states, and in multiple countries!
While traveling and touring with the crew, the name 61Syx was gaining recognition by the dance community, and artists alike. Back home, we continued to represent the HipHop scene in performances, community events, workshops, and performances. 61Syx went on to share stages with artists like The Clipse, Talib Kweli, Afrika Bambaataa, Grand Master Flash, Belle Biv Devoe, and more.
The crew soon were also promoting our own events to help bring the love of HipHop Culture back to Grand Rapids. We have been lucky enough to throw events all over the city at venues like The BOB, The Pyramid Scheme, The Emerald Room, Wealthy Street Theatre, Rosa Parks circle and at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo! We found that throwing breaking battles were one of the quickest way to help promote our scene in the national dance community.
In 2010 Raze told the crew that he wanted to embark on the journey of passing down his knowledge that he had been taught from Coda down to the next generation of Dancers. He then went on to open 61Syx Teknique Street Dance Academy. The first Street Dance Academy in Michigan, and the only dance studio dedicated to preserving the art of HipHop culture. Since then, 61Syx SDA have opened their doors to thousands of students since opening. Becoming a staple of Grand Rapids HipHop for battles, classes, and events. The studio was built on the idea of passing down the love for Breakin, and the love for HipHop through the experiences of our crew, and other top level Breakers like Abstrakt, Lil Jon, Kuzya, Flexum, Thesis, Born and more. With the help of crew, 61Syx Teknique Street Dance Academy can say that we have proudly been serving our community for over a decade!
In 2011, Raze passed down ownership of 61Syx SDA to Seoul. Raze was off to Las Vegas to pursue his goal of Breakin and becoming internationally known. Seoul welcomed the opportunity and helped continue to build onto the vision that Raze had started.
In 2012, Raze fell into a Hypoglycemic coma in his sleep, and passed away shortly after. The loss was a giant hit to the crew and the US Breakin community. Raze left behind a fiancé Elizabeth, and his soon to be born son Ryu. We’re blessed to see them often, and watch Ryu grow up in his young adolescence, and of course teach him the ways of the bboy, just like his dad. Although we lost him physically, the legacy and spirit of Raze will always be instilled in each member of the crew.
Because of the success of the studio, our crew soon expanded even further to new crew members like Gnat, Ant, Samu, Sylentz, Phil Mac and the Rock-it Scientists!! The Rock-it Scientists were 61Syx’s FIRST kids battle crew that were brought all across the Country competing in both Kids and Adult battles like Silverback Open, Miami Pro-Am, and Freestyle Session. It was working with the kids, and bringing them into the cyphers, and guiding them to find their own individual voices through breakin that continued the legacy of Raze1. This soon created other small crews like Ground Force 1, and Aerial Tactic. Our studio has offered classes of all kinds from Breakin, to House, Poetry events, and HipHop Bootcamps diving into all elements of HipHop.
The name of 61Syx SDA soon started to reach all across the country. The fact that 61Syx SDA was only one of a few Studios Specialized in the art of Street Dance, and also because both our students and the crew were representing in battles and parterning for events and organizations like Artprize, The Chicago Bulls, Local First, The Pyramid Scheme, The BOB and more! Over the next few years the crew would continue to grow. But would also begin to grow in a different sense. Many members of 61Syx soon began to pursue their other careers, and paths. A few have moved to other states, but the flame in Grand Rapids has remained strong!
In 2017, It was soon time for Seoul also step away from Grand Rapids, as he moved down to Indianapolis to open up a new Street Dance Academy called 31Svn SDA. And with him stepping away from the studio, The door was open for ANT to step into the next leader of the studio and now decade old business. Being a part of the newest generation of the crew, along with Samu, Philmac, and Alien J, this now-generation of 61Syx is hungry and has such a passion to help kids find their individual voices and styles through self expression.
In October 2020, Ant officially became owner of 61Syx Street Dance Academy and has since began pushing forward the arts scene in Grand Rapids and is soon expanding to the Muskegon Area! Working with other organizations like All of the Above, Grand Rapids Ballet, Lions and Rabbits and more, 61Syx Teknique has continuously shown the evolution of what it takes to be one of Grand Rapids longest HipHop CREWS.