Pump up the jam

BREAKERS, poppers and lockers. If such jargon means anything to you, then make a bee-line for Castle Rocks Park Jam this Saturday.

In true hip-hop style, St Andrew Square will be transformed into a scene from back in the days - with DJs, emcees, b-boys, b-girls, poppers and lockers to keep the vibe going.

The event is part of The Big Dance Edinburgh, which is taking place across the city centre this weekend, with free events including over 100 performances from dance schools in and around the Capital, taster sessions, flashmobs and more in partnership with Dance Base and commissioned by Creative Scotland.

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Castle Rocks Park Jam alone is expected to attract thousands to attend, take part and watch its performances and impromptu battles, hosted by One Oz, Silver Tongue and Tony Thrills with music from DJs Isla Blige, Naledi, Nasty P, and P-Stylz.

“I’ve always wanted to do an outside jam, because this is where hip-hop grew from,” says organiser Peter Maniam, whose Moving In Circles company produces the annual Castle Rocks Breakdance Championships during the Fringe. “Before there were competitions and people appearing on Britain’s Got Talent and the like, hip-hop started in New York City, in The Bronx. It’s birthplace was the parks and block parties and, ultimately, I wanted to get back to that real essence of how things started.

“In terms of the event itself and what people can expect, we are going to have three DJs, a couple of rappers and emcees, and we got pretty much all of the Edinburgh dance crews coming along.”

But Maniam is keen to stress that the event isn’t just for experienced dancers - it’s for anyone who enjoys dancing.

“It’s about embracing dance, whether you’re an expert or whether you just like to dance in your bedroom,” he says. “Rather than the focus being about the performances on stage, it’s about getting everybody dancing.

“It’s about throwing a bit of a party and everyone having fun.”

Castle Rocks Park Jam, St Andrew Square, Saturday, 5.30pm, free, www.bigdanceedin.co.uk