Despite being advised not to battle because of a serious knee injury, Portuguese b-boy Lagaet has just booked himself a place in the BC One World Final in St Petersburg, Russia.
Bella Todd chats to the member of Momentum Crew about the small details that swung it for him, his baseball cap addiction, and why he’s so hungry for victory.
How did you celebrate winning the BC One Spain Qualifier in Barcelona?
The truth is I haven’t had time to celebrate! It feels good because I had the opportunity to go to the final in 2009, and I did good, but I want to go again and do better.
'I woke up in the morning and said, “Yeah, I am beautiful today!"'
How intense was the competition?
In this kind of competition everybody is good. So it is the details that make the difference, like the floor, the DJ, the music, if you wake up well. On this day I woke up in the morning and said, “Yeah, I am beautiful today! Today I’m gonna do good.”
What do you think most impressed the judges – Extremo, Ronnie and Vartan – about your performance?
For a year I have been out of the scene because I had this contract with Portuguese casinos [where he performed as part of the Michael Jackson Tribute Show] to do a one-hour show every day. So I couldn’t battle. In that time I have lots of new moves. So it was a surprise for everybody, not only for the judges.
What’s your most impressive new move?
Ha! Sometimes it’s not about the “Whoahh!” but about something sweet, a little detail. I have something that I really like to do that is very simple but very creative. It is a combination of three things that I end on my head, and then on the floor like this on my finger.
Is it true you were advised by your physician not to battle at all because of your knee?
Yeah, true. In January I had surgery on my knee. During the period of the casinos contract I was practising, practising, practising, so that when it was over I could go back on the battle scene and go back strong. I think it was too much for my body. I felt pain, I thought it was nothing, I kept going, kept going, kept going. And then one day my knee just broke. I had to stop breaking for four, five months. I’m still not 100 per cent, I’m like 80 per cent. When I finish battling I put ice on my knee.
One thousand four hundred people watched you in Spain. Does that kind of pressure help or hinder?
You have the judges watching you, you have your opponents ready to kill you, and 1,400 people screaming and clapping and stamping. There’s so much energy. My second round in Spain made the people go really crazy.
'I think a b-boy needs to be ready all the time'
Your bedroom wall seems to be covered entirely in baseball caps…
Yeah, that is my collection! Here on the wall are about 30, but I have many more that there is no space in here for. I used to battle with a cap every time, but on this Red Bull BC One the floor doesn’t let me – I’m glad because I wanted to try without.
What physical preparation will you do for the final in Moscow on November 26?
I think a b-boy needs to be ready all the time. The practice will be the same – here in my bedroom [he shows us a little mat on the floor]. And I have a diet, drink only water or natural juice. So it’s about diet and practice – but first of all resting my knee.
How will you psych yourself up for battle?
After one year without battling, yo, I just wanted to come to BC One and kill everybody. The music starts to play and I am the first one on the stage – all the battles were like this because I am so hungry. I think this gives me the victory.
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