The ABYSS: A House Dance Experience

The ABYSS: A House Dance Experience

Part of the 2019 International Soul Society Festival!

"Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” -Brené Brown

The ABYSS, presented by Assassins DC and Urban Artistry, Inc., offers a new perspective on producing house dance experiences, by focusing on and honoring the most essential elements of house dance culture: the human spirit and cypher participation. This year, we hosted qualifiers in Copenhagen and Portland to find artists looking to test their skill sets in the ABYSS Final Cypher Session at the International Soul Society Festival here in Washington DC. In The Final Cypher, they will have the opportunity to compete with an international roster of focused individuals. Through this competition, we hope to inspire a culture of honesty, integrity, self-discovery, and fearlessness, along every participant's journey to evolved artistry.

>>> THE FORMAT <<<


* DJ Sam the Man Burns
* DJ Underdog
* DJ Oji


**Starts at 11:00 PM sharp**

The pre-selection round will consist of 1-on-1 showcases, with each participant getting one, un-timed run. Both dancers, one dancer, or neither dancer will advance. An Advisory Committee, made up of the event organizers and House Dance professionals, will choose at least 12 dancers to advance to the final cypher session.


The cypher session will be a one-hour cypher of uninterrupted exchanges between the chosen dozen from pre-selection.


The 12+ finalists will choose a winner amongst themselves. Each dancer will have one vote, but cannot vote for themself. The dancer with a majority of the votes will be the winner.

Should there be a tie(s), those receiving the highest number of votes will be given a chance to concede to the dancer(s) that they believe is the winner. If the dancers choose to continue, they will return to the cypher for an additional 30 minutes or the final exchange. During this final exchange, all dancers have the right to concede and proclaim the opponent(s) the winner. If no one concedes during or after the final exchange, the Advisory Committee will choose a winner from those remaining, based on technique, musicality, originality and artistry.

The Final Cypher Champion will receive a $500 cash prize.

Sam "The Man" Burns

Sam "The Man" Burns is a D.C. music legend. As one of D.C.'s premier disc jockeys, he has helped shape the local house music scene since its inception back in the day at the Clubhouse—all while inspiring generations of house heads and fellow DJs. A walking encyclopedia of records, D.C. club history and '70s blaxploitation films, Sam is your favorite DJ's favorite DJ. -City Paper

DJ Oji was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He has been a DJ since the early of age of 14, dating back as far as 1984. Being from New York, DJ Oji has had the rare privilege of having been exposed to "House Music" and many of its legendary DJ's from the very beginning. However, most of his dance years were spent under these influences. His Dj years and production credits would later be developed in Baltimore, MD, which he now considers to be home. He came to Baltimore to attend Morgan State University and discovered that it was here that the seeds would be planted. He also discovered another brother who also shared his vision and love for House Music. DJ Pope is his name. Together they are both "The Brother's in the Struggle" and co-owners of Baltimore based recording label POJI Records.
DJ Oji currently holds residencies in at The DC Sanctuary and Club Red in Washington DC and in Baltimore a monthly party at Sugar called Spiritual Journey.

Tamara Wellons

Tamara Wellons is an independent American singer, songwriter and producer of Soul, Jazz and House Music and has released a host of dance music singles along with three full length albums (Life Is 2008; Songs for Janie 2012; Pretty 2016). Tamara, who has had a profoundly diverse career draws upon her roots and multi-octave vocal range, seamlessly flowing from hymns and jazz to soul and house music.

She’s worked with über house music producer Osunlade (Yoruba Records) and Carlos Mena (Ocha Records). Her talents and their associations in the underground Soulful House music world led to collaborations with some of the most prolific names and labels in Dance music- Soul Candi Records (South Africa), DJ Spen (Quantize Records), Grammy winner Roger Sanchez (Stealth Records), DJ Spinna (BBE), Lars Behrenroth (Deeper Shades Recordings) Deetron (Switzerland), Souldynamic – UK (Tribe Records). Tamara’s first house music singles, “Like Rain” and “Oh Well,” remains a mainstay in clubs nationally and internationally, and her track “In My Lifetime” with producer Ezel is considered a South African classic.



*** $15 day of show. Ages 18-20 by advance ticket only. ***

Advance ticket sales end one hour before doors.

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