par | Mai 29, 2023

The Ruggeds – Emotional Intelligence


The documentary and article are not officialy out yet. For the moment, please share it only to your closed ones. Enjoy, we truly hope that this article and work will inspire you.


If we have asked ourselves about this subject, it is because we are aware of the difficulties of living, creating, undertaking and succeeding in ambitious projects in community. Creating and succeeding with others, while remaining faithful and committed is certainly the greatest proof of humanity that exists. It requires so many qualities and tolerance and listening that it is sometimes much easier to give up and go elsewhere to create. Commitment scares, questions, requires patience and work.

If we went to each member of The Ruggeds and asked, “How does the other person help you to elevate yourself?” It is precisely in order to question the emotional intelligence and functioning of a crew that has proven and affirmed its talent. Beyond the sacrifices and setbacks that paved the way to their victories, it is important to ask how each person’s emotional experience led to these results.

Stepper helped us a lot to organize our visit. It took us several months to find a date when the majority of The Ruggeds members would have been present, and when we could join their rehearsal/training sessions. We arrived in Eindhoven, unaware that we were going to live a strong human experience, which would allow us to learn about ourselves.

We arrived at Eindhoven Station. To reach the place of residence of The Ruggeds, the indications of Stepper led us to have to jump the gates of the station with all our equipment to reach a supposed room located at the end of the platform. Roy came to pick us up with his badge. He was in charge of the rehearsals they had to do during these 3 days. To make sure that it was well organized and to make sure that we did not encroach on their schedule, we had planned all the interviews in advance.


Roy gave us a tour of the place. A large room, shelves full of victory trophies, several tables, high and low, like a start-up company somehow. A music studio where Jessy and Rico were. Two dance studios, rail view. A few people who were not members of The Ruggeds worked in the main room. It was The Ruggeds’ communication and events team that handled all the administrative and communication part of the work.

Duzk arrived quite quickly, as did Stepper. We moved a sofa, changed the scenery and installed our equipment to do the first interviews. We started with Duzk. We began to learn more about the chronology of the crew, the different members, the diversification of their activities, etc.

“I could feel very early that the relationship I had with these guys was going to last a lifetime, it was strange as a feeling, it didn’t look normal.”

– Jessy


These initial discussions allowed us to meditate. We had already done 4 interviews: Stepper, Dusk, Jessy and Rico. It was impressive because we did almost the same interview with everyone, and the answers, despite some peculiarities, were almost constantly the same. While one would have expected many differences in interpretations, points of view, this was not the case at all. Each, in his own way, said the exact same thing as the other. They answered each other without consultation. They completed each other’s sentences in their own way.

“I feel disconnected from the outside world.

When I come out of this bubble, that of the crew, that of dance, I feel like I am entering a world where people are in agreement with the kind of social matrix in which we are put. That’s why I want to stay in this bubble because it allows me to rise.”

– Skychief

Skychief - The Ruggeds - Emotional Intelligence
Niek - The Ruggeds - Emotional Intelligence

Sometimes when you win and keep winning, you think, “Okay, what’s the point of going on?”

This is where we start looking for other things to create together. Diversification fills our soul, expanding the cultural scope of what we do.

– Niek

Take the space you need, and let the others do so

The second day, we didn’t have any interviews scheduled. It was a day when the whole crew was rehearsing its show. However, we had access to their room to take pictures while they were rehearsing. Everyone knows, especially Hicham, that sometimes you learn more by watching someone dance than by talking to them. Seeing them interact with each other, working seriously in lightness, as if they were one, reflected a common intelligence with strong experience.

“By supporting someone, you’re supporting the whole crew. Everyone must find the place that suits them to make their projects, and know that they are supported by the whole crew. You never feel alone, you feel powerful in what you do.”

– Roy

Zoopreme & Jessy - The Ruggeds - Emotional Intelligence
Lee & Tawfiq - Emotional Intelligence

Learning from mistakes

In fact, it was enough to read between the lines to understand the major achievement of this crew. As they say and make clear, everything they achieve is of little importance. All their projects are just an excuse to be together. What binds them is the love they have for this relationship, for others.

“This was the first time in the crew that I felt that we really had to work on this flaw, on everyone’s commitment. Now we know that when we commit, everyone must do it fully, 100%, and understand it as a collective mission.”

– Roy


It was finally Sebastian’s very last question that allowed us to put a word on everything we had witnessed: emotional intelligence. Fortified by failures, successes, breakups, encounters, experiences, and projects; forged by 20 years of life and joint creation, the emotional intelligence that everyone was able to develop allowed them to build an empire of success, while keeping a uniqueness and simplicity in their way of being.

BOTY 2021 - The Ruggeds - Emotional Intelligence
Crew photo - The Ruggeds - Emotional Intelligence
BOTY 2022 - The Ruggeds - Emotional Intelligence

“When one of us feels bad or feels upset, he can’t hide it. You can see it directly because we know each other so well. We manage to be stronger than our problems by expressing ourselves because maybe in such a situation, it is your own way of seeing things that is not good.”

– Duzk

The others

Having a good form of self-awareness, knowing how to identify your feelings and express your emotional needs. Demonstrating empathy, recognizing the emotional state of the other while knowing how to react to it. In the end, that is their engine, which allows them to master, to have confidence in each other and to continue to evolve.

Rehearsal - The Ruggeds - Emotional Intelligence

Thanks to everyone for watching. Thanks to the talented team that worked on it.

Interview : Roy. @roytheruggeds

Zoopreme. @griimsentheruggeds

Stepper. @steppertheruggeds

Niek. @niektheruggeds

Duzk. @duzktheruggeds

Jessy. @jessytheruggeds

Skychief. @skychieftheruggeds

Texte par : Tom Chaix. @tomrockk

Photos par : Hicham Boulehfa. @jeuneflingue

Sebastián Esguerra. @__aburridx__