Say you're going to a hip hop festival and people instantly ask if you've picked out which baseball cap you'll be wearing.

But Breakin' Convention is so much more than the stereotype.

It is held at the prestigious Sadler's Wells centre in Islington for one and features some of the best dance theatre groups from across the world.

Secondly the small, neatly dressed man sat in front of me was at least 80 and leant forward in his seat to get a closer look at the performers flipping, spiralling and krumping across the stage.

The 11th annual event was compèred by its artistic director Jonzi D and co-host Monie Love who provided banter, MCing and light relief in between the acts.

The Monday night started off slow with a slightly confusing performance by Far From the Norm (UK) who's hooliganism inspired show involved a lot of dashing about the stage.

Last act of the night Wanted Posse (France) also drew inspiration from current affairs with a dance that told the story of the recent riots in their country. Cheeky personality, crotch grabbing, some seriously good breakdancing moves and an unforgettable falsetto rendition of The Darkness' song I Believe in a Thing called Loved made it highly entertaining.

The contrast provided by all-female act Boadicea (UK) couldn't have been greater with their catsuits-clad curves performing choreographing that mixed lithe twists and turns and crisp shapes and was pure class.

The crowd took longer to warm to the first act from Holland ever to grace the Breakin' Convention stage, Don't Hit Mama, who really pushed the boundaries of dance theatre, opening with a topless man swirling some glass balls in his hands. What looked like a potential disaster turned into a triumph as they won us over with their jaw-dropping dance skills and a quirky percussionist who tapped and slapped out the beat on his chest, with his fingers and on a variety of instruments.

There were nods to the past with the highly memorable Voguing inspired dance from P*fect (Sweden) with a gritty S&M slant and a krumping masterclass by its inventor Ceasare 'Tight Eyez' Willis, there with his troupe Street Kingdom (USA).

Ukweli Roach, brought sophisticated theatrics to hip hop, telling the story of a man reaching for the woman he loves but plagued by his vices, represented by shadowy dancers who wrapped around his limbs like seaweed. This fluidity and grace was mirrored in male and female duo Tentacle Tribe (Canada) who brought a less hip hop vibe to the stage.

The variety and skill of the dancers brought together for the event showed there is so much more to hip hop dance culture than many people believe and that the old adage 'don't judge a book by its cover' (or a dance show by its title) still rings true.

If you missed it this year, don't worry, the elderly man in front of me proved it's never too late to try something new.