Within the four elements of hip-hop, breaking (aka "breakdancing" or "B-boying") is perhaps the most dynamic, and by far the most physical. The act of transforming a DJ's beats and MC's rhymes into a work of performance art takes courage, training, creativity, and a bit of luck.
And like hip-hop as a whole, the popularity of B-boying has ebbed and flowed through the years, but has never died or been forgotten.
Today, the B-Boy tradition is strong thanks to events such as the Red Bull BC One competition. Breaking by yourself or with your crew is honorable, but the real spirit of breaking lies in the one-on-one battle, challenging others in dance through popping, locking, flares, and any number of acrobatic moves that will win over the audience and earn you the respect of your fellow dancers.
Now in its tenth year, Red Bull BC One is the most prestigious award in the B-boy world.
This Saturday at Warehouse Live, Red Bull is hosting the North American Finals of the BC One competition. These sixteen competitors will be challenging each other for the right to compete in the World Finals in Seoul, South Korea later this year.
Rocks Off spoke to the three competitors from Texas in advance of Saturday's event.
Name: Jason Dang BBoy Name: Dang Crew: Jungle Brothers Height: 5' 3" Weight: 130 lbs. Signature Move: Freeze/Power Moves Background: Dang may be short in stature, but is big on the floor. He began breaking as a 14-year-old as a form of exercise, which then turned into a hobby, and later into a competitive sport. He believes that breaking is a balance of both sport and art, one that shows personality in the free movement of the dancer, almost like painting with the body. He likes to break to the sounds of Japanese turntablist DJ Muro.
Name: Jose Chapa BBoy Name: Keebz Crew: Masters of Mayhem/Mind 180 Height: 5ft, 9in Weight: 145 lbs. Signature Move: Footwork Background: Born in Mexico and raised in South Texas, Keebz is soft-spoken and nervous, but uses those feelings as fuel to enhance his performance. He remembers being introduced to breaking at a sixth-grade dance, and has been hooked ever since.
A student of the sport, he pulls inspiration from OG dancers such as Easy Roc, Ken Swift, and Crazy Legs. Keebz dances for the love of breaking, and dedicates any success to his family back home. He likes to dance to the beats of his friend DJ Lean Rock, and currently listens to the music of Kendrick Lamar and the rest of Black Hippy.
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Name: Jeremy HaviKoro BBoy Name: Jeremy Crew: HaviKoro Height: 6' Weight: 155 lbs. Signature Move: Jeremy Style Background: Jeremy is a part of the legendary H-Town HaviKoro crew. He is known to clench his fists and grit his teeth as he dances, focusing all of his energy into his moves. He loves breaking to James Brown and other funky sounds, as well as real hip-hop. He was drawn into breaking at age 15, influenced by his brother Palmer.
He wants it to be known that dancing is not all about the glory and winning, but about a moment in time as you dance. He finds the most value in training and teaching, and asks that people not take life for granted. He dedicates his performance in BC One to his recently departed crew mate named Nat, one of the original HaviKoro crew members.
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