Students share breakdancing experience

October 20, 2008 — by Andy Tsao

Hundreds of students crowded around the quad cheered as seniors Matt Leung and Nikki Chang opened the senior quad day show by balancing elegantly on only their two hands. Sweat gleamed off of their arms as they performed solos featuring their own superhuman routines.

The terms b-boy and b-girl were coined to refer to boys and girls who breakdance. Ever since breakdancing started in the 1970s as an alternative for gang violence, the high-energy style of dancing has been sweeping the world. Many professionals dedicate their lives to perfecting their windmills, flares and freezes; however, Chang managed to grasp a couple eye-popping moves within four weeks.

“I started two weeks before Homecoming, and [Leung] and I practiced every day during tutorial, lunch and after school,” said Chang.

Chang, a member of the school’s Color Guard team, feels that breakdancing came easier to her than to many others due to her prior experience with other forms of dance. She credits Leung as well as several dancers on TV with inspiring her to pursue breakdancing.

For Chang, breakdancing has been mostly a leisure activity, and although she hopes to continue dancing, she does not have any plans for the future.

Sophomore Ricky Chiu, on the other hand, has a different idea. “If I get a good job in the future, I want to continue to breakdance and go pro,” he said.

Chiu, unlike Chang, has been dancing for a couple of years, but he admits that he wasn’t particularly dedicated at first.

“I started back in eighth grade, but I didn’t have much interest because I wasn’t really physically built for breakdancing,” said Chiu. “I really started practicing in freshman year when I saw my friends breakdance. When you look at people who can actually breakdance, you get motivated and inspired to try it yourself.”

For Chiu, there were several limitations he had to overcome to be a successful breakdancer. He enjoys dancing more than many other leisure activities, however.

“Breakdancing can be a lot of hard work because you need a certain body build, but it’s very fun once you can do it,” said Chiu. “Compared to other activities, it is very invigorating.”

Chiu also stated that his parents were staunchly against his practicing dancing.

“I had to practice during school and in my room when my parents weren’t watching,” said Chiu.