In the Spotlight: Breakdance Society
The Breakdance society allows everyone, from talented B-boys and girls to total beginners, to learn the art of hip-hop dance and to find out more about the culture and history of the art form.
I went to the Breakdance GIAG last week and despite having no prior dance experience, I still had a blast. The teachers were enthusiastic and incredibly helpful. While I did wake up the next day with a few aches and pains, I did appreciate learning the basics. Who knows, I might even go back for moreThe Breakdance society allows everyone, from talented B-boys and girls to total beginners, to learn the art of hip-hop dance and to find out more about the culture and history of the art form.
I went to the Breakdance GIAG last week and despite having no prior dance experience, I still had a blast. The teachers were enthusiastic and incredibly helpful. While I did wake up the next day with a few aches and pains, I did appreciate learning the basics. Who knows, I might even go back for more
When and why did you join the Breakdance society?
I joined two years ago when I moved to Leeds, as breakdancing has been my passion for a long time. I visited Leeds a few times while studying for my bachelors, so I knew there was a good scene here that would facilitate learning from and performing with other people.
What makes breakdancing unique from other dance forms?
There are a lot of things in breakdancing that are interesting. Firstly is its relationship with hip-hop culture and history, which goes right back to when hip-hop started in the late 70s and early 80s. When it was first formed, hip-hop was all about the dancing, the MC-ing, the music and the graffiti art. The other thing I like about breakdance is that it is a very expressive dance form. You rarely do routines with other people: it’s more like gymnastics, where you’re taught specific moves and it’s up to you how you want to link those moves. If you’ve got a creative mind-set, it really works because you can connect things the way you want to.
In your opinion, what is the most challenging aspect of breakdancing?
I think the main challenge is remembering it takes time to progress. When I started breakdancing, I was basically teaching myself. I didn’t have good instructions, so I spent ages trying to master things that were beyond my ability level. If I’d known that I needed to be practicing more of the basics at the beginning, I think I would have progressed faster. The really good thing about Leeds is that we have some of the best dancers and teachers in the UK, they can help you pace yourself when you start out.
Can you describe one of your most memorable experiences in the society?
I’ve competed at the University B-boy Championships, which are held in Newcastle every year. One of our crews last year, got to the semi finals, and the other crew got to the knockout stages. That was really exciting for us.
Do you have anything special planned for this year?
We’re quite a small society and we’re aware that we have a bit of an imbalance at the moment. We need to get more student members, so we’re going to be doing a lot more socials and supporting beginners by providing more beginner lessons. We’ll have drop-in sessions where people can come and train. If you’re a beginner, these lessons will focus on additional instruction and support your learning. We’ll still be doing competitions, but we’re putting a lot of effort this year in trying to make sure beginners get off on the right foot, so they can progress as quickly as possible.
If you could describe your society as an emoji, what emoji would you use?
The guy with the sunglasses, and the guy with the bugged-out eyes pulling a face, with his tongue sticking out. On one hand, there’s just the sheer fun of the society; on the other hand, you also want to look a bit cool while pulling off your moves.
Who would you recommend joining this society to?
I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in dance styles that allow them to express themselves. If you want something a little bit experimental where you’re going to be part of a community, then this society is for you. People who’ve been dancing for a while in other disciplines may be interested, as well as beginners who just like music and dancing. That’s how I got into it. I would go to clubs and dance and people would go, “Wow, you really like dancing,” and one day I found a style that was right for me, and stuck with it.
Image credit: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/EWaR3sIkavE/maxresdefault.jpg