What’s the hardest part of bboying?

DANCING.

I mean, actually dancing.

Bboying is broken up into several components — toprocking (actually dancing), footwork (moving around on your hands and feet), freezes (stopping your body movement for a brief amount of time), and power moves (all those flashy-looking spins, flips, etc).

What I’ve learned from the other guys in my crew, as well as watching other crews, is that dancing is the hardest part of bboying. But why? Isn’t performing multiple flips in a row or spinning around on your head to your hands and then doing a bunch of gymnastic-style moves harder than just doing simple steps on your feet?

Well, when you look at it that way, physically speaking you wouldn’t be dancing if all you are doing is just power moves. This dance incorporates a lot of elements from different art forms and dances. Power moves are variations of gymnastics and toprocking takes its cues from a number of different dance styles. Perhaps the only “original” part of bboying is the footwork.

And another thing. There is a difference between hitting the beat of the music, and actually dancing. It’s pretty easy to follow a 1-2, 1-2-3 pattern. It’s an entirely different thing to make each step you take look good. It’s hard for me to describe it here, so I’ll give you a couple of examples.

(Bboy Cloud — Awesome dancer. I love this guy’s style. He incorporates a lot of different dance styles into his own)

(Bboy Ynot — Great toprocker, great dancer in general. Even when he goes down to footwork, he just rides the beat the whole way through)

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Ne-na-na-na

Nenana.

I pass it all the time time when traveling back and forth from Fairbanks and Anchorage, but never really about visiting it.

When a woman from the UAF Coop Extension Service emailed my friend James Delcastillo about running a couple of breakdancing workshops there, I was definitely interested in helping out. So, as of about two weeks ago, I can resoundingly say that the workshops were a SUCCESS.

It’s amazing how much, and how fast, the kids learned. The first workshop was held Thursday, April 26th. Several dozen middle and high schoolers were there, with most of them eager to participate. The second one was a few days later, on Saturday. There, we had about a dozen students, but all of them were hungry to learn (and eat, since lunch was right before the start of the workshop).

James, JJ, Jason, and I all helped teach some of the foundational steps of breaking. Toprocking, footwork, and even some basic freezes were incorporated into the lesson.

The students were really enthusiastic. By the end of the lesson, they were mixing their own moves into what we taught them. A supervisor at the Nenana Living Center (where the workshops were held) told Kendra that she had never even seen the kids dance before, and hearing that comment just put a smile on my face.

And, on top of all that, my crewmates finally confirmed that my bboy name is now…

Jericgeki! (or however it will be spelled in the future)

A fun weekend. A fun weekend indeed.

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My favorite cat…

PUMA.

No, it isn’t really my favorite type of feline. It is, however, my favorite sports brand.

I don’t actually own that much PUMA clothing (a couple of track jackets, a pair of track pants, and currently three pairs of shoes). I don’t think so, anyways.

So on to my story…

I was at Value Village a couple nights ago with a friend of mine. It’s been a while since I’ve last shopped there, but, lo and behold, we saw a pair of PUMA Liga sneakers that were in GREAT shape.

Next thing I knew, I was at the check-out stand with the sneakers, an argyle sweater, and, funny enough, a pair of PUMA track pants.

I tried looking online for the exact pair that I have, but this will just have to suffice. Mine are brown with a white stripe and brown shoelaces.

And moving on…

I was never really introduced to PUMA (especially its shoes) until after I started dancing. I like them because they’re lightweight, comfy, and look good. The pairs that I’ve owned have been pretty good to me, even if I haven’t been good to them.

I owned a pretty sick pair of black and purple PUMA Benny’s, but I completely destroyed them within a year of use. They served their purpose, though. I even wore them during a jam last summer (it was affectionately called the Jam of Destiny, or Ricky Chon’s going-away jam).

PUMA is actually very popular with bboys and bgirls. My guess is for the same reasons I mentioned earlier. Some other popular shoes are Adidas (one in particular being Gazelles), Nike Airs, and even different Converse models (like Chuck Taylors).

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Body Carnival

I don’t know what it is about the Japanese, but damn do they have style!

Here’s another crew I’ve recently started watching. Body Carnival hails from Kyoto. They’ve been going at it for years now.

I love their creativity and style. They’re unlike a lot of other Japanese crews in that they have a really good flow to them. Instead of just having some sick moves or blow-ups, their whole sets are well-balanced.

Check this video out. It’s a highlight video from just ONE jam held back in December. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that they have AWESOME routines!

ONE MORE THING. For you ladies interested in the dance or just want to watch some really dope bgirls, this crew has Ayumi, Narumi, and Mi-Chan.

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Sweet 16

So the 5th anniversary of Northwest Sweet 16 occurred last weekend.

It’s a pretty big regional jam, with 16 bboys invited to compete in a 1v1 style competition. The jam is held in Seattle, with many of Washington’s best, upcoming dancers participating. They also have guys from Canada, Oregon, Idaho, and ALASKA represent their respective states.

(highlights from 2011)

This year, high-schooler Ives (Stryker) Viray was the Alaska representative. Congrats to Ives for making it to the semis! He’s the first guy from AK to make it out of the first round.

(stryker vs mango – last year’s winner)

(stryker vs tim the pitt – semifinals)

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Jericgeki?

So you’re probably wondering what my name means (or how to even pronounce it)?

Jeric + Ichigeki (Eee-chee-geh-kee) = Jericgeki

Ichigeki was (and still is) a Japanese bboy crew, most active in the early and mid 2000s. They were known for their CRAZY style and uniqueness; they really express themselves through their dancing.They show how you don’t really need any big, flashy powermoves in order to be good. Seriously, their showcase from Battle of the Year 2005 (which I’ve conveniently included a link to) is hands-down one of the best showcases to ever grace the dance.

(performance starts around 1:30)

Definitely one of my favorite crews.

I believe it was the summer of 2010 at practice when Marballz first mentioned “Jericgeki.” Basically I was “dancing” (ie flopping around and doing who-knows-what) at practice and he told me about the Japanese crew Ichigeki. He said I reminded him of them. I looked them up, and they instantly became one of my faves.

I’d include a highlights clip of myself, but I’m too lazy to edit one. Instead, here’s a couple clips that show my style. See for yourself if there are any similarities between the crew and I.

My first jam…(start @ 1:07)

Midnight Sun Breakfest 2010 (from :35 – :50)

Midnight Sun Breakfest 2011 (this was just fun)

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Canned Funk in action

Canned Funk was started 10 years ago. The original members were Marballz and Figment. Before that, they both were a part of DOF (Discipline of Freedom). I’m part of the new generation of CF members.

Fairbanks’ dance scene is unique in that we focus more on style and the actual dancing aspect elements, rather than “powermoves.” Anchorage has a bigger scene, but they’re characterized more by powermoves and other elements of the dance.

Here’s our performance from the 2011 International Friendship Day. We had several members of Illaskan Assassins come up from Anchorage to perform with us. You can see the humor we like to employ, as well as the style differences between the dancers.

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