‘Fake it ’till you break it’ at the new weekly breakdancing classes

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Students practice the "baby freeze" dance move.

New breakdancing classes have begun from 4-6 p.m. every Saturday in the ballroom of the Hyrum Manwaring Center. All students are invited to join, free of charge.

A beginner-level class is held from 4-5 p.m., followed by a more advanced level class for the second hour. These classes are taught by Christian Perry, a freshman studying art.

The class starts with some warmup exercises, followed by instruction from Perry and a co-teacher. They lead students in various breakdancing movements including popping, locking and breaking. These actions refer to the jerking appearance, muscle contractions, and distinctive stops seen in break-dancer movement. Perry encourages students to practice the moves at home and teach their roommates so they can learn and improve even more each week.

“You can come up with your own stuff once you learn the fundamentals,” Perry said. “That’s what’s fun about it.”

After the instruction and practice period, the class ends with attendees gathering in a circle to demonstrate one by one a move they learned or improved upon that day.

“It’s definitely increased my confidence in myself as far as dancing and overall morale goes,” said Jack Esplin, a sophomore studying communication. “Having fun and being in the zone with everyone just makes life that much more enjoyable and I’m not nervous to dance in a social situation or party.”

Esplin has attended each of the classes since Perry started holding them. He also mentioned that the class is a lot easier than he thought it would be.

Students gather in a circle at the end of class to show off the moves they have been practicing.
Students gather in a circle at the end of class to show off the moves they have been practicing.

“I’m actually surprised I can do some of the moves we’ve learned,” Esplin said. “It’s fun to show them off, and you don’t even realize you’re exercising because of how fun it is.”

As this is Perry’s first semester at BYU-Idaho, he decided to start this class so students with very little experience to more advanced dance backgrounds could come together, learn and have a good time. He plans to hold this class every semester for the next 4 years while he is in school, then pass off his teaching position to someone else so the class can carry on. He also has hopes that by the end of the semester, 80 or more people will come to join the class.

To learn about a brief history of breakdancing and some of the most popular moves, click here.