Breaking out of the Shadows

Breakdancers in JWJ Park / Olivia Lightner

Go inside one of Jacksonville’s underground breakdancing clubs. 

In the break dancing community there are different titles one can call themselves. A breaker, a B-boy, a B-girl or the most familiar term, a break-dancer. Whatever someone’s chosen title is, they all share the same passion.

Here in Jacksonville, the local breakers want this feeling to be shared. What started out as private gatherings, now they bring their mats to areas that will welcome them. 

“We like to spread the love. We want everybody to have a chance to see breaking. We want everybody to have a chance to gain the interest in breaking,” said local breaker, Kris May. “Because for me, when I started breaking, all it took was seeing it one time.”

At any chance they can get, locals are coming together to break. No matter what skill level, there is no judgement. Breaking is more than strategized steps, breakdancing can be interpreted, impulsive, and inspiring.

“It does take time and it definitely takes a lot of effort. But it’s not necessarily really hard. You’re just putting your passion into it,” said JeMasse Robinson, another local B-boy.

Breakdancers in JWJ park / Olivia Lightner

Since breaking’s birth, it has influenced generations and most recently has it gotten its long overdue place in the public. 

“We love to have people start paying attention to breaking in general. It’s been officially in inducted into the Olympics,” said May. “We want Jacksonville to be a part of that movement.”

Whether wanting to be a part of breaking or just supportive, this is the perfect opportunity to be educated on this rising sport. 

“The next Olympics isn’t ‘til 2024, so we are trying now to start now getting everybody’s eyes on breaking. We want breaking to be the next skateboarding,” said May. “How skateboarding went from an underground sport to a mainstream sport, and we want breaking to have that same transition.”

Breaking is finally getting its long-deserved recognition and earning respect from communities outside of its own. Whether loved in a dance perspective or sport, the family of breaking is welcoming more in. 

“I have enough confidence in breaking that I know if people put their eyes on it, there is going to intrinsically be interest” said May. “It’s really just about letting people know that it is here. Because everybody that I talk to about breaking for the most part is interested, they just don’t know where it is.” 

If interested in the breaking world or want to learn more about the culture, contact Kris through Instagram at @bboy.sirk. There, May posts his latest breaking gigs and announces future events.

About Casey Alixandra

april, 2022