Let’s get it popping

Tiffany Lau

After its one year anniversary, breakdancing club B-boy Stance remains unknown to the student body

The only "breaking" MVHS knows is the breaking news of a "B" on a test. Breakdancing, or b-boying, is not exactly an SAT vocabulary word but senior Michael Wu is trying to bring this new term into the minds of students with his club, B-boy Stance.

 Sophomore Varun Jain (left) gets ready for a move while senior Michael Wu (right) practices his head invert. Photo by Tiffany Lau.
Wu founded B-boy Stance in February 2009. It focuses on two styles of hip hop: breakdancing and popping. Breakdancing involves tumbling with three elements to it—top rock, dancing when standing, and down rock and foot work, both of which are dancing with the hands and feet on the floor. Popping, on the other hand is when the dancer flexes a muscle as the music hits a beat.
  
But members don’t have to be dancing maniacs to join. The club is open to dancers of all levels, as most of the members are beginners. There are mats for members to practice on and once in a while Wu’s hip hop teacher from Dance Academy USA, Teck Liew, comes in to teach some moves.
 
"This club is about teachings kids to build a passion [for] dance," Wu said. "I want students to be able to choreograph and express their own styles of dancing."
 
Unlike other types of dancing, breakdancing is more about freestyle, allowing b-boys to express themselves. For club member sophomore Varun Jain, being part of B-boy Stance and breaking is not just a hobby. It has also helped him build his character.
 
"I think that [breakdancing is] a good way for me to express what’s inside of me and it’s a really good way to relieve stress because [breakdancers] can release their anger through dance," Jain said.

Breakdancing has also allowed both Jain and Wu to meet new friends and form connections because of the one thing they share in common: break dancing. The club forms a crew called Elemental Styles. Last year it performed at the district-wide Battle Event, where b-boy crews from other schools such as American High School, came to MVHS to compete in a face-off. This year Elemental Styles will be performing during Diversity Day.
 
Practicing and performing together creates a tight bond between the few members in the club. Even though there are only 10 to 15 highly dedicated members, they are satisfied with the way things currently are, which is why Wu has not promoted the club much. Yet Jain is still hopeful that the club will flourish within the next year. B-boy Stance has also yet to reach complete stability, with advisors’ liability issues (even though members sign a waiver form) that needed to be straightened out with the administration.
 
For now, the club is building its foundation and reputation.
 
"Once we get everything set up completely [and] it’s more exposed to other people [through club promo day], a lot more people will join because I [also] know people from Kennedy who like to dance too," Jain said. "If there’s a club here for them, I think it’ll really help them like it helped me."
 
B-boy Stance meets every Friday in the Student Center for an hour and a half starting at the beginning of 7th period.

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