Breakdancing as a lifestyle: Meet Juan Duarte

Freshman Juan Duarte practices his break moves in the gym at break club on Nov. 27.Photo Credit: Jenika Chiang
Freshman Juan Duarte practices his break moves in the gym at Break Club on Nov. 27.<br />Photo Credit: Jenika Chiang
Freshman Juan Duarte practices his break moves in the gym at Break Club on Nov. 27.
Photo Credit: Jenika Chiang

Q: What made you start breakdancing?
A: When I was in Costa Rica, I met a guy named Gino Hernandez who knew how to break a little. We got to talking, and he told me he used to break, but he stopped. He told me he was going to start again, and asked me if I was willing to learn. I said yes. Before summer started, I was able to learn all the basics. I learned how to six step, three step, some top rock, baby freeze, chair freeze, and twelve step.

Q: What inspires you to breakdance?
A: My friends and music influence me to keep breakdancing. It motivates me to keep on dancing.

Q: How would you describe breakdancing and what does it feel like to breakdance?
A: It’s a way of expressing my feelings, my style, who I am and what I love. It feels like flying, like you’re the center of attention, you have the power. It’s amazing.

Q: How has breakdancing impacted your life life physically and mentally?
A: Emotionally, breakdancing has helped me better understand myself. It’s helped me find who I am and what I love. It is something that has impacted my life., and is my way of expressing my feelings and style. Physically, it’s helped me get more strength, resistance, flexibility, and balance.

Q: What skills do you feel are needed when breakdancing?
A: You need good upper body strength, flexibility, resistance, balance, speed, and body control. All of these are very important and are needed for almost everything. These skills will help you do handstands, power moves, footwork, and a lot more!

Q: How do you train, and what do you do to prepare?
A: I practice combos and new moves that I’ve been trying to learn and try to put my own style into it. I also workout a lot because you need a lot of upper body strength, and listen to music to motivate myself.

Q: Have you broken any bones from breakdancing?
A: No, I’ve never gotten any broken bones or anything, but I’ve gotten hurt a lot because breaking is not easy. The last time I got hurt, I was trying to do more than one air thread, but my foot got stuck and I fell right on my toe and I wasn’t wearing shoes or socks, so I was bleeding like crazy!

Q: What’s an air thread?
A: An air thread is when you do a handstand, hold your foot with one hand, and then make the other leg go through the hole you’re making by doing this. My foot got stuck in the middle of the move because I took too long to do it and I was already falling, so I wasn’t able to take off my hand and put it on the ground to land on my feet.

Q: How has it affected you academically and socially?
A: I’ve made a lot more friends, and I meet a lot of new people because of breaking. Academically, it doesn’t affect me as much, but sometimes practice gets in the way of my homework, or I get too into it and don’t want to do it.

Q: What defines you in the breakdancing world?
A: Your bboy name defines you, and it must be given to you by another bboy. Mine, Bboy Fresco, which means fresh, was given to me by Bboy Spindian. You become a bboy when you know at least one freeze, one power move, and some footwork.