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article imageBreakdancing event in LA helps to preserve their hip-hop culture Special

By Matt Terndrup     Jun 24, 2014 in Entertainment
Los Angeles - The official kickoff of the annual B-Boy Summit attracted people of all ages to a breakdancing event in Southern California.
To start, B-boying or breaking is a style of street dancing where individuals channel hip-hop rhythms into movements that allow them to slide, twirl and flip around an area. The culture originated among Black and Puerto Rican youths in New York City during the 1970’s and has quickly spread all across the world since then.
However, times are changing and new styles of dance and music are popping up everywhere. The recent rise of Electronic Dance Music, for instance, has taken the attention off the breakdancing collectives causing kids to dawn kandi bracelets instead. This is sparking the originators of the breaking movement to take a step back and figure out how to preserve their culture while still influencing other dance communities that come through as well.
A breakdancer floats off the ground during his turn in the circle. Onlookers watched nearby.
A breakdancer floats off the ground during his turn in the circle. Onlookers watched nearby.
One great example of an event that is helping to secure breakdancing culture in Los Angeles, California is the annual B-Boy Summit. It was created in 1994 due to the large demand for a community-oriented Hip-Hop movement. At that point in time, Bboys and Bgirls didn’t have a platform to come together and experiment with dance moves while paying homage to the traditional dance of Hip-Hop.
Twenty years later, and now the B-Boy Summit has attracted the attention of DJ’s, dancers, graffiti artists, hustlers, t-shirt vendors, rappers, musicians, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, and many many more creative people.
Photographers and more press showed up throughout the day ready to capture the moments.
Photographers and more press showed up throughout the day ready to capture the moments.
With the guidance of Asia Yu, Director of No Easy Props Inc, the event has turned into an amazing experience where all kinds of people are able to creativity and safely push the boundaries while connecting with other like-minded people in the community.
Not only are people able to meet each other, but money is made here too as locals sell music, t-shirts, hats, food, magazines, and many other types of media and apparel. Whether they want to buy a tie-dye t-shirt or a fancy bracelets, they can find it somewhere nearby.
Custom homemade bracelets and accessories could be found at this event.
Custom homemade bracelets and accessories could be found at this event.
Some notable vendors that were there included Flor Maria Gomez’s homemade earings, Sista Eyerie’s work, and Poetic Z’s custom vinyl art who all had a booth together selling products under the blissful sun. HNDP (Helping Neighborhoods Discover Peace) were also in attendance raising awareness of their Kickstarter campaign to convert a food truck into a mobile recording studio that will travel from one community to the next educating kids about music production and entrepreneurship.
At this point, the festivities at the B-Boy Summit finally kicked off. Musicians started to get on stage performing songs for the audience as breakdancers of all ages vibed to the music. Kids, parents, and students all circled around each other clapping for those dancing and supporting them whenever needed.
One of the rap groups that took the energy on Saturday to a whole new level was RoughCity who were getting people hyped with their strong stage presence. They even jumped down from the platform interacting with the crowd as they rapped songs from their newly released album called ‘End of the Beginning.’
The Pasadena rap group  RoughCity  performs on stage in front of an attentive audience.
The Pasadena rap group, RoughCity, performs on stage in front of an attentive audience.
At the same time, graffiti writers sprayed paint on blank walls along the edge of the event transforming their canvas into amazing works of art. An artist by the name of Mike Fearo was there creating an alien inspired graphic. When asked about what he thinks about these types of events and what people are learning, this is what he said:
“I believe this is basically unifying what has already been here, which is the Hip-Hop culture. It’s got a big strong presence in Los Angeles. Events like this bring everyone together so that we can all communicate, build for the future, get together, exchange phones numbers, exchange ideas, and come together in town. And I try to go to as many as I can. And when I come here, I bump into my friends from all over.”
Mike Fearo signs a black book for a fan taking his time to produce something special.
Mike Fearo signs a black book for a fan taking his time to produce something special.
The next day, the festivities moved from Boyle Heights into Chinatown where a lot of the same community members showed up to support each other. This time, the name of the event was called ‘Beat Swap Meet’ under the ‘B-Boy Summit’ umbrella, where dancing continued as music blasted off the walls into the air above while more crowds gathered into circles ready to jump off into the middle of the audience.
A circle of breakdancers gather to show of their style and new skills. Fun was had by all.
A circle of breakdancers gather to show of their style and new skills. Fun was had by all.
Around the corner from the dancing circle were several tents of vendors ready to sell what they were creating. Skateboards, t-shirts, cd’s, and tons of vinyl records were exchanged for paper money adding to the collections of those purchasing them. There was even a guy by the name of Mark who was selling custom-painted working boomboxs with his company Boomvox. Not only that, but he has done work with plastic materials and has painted food trucks before.
Happy vendors were everywhere at this event. Some sold custom painted boomboxes.
Happy vendors were everywhere at this event. Some sold custom painted boomboxes.
The local culture was definitely strong, but we wanted to get a deeper feel into what was going on in-between the lines. So, we interviewed a man who from Central America at this event. When asked why he was here, this is what he said:
“First and foremost, we are representing the Mayan community out in Los Angeles. We are Native American. We have an ancestral heritage, and we like to be here in the community in Chinatown with our Asian brothers and sisters in this community. And we are representing for Hip-Hop.”
We continued the conversation and wanted to know what he thought people are learning from this event. He directly stated with shear confidence that they are learning about “Unity, Peace & Love. And having fun.”
We were also curious to whether or not they were collaborating with other communities, to which he said “Yes we are. Definitely! We work with MC’s from Mexico. We work with MC’s from Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and MC’s from Columbia, MC’s from Peru, Chile, and MC’s from Asia.”
A busy crowd floats through Chinatown on a hot summer s day. There were lots to see around every cor...
A busy crowd floats through Chinatown on a hot summer's day. There were lots to see around every corner.
Overall, the whole weekend was filled to the brim with people of all ages, ethnicities, and skill sets from all over. They supported each other in so many ways that will be felt long after this event came to a close. As each individual moves on to the next event, they will take what they gathered from this experience and spread the knowledge and culture to those looking to learn. It is just a matter of time before we see the full effects of this Hip-Hop breaking culture that will be preserved and secured for many years to come.
More about Los angeles, California, Breakdancing, Music, Graffiti
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