Q & A with 'world class bboy' Kid David Special

Posted Jun 5, 2014 by Mindy Peterman
Bboy Kid David has taken the art of “breaking” to a new level and has now branched out into acting in the feature film "Step Up: All In".
Sheenon Olsen/Platform PR
The movie Breakin' was released in 1984 to capitalize on the growing popularity of the art of “breakdancing”. The term "breakdancing" was coined by the media, Kid David explained in our email interview, and is generally frowned upon by purists. Bboy-ing is the correct terminology for one who devotes themselves to the art of “breaking”. And Kid David (nee David Shreibman) is, as he refers to himself, a World Class Bboy.
David’s art has taken him around the world, where he has performed competitively. He has also been on TV on such shows as the 82nd Annual Academy Awards program and So You Think You Can Dance. His latest venture is in the feature film Step Up: All In (in theaters July 25), in which he plays Chad, a ballroom dance instructor with some “serious bboy skills”.
I spoke recently with David via email about his life and career as a bboy.
Where are you from originally?
Originally from Marin County, a suburb of San Francisco. 
How did you get into dancing, particularly being a bboy?
I was kind of born into it in a way. Both my parents are artists. My mom was a jazz and ballet teacher for 25 years. My father was a pantomime and [my] brother a drummer. My love for music came first, which led to dancing. I was imitating Michael Jackson at 3-years-old and playing multiple instruments years later. I specifically got into breaking because of seeing movies like Breakin' and Beat St. I wanted to learn for a long time and my mom finally found someone who could teach me. The rest is history. 
I notice from your videos that you add elements of jazz and Broadway type choreography to your routines. Are these styles generally associated with bboy-ing or is this something you decided to throw in?
I’ve always said genius is found in the collision of two worlds.  I’ve always been inspired by other things i.e.: skateboarding, surfing, ballet. Popping anything that comes in front of my eyes is victim to becoming part of my dance. What’s amazing about breaking is that anything can be breaking as long as you do like a bboy. 
Is there a difference between bboy-ing and breakdancing?
No. Breakdancing is a term the media gave to bboy-ing to make people understand better. When people say breakdancing, they are talking about bboy-ing. 
Please talk about the Renegades crew, which you are part of.
Renegades is one of the oldest and most legendary bboy crews in the world. They were the first real crew on the West Coast that took all the superstars from other crews and brought them together. Renegades was established in 1983 and I got into the crew in 2004. I was 15. To be asked to be in the crew was huge for me. I am still the youngest member among generations of dancers. Renegades is still considered one of the best and influential crews in the world. 
You’ve competed all over the world. Is there a moment in your career that makes you most proud?
It’s hard to pick just one. Dancing at the Oscars was amazing. To see all the faces you watched growing up in movies clap for you… Another moment was a standing ovation at TED talks where we performed for the geniuses and leaders of the world. The best thing ever is getting the respect from those you looked up to your entire career and to be able to inspire and innovate for the world.
Who inspires you?
My friends and family inspire me the most. I have so many amazing, talented friends doing cool shit with their lives. We are all given this life but what are you going to do with it? I like to surround myself with people doing cool, different and inspiring things. 
Tell us about your role in the forthcoming film Step: All In.
I have the best role ever. I play Chad, a ballroom dance instructor who secretly has some serious bboy skills . When the crew first meets Chad, I'm just this guy that hits on cougars [older women] all day and sprays Axe. I play the ultimate douche but in the best way ever. It was definitely a challenge because Chad is so far from who I am, not to mention I had three weeks to learn how to Ballroom [dance]. Have you ever tried breaking in a unitard and Spanish heels?? 
What advice would you give those who would like to work in your field?
Set goals, meet them, then set new ones. No one will make it happen for you. You have to want it. If everyone is going left go right, and remember it’s not what you do its how you do it. 
What are your goals for the future?
I want to continue to pursue acting more. I love being on set and always have as a dancer. As an actor, you have more freedom for creativity with your role. I had such a blast on this film. Aside from that, I [want to] continue to teach and compete around the world, work on my bboy lifestyle magazine Be Twn The Brks and surf every morning in Venice Beach :)