It finally happened! Dane got up the courage to participate in his first ever breakdance battle. I had no idea what to expect. I just knew to be there, camera in hand, with a couple Euro for entrance fee.

On a snowy Saturday afternoon in May, we made our way to the local high school. They have a very cool Aula (literally “forecourt”), this is a wonderful semi-circle entry hall with a sunken floor. Perfect for watching a breakdance battle. We could hear the pounding beat from up the hill, getting louder & louder as we got closer. I was half expecting my mom to turn around, but she went in, paid her fee and got her hand stamped like she belonged there. At a breakdance battle.

The next two hours were spent watching strapping young men contort & twist in unbelievable ways, and the younger kids doing their best to follow in their footsteps. While the (extremely loud) music was not my jam, I almost didn’t hear it because of the amazing athletics on the ground below. Truly spectacular.

This breakdance battle was a 2v.2. Dane’s partner is a girl and new to breakdancing. I watched their practice Thursday night. I was so impressed with his patience and skill in breaking down the dance moves for her. They may not have won the grand championship this past Saturday, but I see great things in their future.

I really loved the confidence and attitude that came out as they danced more & more. The first battle was a little hesitant. Watching each other. Aware of the audience. Eyes not completely on the prize. Then, as they became more comfortable, as they watched other teams, as they won more than one head-to-head battle, they got a little pep in their step. A little attitude. A little in-your-face, beat this!

Dane has found his world. He is radiating happiness.

Dane & partner, round I

each battle features partner choreography, and a solo performance for each dancer

Dane’s spinning, acrobatics & strength amaze me!

I didn’t fully capture this, but… he JUMPS with his hands!

And two brief videos… I am beaming ear to ear: