RON Case, a breakdance teacher with local club Wild Style Breakers in Burslem, likened breakdancers to superheroes after it was confirmed breaking will debut at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that breaking, a competitive form of breakdancing, will be the only new addition to the 2024 Games, with surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing included at next year’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics for the first time.
All four events have been introduced as the IOC strives to make the Games more “gender balanced, more youthful and more urban” and Ron likened those who perform the sport to superheroes.
Ron said: “At the moment, Breaking is still underground which I do like, but it’s going to explode soon as it gets into the Olympics.
“A lot of people think it’s not a sport, obviously there’s a bit of controversy about it, to me it is a sport and also an art form because with an art form you’re entertaining everybody and with a sport you’re competing.
“The reason why people don’t like to call it a sport in the breaking scene is because it’s about expressing yourself, it’s about individuality.
“It makes you have to believe in yourself and push yourself to do things which most people don’t do, a little bit like a superhero, you’re doing something different from the norm.
“I think it’s great it’s involved in the Olympics now, no disrespect to the sports that are out there, but you can only have so many sports where you’re hitting a ball across somewhere, the young generation it involves is just amazing so I’m all for it being part of the Olympics.”
The 54-year-old explained how he was first introduced to breakdancing and performed with influential hip-hop group Run-DMC at Glastonbury.
He said: “I went to a club and I saw somebody spinning on their head and I was like oh my goodness! I’ve just got to do that!
“It was something where I could compete with friends and show off our skills, practice and push ourselves to the limit and go at it like crazy, that was the main thing.
“I was on stage with a group called Run-DMC and we were in one of the tents, there must have been about 8,000 people in this massive tent, I was like woah, it was amazing!
“You do a move and there’s massive roar and then when you come off the stage and it’s like you’re floating, it was fantastic.”
The peripatetic teacher instructs youngsters how to dance at the Co-Operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent for the only dedicated breakdance school in Stoke, Wild Style Breakers.
He said: “When I go into a school, most of the boys and girls have never danced then they see me do a little bit and they go wow! Then I go on my head and spin on it and they go oh my God! It grabs their attention.
“Children and young people like to be different, they like to stand out, the strength and the fitness you’ve got to have to do it, what they do now, it’s breathtaking, I’m thinking they cannot be human.
“It’s not about the age it’s about the ability, when we do these competitions we have it so you’ve got young kids against grown-ups and it’s surprising because the kids can beat the older people.”
Covid-19 has prevented Ron from teaching a class since March who is hoping to return to the floor in January with fresh ideas to engage the future generation of Bboys and Bgirls – terms used to describe those performing the artform.
He said: “I haven’t actually done any Zoom classes, I’ve thought about but to me, you can’t put it across in the same way, the buzz isn’t there and when I teach, I’m a very passionate teacher doing it on Zoom, it’s not the same, I didn’t feel the passion for doing it on there.
“I haven’t done a class at Wildstyle since March, I know the kids are missing it, I’m missing it, I’m looking at January for when we’re going to start back up again, I can’t wait to get back.
“Luckily, I’ve had a few teachers who have asked me to come into schools and teach there, but it’s not as many as it was pre-Covid.
“I’ve got some new ideas and some new formats I want to put into the class to help them step it up a bit more, I can’t wait to get back and I’m really looking forward to it.”