Breakin’ the rules, B-boy style

B-boying, also known as “break dancing,” has become a regular thing for some Portland State students who see the dance as a form of artful expression.

“What motivates me to dance is to discover who I am as a person. I have been dancing for seven years, and without this dance I wouldn’t have discovered who I am… I continue to discover who I am to this day,” said Michael Thilavanh, president of PSU’s Breakin’ Club.

Breakin’ Club, now in its second official year, meets every week to improve on footwork, top rocking, power moves and freezes.

“We want to share our knowledge and passion with students all over campus, and also share the culture behind the dance,” said Vice President of Breakin’ Club, Ben Lam.

Thilavanh said the group is eager to show the campus community the hard work and dedication that goes into breaking.

“The mission of the PSU Breakin’ Club is to simply show the university what b-boying is all about,” Thilavanh said. “We do this by bringing in new dancers and dancers from around the metropolitan area, to get together and share our thoughts, experiences, and passion we have for this dance.”

Despite their status as a relatively young club, the b-boying group has already managed to establish themselves as an active event club.

On July 27, they hosted a 2013 Breakin’ Olympics on campus. The two versus two competitions attracted 32 teams and a waitlist, while the country versus country battles featured 12 separate teams.

B-boying has its roots in the late ’70s, just before it made its debut on the mainstream in the ’80s; the term “break dancing” was coined by the media at this time.

There are four fundamentals to b-boying: Top rocking, which is the dancing you see upright on their feet; footwork, which is the dancing you see them do low to the ground; power moves, such as the classic windmill and head spin; and freezes, which are moves where you hold your body still in difficult positions for an extended period of time.

Breakin’ Club meets every Friday from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at the Rec Center in room 430. The group hopes to host more events throughout the year.