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Breakdance revival



Seikido school offers new form of mind-body rhythms

What: Breakdancing lessons & club

Where: Whistler Seikido Martial Arts Dojo, Function Junction

When: Sundays, 6 p.m.

Get your pop and lock and up rock ready, breakdancing is back in town.

Those are the names of just two new moves you can learn, every Sunday through the summer.

"Martial arts combines a mind and body workout, and breakdancing includes physical aspects and individual style and creativity," says Cole Manson, instructor.

Breakdancing, which grew out of the Brazilian dance form known as Capoeira, takes place every Sunday, 6 p.m., at Whistler’s Seikido Martial Arts Dojo.

Manson, a martial arts instructor at the school, first took tae kwon do classes at the age of five, influenced by a Korean master and an uncle, also a master.

He was also instructed by several Japanese "sensis."

The classes are open to all ages, and up to a dozen people show up weekly for the event.

For music, the classes use modern hip hop with old school beats. Local DJ Camalo spins weekly.

"But you can breakdance to James Brown is you want to," says Manson.

Manson, who says he is not really into the bar scene but instead enjoys being part of the hip hop scene, says some students practice their moves at Maxx Fish’s hip hop-themed Wednesday nights.

Entire world championships are built around the dance-sport, which have taken place in Germany, and more recently, Seattle.

"I am forming the Whistler Breakdancing Club, or the WBC, and hope to hold some kind of competition here in Whistler."

Club members pay a monthly $20 fee, but different rates are available. For example, the fee for five lessons consecutive on Sundays is $30.

"It’s high-energy, demanding and takes endurance, so it encourages being in shape with a healthy lifestyle.

"Martial arts believes in a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle, to help maintain focus.

"A lot more moves people are doing nowadays are more technical and aerial," he says, like the classic spinning on the head manoeuvre.

But don’t try it at home.

Manson does not recommend instructional videos and books about the sport, because he feels they leave the student guessing.

"It’s better to have a personal trainer to guide people, who can point out how to correct a move."

Manson also taught breakdancing to youngsters (ages six to 12) through the month of June in Meadow Park’s dance studio.

A little harder to co-ordinate than the adults?

"Definitely – getting the kids to figure out what to move, and then where, takes a little time.

We’re really teaching them motor skills."

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