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‘Break Out’ features talent, battle between break dance teams

April 30, 2009

The University Center’s Falcon’s Nest was filled with neon shaped lights swirling on the walls as a rectangular spot light indicated a stage on the floor for three break dance crews competing in an annual event called Break Out, April 23.

Co-president of the UW-River Falls Break Dance Club Hannah Wortz explained the rules of a Break Out. There is no specified uniform; dancers can wear whatever they are comfortable in, Wortz said. There are four to 10 people in a crew, and they have three to six minute rounds. The dancers cannot touch each other. After the rounds, the judges decide who wins, Wortz said.

The competing crews were The Sexys, Operation Fresh and The Looney Tunes Crew. The winning crew at the end of the night was The Looney Tunes Crew.

In the middle of the event there was a performance by the UWRF Girl’s Hip Hop club that is led by Wortz.

The Break Dance Club hosts two events a year, Break Heart and Break Out.  Last year’s Break Out had approximately 200 people.

Students who attended had various reasons for why they were interested in the event. Freshman animal science major Bethany Lattu said she heard about the event through flyers in the cafeteria.

“I like watching. It’s really amazing how they do all those things, because I wish I could do it,” Lattu said.

Biology and eology major Abby Cole said she came to the event because she likes the music.

Junior Biology major Josh Thao said he grew up break dancing and wanted to check out UWRF’s Break Dance Club.

The Break Dance Club was started three years ago by student Mekha El-shadi Jones. El-shadi Jones now is co-president alongside Wortz. The Break Dance Club has approximately 10 active members who practice three days a week in Hagestad Hall.

El-shadi Jones said it takes a lot of planning to advertise and put together this type of event. El-shadi Jones said the student who used to market the event was gone this year, so they ran into a lot of problems.

Wortz said she is the only girl in the club and she loves it.

“There are not many girl break dancers. It is a male dominated dance style,” Wortz said.

To join the Break Dance Club there is no previous experience required and no costs.

“Just come to practice,” Wortz said. “The essence of break dance is being you, and you put your own flavor to it.”

“We basically started from scratch this year,” El-shadi Jones said. “Last year’s event is what we normally do.”

El-shadi Jones said next year’s events will be “bigger and better” because they already have started planning. El-shadi Jones said his vision for the break dance club was to have “more community interaction and promote hip hop culture in a positive way.”