As the skill is announced as an Olympic sport, we catch up with two hopefuls vying for a spot on the US team
In a bid to reach out to younger audiences, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has introduced breakdancing as an Olympic sport. Known as ‘breaking’ in its competitive form, the sport is set to debut at the 2024 games in Paris.
There were no Olympics this year after the coronavirus pandemic forced organisers to cancel the 2020 Tokyo games, however the event is scheduled to return in 2021 with a host of new sports including skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. The idea to introduce breakdancing to the historic competition, however, was hatched back in 2018, when trials at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina, proved a success. Contestants faced each other in one-on-one dance-offs which were scored by judges, a format likely to be brought to the 2024 Olympics.
“Today is an historic occasion, not only for B-boys and B-girls but for all dancers around the world,” said Shawn Tay, the president of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), the global governing body with the mission of promoting all forms of competitive dancing. “The WDSF could not be prouder to have breaking included at Paris 2024, and we thank everyone who helped make it possible: the executive board of the IOC, the Paris 2024 organizers, the WDSF staff and, most importantly, the breakdancing community itself,” they added.
To celebrate this incredible milestone for the breaking community, Dazed caught up with a couple of breakers from the Red Bull BC One All Stars who are both hopefuls for representing the United States at the 2024 Games. Meet Jeremy Ives Viray, who dances under the name Icey Ives, and Logan Edra, who dances as Logistx.
What does the news mean to you?
Logistx: This news marks history in hip-hop/breaking. It gives so much hope and excitement for those who want to do what they love for a living. To me, it really is the perfect time to be able to pursue my dream to the most prestigious extent. I used to be a competitive gymnast, so winning a gold medal in one of my main passions would fulfill a dream that I never thought would be possible! It also makes me so happy that a culture that I care so much for, and that has been through phases of oppression, finally gets recognition and the light it truly deserves.
Icey Ives: It means a lot knowing that the Olympics are going to be showcasing breaking.
What does it mean for the wider breaking community?
Logistx: It means an opportunity for our culture to be showcased on a platform that reaches millions of people. Kids watching will most definitely aspire to get into it, so for our scene it is another way to empower and inspire kids to get involved in hip-hop.
Icey Ives: (It will open up) a lot of opportunities for breakers in our community to get sponsorships.
Do you see it as both a sport and an art form?
Logistx: Breaking is most definitely not just a sport and an art, but also a culture and community. That is one misconception that we want to prevent as much as possible. Viewers should know that breaking is not just a sport, but also has creative and social aspects that make it different from a sport.
Icey Ives: I put it as an art form first before anything. A sport only because it involves the same amount of energy and training as any other sport.
What makes a strong and special breaker and competitor?
Logistx: Someone that knows who they are to be able to authentically represent their style while knowing how to play the game and discipline themselves to drill for execution, difficulty, and technical reasons. Dancers like Victor, Ami, Ayumi, Zoopreme, Zeku, Icey Ives, Phil Wizard – they all have such distinct styles, yet know how to execute them in any arena/battle to perform their best and beat their competitor.
Icey Ives: Someone who is able to connect with the crowd, and someone who is well rounded and not just specialised in one aspect of breaking.
What is your biggest or most proud achievement in breaking?
Logistx: I would say winning the Silverback Open 2018 B-girl and signing with Red Bull last year as a Red Bull BC One All Star!
Icey Ives: To be honest, it’s because of what I’ve done for my community in Alaska – that is my biggest achievement. If it wasn’t for breaking, I wouldn’t have built up the courage to become a leader and organise cultural events in Alaska. In doing that, I was honored by my State with a Resolution from the City State Representatives.
What ultimately draws you to breaking and keeps you pursuing it?
Logistx: The freedom, aggression, passion, unity, and challenges in breaking are all what keep me coming back to it. I love that, with the exception of the foundation and cypher/battle etiquette, there are basically no rules as to how you are supposed to move. I love that people in hip-hop and breaking are so passionate and sometimes tough/aggressive in their aura, like the No Easy Props crew founder and fellow B-girl Asia One. I also love that despite the minor beefs there might be among us, we keep working and wanting to get better, and we always have an underlying understanding that unity is a priority. And last but not least, I find it so challenging and I love that because you can never get bored!
Icey Ives: Because I am here to leave a legacy and in the future I plan to pass down everything I’ve learned in my journey to the next generation of leaders.