A Salmon Arm break dancing studio is set on empowering students across the Shuswap through the power of dance.
For four years Easy Break Dance has led break dancing workshops in schools within the Shuswap. This year the studio will be putting a greater focus on teaching more workshops than years previous.
Manny Christjansen, a break dancing instructor with Easy Break Dance, said along with the students having a good time with their friends there are benefits the children may not realize.
“One of the fundamental things about [break dancing] is posing in a strong, confident manner,” Christjansen said. “Kids like doing that because it’s fun and they can be silly doing it but on a psychological level it’s a huge confidence booster.”
Since school has just started again, no schools have confirmed yet with the dance company. However, Christjansen is expecting at least seven schools from within Salmon Arm, Kelowna and Kamloops to hold break dance workshops for their students.
Class and school sizes determine how long the workshops run; for a small school, workshops would run for about three days while in a larger school they would span a week.
Bigger schools typically have a dance party at the end of the workshops, for which Easy Break Dance provides a DJ complete with a record-scratching turntable.
“The kids love it because they see the DJ doing lots of different things all at once,” Christjansen said. “The DJ usually lets them try the turntables out.”
Christjansen’s motivation for teaching the art of breakdance to younger generations is three-fold. Education about what the art of breakdancing entails, student empowerment and providing jobs to other breakdancers.
From the years Christjansen has taught the classes he has seen the effect the workshops have on not only the students but also the teachers.
“The teachers have loved it – mostly they love it because the kids’ attitudes change. I’ve never actually come across a teacher that hasn’t enjoyed it.”
The studio also provides DJ services for dry grad events and weddings.