Thursday, February 28, 2013

Break Dancing

 Elliott didn't take his eyes off his owner Ryan while the two of them walked back to us. The mutual love between the two of them was palpable as Elliott jumped around his owner like a gazelle. I had a very good feeling about this encounter.
"That was fast," I said as Ryan flipped his right hand taut and sent his arms gliding across his body like a rubber hose moving to the tip of his left hand. "What was that?"
 “I used to be a professional break dancer,” the young Ryan informed me. I couldn't break dance to save my life. I tried not to but I laughed out loud as he showed me some of his intricate, athletic moves. Times were different back then. There weren't reality shows or YouTube stars. In fact, there wasn't much opportunity for dancers that I knew about. I had only seen break dancing in person on the streets of New York City.
There was no music playing but as he danced, it was impossible for me to keep from tapping my foot to the beat of his movements. All eyes at the park were now on him as he slid, jumped, and landed on his toes in a dramatic choreographed sequence of intricate dance steps. His feet moved so quickly I could see why the greyhound was his first choice in dogs. He jumped and landed on his hands with his feet at a 90 degree angle, then froze for a moment before popping back up. The muscles in his buffed biceps were clearly getting a workout as he jumped from hand to hand effortlessly. Standing now, his shoulders moved one way while his hips moved the other and then he jumped again, balancing on one arm until he froze in mid-air. This boy had power and flexibility, that’s for sure. By the time he finished, everyone at the park clapped.
“That’s twice today they've clapped for you,” I pointed out.
“On the streets of D.C., they used to give me money,” he laughed as he brushed the grass from his hands. “I started by competing with other street performers until I was discovered. I performed with a troupe from the time I was 16.” 
I was impressed. I had no idea the strength that was necessary for break dancing. 

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