“Try it with Tabby” is a weekly article chronicling the adventures of Tabitha Bower as she searches for out-of-the-ordinary and budget-friendly activities for students.
For today’s installment of Try it with Tabby, I encourage you to join a campus club or organization: Get involved. It’s free and part of the college experience to expand your horizons and delve into something new.
To exemplify just how exciting trying something new can be, I joined Boise State’s breakdancing club for one of their twice-weekly two-hour practices.
The thing about breakdancing is it utilizes massive amounts of upper body strength to properly execute. The thing about me is upper body strength is something I am severely lacking.
“Even though you lift weights you’re still not going to be able to do the moves just because you have the upper strength,” said Brittany Hernandez, Boise State breakdancing club vice president. “Stamina-wise, you can’t breakdance for 30 minutes straight because it is going to tire you out. You can only dance for so long, it is hard work just like athletes.”
Stamina: As it turns out, something else I am severely lacking.
Practice began slowly as club members trickled in and began to warm up. I was advised to start moving, and warm up similarly to any other athletic feat. While other members showcased their moonwalks, pop-locks and other skilled dance moves, I stretched my quads and waked around the room making awkward gestures, attempting to mimic the movements of others.
Hernandez gave me some one-on-one attention as practice began, teaching me the basic elements to a breakdancing set including toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes.
We began standing, where I tried my hand at some b-boy footwork emphasized by exaggerated hand and arm gestures, usually signaling “bring it.”
Unfortunately I did not bring much of anything. When adding hand movements to the patterned footwork, all order turned to chaos. Reverting to something I knew well, I quickly jumped into my “running man,” a circa 1980’s popular dance move, hoping to regain some of my battered ego. Come to find out, “running man” is not cool in the world of breakdance. Go figure.
Floor moves were not much easier concepts for me to grasp. Not only do these freezes and other poses take more muscle than I possess, the memorization was a thing that I could not grasp within one practice. The focus and commitment necessary to breakdance is something to truly be appreciated.
“It is fun and it is not intimidating, I promise,” Hernandez said. “It is hard work and I think it could have a positive impact on students. It will help them focus more on their studies because the moves that you have to do, you just cant do it in one go, you have to focus to master a move. Same goes with studies, you have to master how to concentrate.”
In the end, I spent most of my time trying to incorporate a pose I learned in yoga into a freeze pose, and was somewhat successful in doing so. If nothing else, I got a good workout and a new appreciation for the art of breakdancing.
“Breakdancing is worldwide,” Hernandez said. “I learned breakdancing in Germany and even though I’m here in Boise, I still know people that breakdance in Germany, we have that connection. Our goal of the breakdancing club is to have more impact and to show not just campus but also out there that breakdancing is alive in Boise.”
Check out Arbiteronline.com for a video my experience.