On breakdancing, and being inspired by your neighbors

I first saw breakdancing, I think, at the #BernalHeights Rec Center around 1984. Back then it was two guys in the sparkling sunshine, one with Stevie Wonder-style beaded braids and another with a shower cap on his hairdo, practicing the six step. A little later, at Rocky Mountain preschool, a dance troupe came with a boombox and a piece of cardboard, and as I spun around on the butt of my Oshkoshes, a preteen with a jheri curl and a Members Only jacket dubbed me "Lil' Turbo". The movement and possibilities and grace of the dance fascinated me, and I "practiced" in my living room for hours to the sounds of The Real Roxanne and Rappin' Duke on 107.7 KSOL. But it wasn't for another 20+ years that I had the confidence to pursue my interest in movement in a formal practice. I finally discovered my passion: #capoeira. Certainly very different from breakdancing, but in my mind arising from the same ancient font. I didn't begin learning until the age of 27, and at nearly 35 I will probably never be the guy on YouTube showing you how to do a handspring to back tuck. But as I practiced in the rec center under the moonlight tonight, I did feel wonder, nostalgia, and much gratitude for all my teachers–and to those long-gone Bernal dwellers who first inspired me to move.

A video posted by @eamonka on

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