Last week New York City hosted the Red Bull BC One World Final, the largest one-on-one breaking competition in the world.
Professional break dancers B-Boy Chau-Lin and B-Boy Ali were among thousands who competed in the 2022 One Last Chance Cypher for a chance to make it to the World Final. Chau-Lin represented Germany via Tru Cru and Team Combo, while Ali represented the U.S. via the Body Rock Crew.
In The Know spoke with the breakers about what the sport and art form means to them. Chau-Lin began breaking on the streets of Rastatt, Germany, in 2001.
“I saw some B-Boys and B-girls and they showed me some handstand and six steps,” Chau-Lin told In The Know.
He instantly knew he wanted to do “only” break dancing for the rest of his life. Ali grew up dancing competitively as a teen in Mexico City and then in Salt Lake City.
“I went to a lot of cities and a lot of competitions. But never did I think I’d have the opportunities to represent the U.S. at a such high level,” Ali said.
Chau-Lin cites the diversity and freedom of self-expression in breaking as its most attractive elements.
“Breaking for me, how it makes me feel is I feel free. I can express fully what I cannot describe in words,” Chau-Lin said. “It really brings people together from different cultures and different backgrounds. There’s a lot of love in this community.”
For Ali, dancing is an art form that keeps him “sane.” He isn’t necessarily there to please crowds.
“When I step into the cypher, I just want people to see the raw essence of breaking,” Ali said. “I don’t really care for the oohs and the aahs, and you know, I just like to represent B-Boys on its truest form.”
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