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For International Dance Day, Red Bull Dance on the beauty of their art

In a contemporary political moment fraught with violence, artists across mediums are collaborating to uplift their creative communities. The breakdancing world in particular has been gaining traction as a competitive sport on International Dance Day. And largely through the help of Red Bull Dance and breakdancing photography, the day has garnered global recognition for an art form created by and for BIPOC.

Photographers offer their unique skills to frame and capture the fluidity of breaking in a whole new light. The two art forms are naturally compatible, bringing out the dynamism of photo work and the electrifying movement of breaking.

From the streets of the Bronx to the 2024 Paris Olympic games, breaking has evolved in the last few decades. The community values that have remained on International Dance Day, however, have allowed activism to find a natural home in this creative space.

Red Bull Dance

The recent spike in AAPI racism has rocked the diverse group of dancers at Red Bull Dance. Leaders and activists in their own right, Red Bull One dancers have continued their work with a renewed commitment to amplifying social change.

Red Bull BC One Hypest Rounds via Red Bull BC One Youtube

Red Bull BC One dancers are at the forefront of AAPI representation and continue to raise the bar for breakers. This is a curated group of sixteen b-boys and 16 b-girls chosen from thousands of breakers. These dancers will compete to represent at the Red Bull BC One World Final, which takes place in Poland this year.

In advance of International Dance Day, we spoke to breakdancing’s finest about what inspires them, and how breaking can be a vessel for change. 

Logan Edra

This natural starlet has been at the top of the game for almost a decade now – despite being only 17 years old.

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Logan ‘Logistx’ Edra poses for a portrait in Miami, FL, USA on March 22, 2021 // Red Bull Content Pool

Logan Edra is an international dancer. She first made it into the public eye a few years ago when she appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show. Since then, the young artist has continued to hone her craft and put the platform it gives her towards the good of the community.

A natural-born dancer since she was just 8 years old, Edra is turning her attention towards mindful ways to make use of her platform. 

KH: What inspires you to take your dancing to the next level?

LE: There are many things that inspire me to take my dancing to the next level; and it is always changing as I continue to evolve as a human, artist, and athlete. My main source of inspiration as of recently has been to simply be a voice for the voices that are silenced. There is too much suffering on this planet to not use our art to uplift others.

I find a powerful source of drive in alchemizing the negative energy I’ve had through countless moments of getting life thrown at me in ways that seem unfair and/or the multiple times of “not getting it” despite my hard work. It’s a way for me to release hard feelings and deal with tough emotions in a healthy way.

If I see some of my friends get a new move, take their footwork to the next level, or up their battle tactics, I take it as a reminder to see what I need to work on so that we can all consistently evolve and help the culture/dance evolve.

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B-girl Logistx from the USA competes at the World Urban Games in Breaking Category in Budapest Hungary on September 14th, 2019 // Little Shao/Red Bull Content Pool

Breakdancing’s effect on social change

KH: Can breakdancing amplify efforts towards activism and social change?

LE: Breakin in itself is one of the first elements of hip-hop.

Therefore, us being a community of mostly BIPOC who might have chosen this craft due to it’s low demand in expenses and have maybe come from/deal with marginalization in some way, we are already a walking symbol of social change, diversity, inclusion, things of this nature. Can we continue to evolve our ways of amplifying social justice? Yes, and we are.

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Logan Edra for Ysa Perez // Red Bull Content Pool

KH: How do you stay committed to your craft when you’re faced with obstacles?

LE: One, I take a step back to look at my life as an observer before moving forward. Sometimes obstacles can cause confusion, so in order to find clarity I automatically know that I need to just “oversee” rather than being “in it”.

Two, I power through the obstacle(s) with the motivation to overcome what is trying to hold me down.

Perspective and alchemizing these emotions plus having healthy outlets—such as meditation, breathwork, and other Therapeutic techniques—have all helped me stay committed to my craft when facing obstacles.

Victor Montalvo

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Victor Montalvo // Red Bull Content Pool

No one in the game has more championships to their name than Victor Montalvo. Having toured around the world and won multiple solo competitions, Montalvo is the current record holder of most international titles in a year.

He is far from letting his notoriety get the better of his talent though. Thus, the world-renowned dancer is dedicated to the lifestyle, art, and community of breaking. 

KH: What inspires you to take your dancing to the next level?

VM: What inspires me to take my breaking to the next level is just the art of breaking. It’s a never ending cycle of creativity and expression. I want to leave a legacy behind and become on of the best to ever do it! 

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Victor on the streets of Tokyo // Red Bull Content Pool

KH: Can breakdancing amplify efforts towards activism and social change?

VM: Definitely breaking can help towards social change. Breaking is a melting pot of different cultures, ethnicity’s and people. Hip hop in general is all about peace, love, unity and respect. That’s something we stand for. 

KH: How do you stay committed to your craft when you’re faced with obstacles?

VM: The way I stand committed to my craft is by becoming more open-minded getting inspired by not just breaking but things, places, music, concepts, ideas and implementing them into my breaking. Make it feel more exciting and new. 

Ronnie Abaldonado

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Ronnie Abaldonado // Red Bull Content Pool

Abaldonado, a Red Bull BC One All-Star and member of multiple top dance crews, was originally an architect major.

Since he made the switch to breaking, Abaldonad has made a name for himself as a record-breaker with power moves. He’s been a member of Full Force, and Super Cr3w, a team that won the second season MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.

Over the last decade, the dancer has expanded his work to include teaching breakdancing to children of all ages at his art studio, District Arts. 

KH:What inspires you to take your dancing to the next level?

RA: The endless possibilities of creating new moves, and the evolution of dance continuing to reach new heights. 

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B-girl Sunny competes at the Red Bull BC One B-Girls Cypher USA in Houston, TX on May 18, 2019 // Little Shao/Red Bull Content Pool

KH: Can breakdancing amplify efforts towards activism and social change?

RA: Yes.

Since Breaking is part of the Hip Hop Culture we live by these words “Peace, Love, Unity and having fun.” 

Ronnie Abaldonado
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B-Boy Ronnie poses for a portrait in Mumbai, India on April 12, 2019 // Ali Bharmal / Red Bull Content Pool

KH: How do you stay committed to your craft when you’re faced with obstacles? 

RA: Breaking has actually helped me navigate through life’s obstacles. When times were tough, breaking was my remedy. 

Support Red Bull Dance below

Today, on International Dance Day, we can draw strength and inspiration from these artists. Showcasing the beauty of photography and breaking, these dancers are keeping their craft alive.

Support Red Bull Dance and more breakdancing photography here.