It may have been below 20 degrees outside, but junior Ramon Perez was dressed for a workout, in a black sleeveless top and track pants. As crowds of students in coats and scarves snaked through the aisles of Kimmel’s Rosenthal Pavilion, picking up pamphlets from organizations recruiting new members during the recent CSALS Club Fest, Perez commanded attention with his straight posture and confident gaze.
NYU Stories approached the biology major and NYU Breakdance Club vice president to ask about strength training and whether there’s hope for those of us with two left feet.
Have many people stopped by your booth today?
I believe we’ve taken more than 150 names—and the room we meet in doesn’t actually hold that many people!
What level of breakdancer can join?
We teach all the way from the very beginning to very advanced, so there’s no prior experience needed. And we have a lot of good times—we become a family after a while, so it’s a great club to be a part of.
Do you put on shows?
Other clubs hire us—we’re sort of like mercenaries! This Saturday, we’re performing for the [NYU all-female South Asian Dance troupe] Nasha, which is hosting a charity event. We also go to Washington Square to do park sessions, which are primarily to raise awareness about our club. And we travel to other states to compete.
What’s your signature move?
Everyone in our club has a different style. My friend Tim does mostly footwork, and I do mostly power moves.
Sounds impressive. What are power moves?
Have you seen gymnasts doing flares on a pommel horse?
That’s when you balance on your arms and swing your legs around?
Pretty much. Those are power moves.
Oh! Like those guys breakdancing on the subway! Do you know them?
We’ve actually been in performances with them from time to time.
Who are they?
They’re just hitters. They’re going out just to make money. Our club isn’t really into making money—although we do have a very limited budget. We’re mostly about raising awareness about the dance.
Would you pose for a photo?
Is my hair okay?