AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – Breakdancing enthusiasts get to celebrate the genre of dance this week and even join in the festivities if they feel so inclined.
Mayor Mike Coffman designated Sept. 20 as the first-ever School of Breaking Day in order to honor the founders of the School of Breaking. The institution has had a positive impact on the community since long before it had a physical location.
The school’s social media posts exhibit different breakdancing moves that some have perfected, but others who want to learn can get instruction at the learning center.
The founding members of the school have been offering that guidance since long before the front doors to the school were ever opened.
Tuesday was the School of Breaking’s 10-year anniversary, a milestone that school organizers plan to mark with a celebration on Saturday, Sept. 24, during the “Anniversary Jam.”
From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., breakdancing battles, visual artists, exhibition battles and dance cyphers will all be open to the public to participate in. The winner and runner-up of both the adult and youth competitions will be taking home cash prizes:
- $20 individual entry
- $35 for two individual’s entry
- $0 for all children ages 6 and under
“We want to make sure this art form remains accessible,” owner of the School of Breaking, LeToya Garland, told FOX31.
All of the proceeds raised through the selling of tickets will go into a scholarship fund that will go toward solidifying hip-hop art and physical education as part of children’s curriculum in schools going forward. They plan to do this by creating five scholarships for school enrichment programs for local schools that educate largely low-income communities.
Additionally, five scholarships will be created for lower-income families to enroll their children in dance classes at the School of Breaking.
If you are unable to attend but still would like to contribute to the scholarship fund, you can donate at your own convenience by visiting the school’s donation page.
School of Breaking’s early days
Back in 2003, while attending college, one of the school’s eventual cofounders, Bboy Chase ‘Em Down, legally known as Chase Evered, noticed that youth in the area had limited access to educational opportunities in the realm of hip-hop.
So, Evered helped form a dance crew along with some of the school’s original members and helped play a role in establishing metro Denver’s hip-hop foundation.
In 2012, at the end of an eight-year run, during which the crew functioned primarily as a nonprofit that organized community jams, the school was opened at 14190 East Jewell Ave. in Aurora. A few years later in 2017, Garland joined the team, becoming the school’s owner and business partner to Evered.
“We value peace, love, unity, and having fun. We value healthy habits, a strong work ethic, consistent discipline, self-confidence, self-expression and the pursuit of individual and collective dreams. We do not tolerate hate, racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, or transphobia in our facility or in our community. We are committed to cultivating a safe space for all.”School of Breaking’s Values
Since those welcoming doors were opened, a community event center has been built, after-school dance programs are being offered across the state, a competitive breaking team has been formed and an array of other services aimed at lifting the community can all be attributed to those who built the school.