Video: Salmon Arm kids bust a move

Elementary students learned some new moves in the after-school program taught by Manny Christjansen

The music starts blasting and within seconds all the boys who had been playing around and talking to their friends just start dancing. Legs and arms are going in all directions, some go into handstands then roll onto their stomachs, others are doing back spins on the floor and twisting back up.

They are totally uninhibited by the crowd of parents who are watching. But these are no ordinary dancers – they are the Fancy Panthers, Salmon Arm’s breakdancers.

Instructor Manny Christjansen started up the class over a year ago.

“There’s not much breakdancing in Salmon Arm or the Interior but there’s a little in Kelowna, and pretty much in every main city; Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. It’s bigger now than in the 80s. It’s even going to be in the Junior Olympics (2018 in Buenos Aires).”

Christjansen was born in Haiti and adopted by a Canadian family. It was when he moved to Australia with his parents for several years that he first got really into breaking, or ‘b-boying’ as it is popularly called.

“My math teacher got me into it,” he says smiling.

He explains that it differs from other sports where an athlete works toward perfection.

“Break dancing isn’t driven by perfection but competition. There’s a cap to perfection but not competition and because of that freedom, you can take it to the next level.”

Davin Lawson, 9, has been coming for over a year. He likes the ability to do his own thing: “It’s just super fun and you just make stuff up. You can go down low and do stuff or stand up and do stuff.”

For 10-year-old Nick Metcalfe, the fun is being actively creative.

“It gets your blood moving quicker. It’s fun when you get to learn all these crazy moves.”

Christjansen take the time to teach them actual moves, but, for the most part, he lets them work (‘battle’) one-on-one or with a ‘crew’ and he walks around giving pointers or showing them other moves.

The class ends with a cipher battle. A cipher is basically a circle where the b-boys dance, taking turns one by one.

Christjansen says he is a huge proponent of b-boying because it helps develop a person in so many ways.

“It challenges a person to get out of their comfort zone. Everyone that sticks with it becomes confident and it transfers well to everything. There’s the strength aspect; you pretty much get a strong upper body. It’s good for the brain; it takes a lot of motor skills. You have to do five things at the same time while keeping a beat. It’s like juggling.”

The Fancy Panthers meet at Bastion Elementary gym on Monday nights from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information contact Manny Christjansen at 250-803-1652 or email manny@easybreakdance.com.

New students are welcome.

Editors note: an earlier version of this story read: “Christjansen was born in Canada but his parents lived in Australia for several years…” In fact, Chistjansen was born in Haiti and adopted by a Canadian family before moving to Australia.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Zuzana Riha’s last exhibition at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre was in October 2018. She has another coming up in November 2020. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke gallery exhibition opening coming Nov. 5

The November show will feature Zuzana Riha in the main gallery

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

A map of the proposed location for the temporary workforce camp in Johnson Heights that is subject to a Temporary Use Permit from the city. (City of Revelstoke)
Resort asks for support on proposed temporary workforce housing

Peter Nielsen says application for permanent staff accommodation coming forward next week

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal)
Candidates’ messages: Columbia River Revelstoke

The Bulletin offered each candidate in Columbia River Revelstoke space to hold forth on issues important to them and to voters.

Mackenzie Avenue, with Mount Macpherson in the background, in 1940. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 655)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Oct. 22

Items from Revelstoke newspapers, as gleaned and edited by Cathy English, curator… Continue reading

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO)
Police watchdog clears Kelowna RCMP in connection to man’s death

The man died following a single vehicle crash on Highway 97 in June

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
UPDATE: Collision cleared, Highway 33 at Idabel Lake reopens

The Kelowna RCMP are urging drivers to stay away from the area

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read