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Teachers Camp Vault


The Business of Breaking & Teaching

Key Takeaways

  • Our goal at BreakinMIA is to expose the general public to what we do in the most elegant way possible: we want them to look at us as professionals
  • I used to be the only one teaching until I shifted focus to scale and grow
  • Being dope in breaking is 20%; being able to articulate yourself, being able to market yourself, being able to brand yourself, that’s different; don’t be an artist, be a brand
  • You’re always going to feel like everything’s too fast if you’re somebody who strives to be the best version of you. There’s no cap on success. You never want to be satisfied but you want to be happy with the consistent chase, knowing you’re never going to “settle”. There’s no one balance that’s correct. You gotta find your own balance.
  • If you want to be a successful teacher you gotta love giving back; if you’re not willing to sacrifice everything for it, it’s not for you. You have to be passionate about it for it to be worth it


The Art of Promotion for Breaking Teachers

Key Takeaways

  • I like to work with people who are specialists in teaching if I’m going to book them for a workshop
  • Make sure you get your class in order; I’ve seen people do it bad, and people do it good. Be a student and go take a class, be a student of other people’s stuff, that opens up your perspective
  • Find out what works for you. If teaching sets is your thing, then that’s your thing. If people want to know how to do your sets, then that’s your sell. Others might want to know what’s in your mind, how you think. Poe does themes in his workshops, and he’ll do them for 2-3 hours. Play with different ways of doing it
  • You want to teach locally first, you want to know it works
  • Your best advertising is your students
  • Skills besides teaching: you want to be the cool teacher, a people person, to be able to articulate how you do things; be professional, on time, have your time management on point
  • Running a dance school is like throwing a jam every day. Without a team, forget about having a life. But once you have everything in its place, it can practically run itself. Once you have a school, you have a hub, and once you have a hub, you can do other things. Every city is going to need a school, and if you want to be the one to do it, do it!

  • Once you have the structure, then you’re good. You want to be able to replace each part of the structure to be able to keep the thing going.


The Philosophy of Teaching

Key Takeaways

  • I started out by sharing with people in the neighbourhood

  • I loved how articulate Wiggles and everyone was during the RSC anniversaries. Their stories helped me articulate better what I’m doing. The conversations were the classes and workshops, and these conversations were what I wanted to pass down

  • How I changed as a teacher over the years: I discovered more answers to people’s questions. Things that were easy to teach physically are not so easy anymore. I pay attention to a lot more details, have a different touch and use the bounce in a different way. Before I’d show it 30x until everyone got it, but now I just do it once and use other ways to help them get the move
  • When I’m in a country that speaks a different language to me, it’s important to get someone who understands the culture to help me translate that get the nuance right.
  • I have a file with all the rules and questions that I have when dealing with promoters; the communication has to be on point
  • what is considered elegance and finesse when rocking certain things – some people might sit a certain way, hold a cup in a certain – there’s so much detail in everything and in their style and elegance – if you’re hip and in tune with that style/culture of the area, you pick it up  
  • There are so many people competing now, it’s like a factory line, but you want to be able to treat everybody with respect. If people come up to you and ask you questions, for feedback, you want to be able to give them notes. With how fast they’re being called up there’s no time to take the notes. It’s very important for me to always be someone that you could come up to for feedback. I think promoters who are trying to rush everyone, they need to let judges do their job properly
  • We gotta stop hating on each other, we gotta start supporting each other’s successes and not be envious of each other’s successes. many organizations are forming when I think there should be a few that represent everyone and keep everyone united
  • If you know you’re coming from a good place, keep going, don’t let other people’s darkness darken your light
  • Teachers who inspire me: Wiggles, Fable, Trac, Ness, Ido Portal,  Mouse, Focus, Buddha Stretch, Charlie Uprock, King Uprock, Kenny, I could go on
  • How do we keep people in the culture: I let everyone go on their own journey. It’s medicinal. Whatever it is you do, it should be therapeutic for you. If the fun gets taken out of it, and there’s something else that’s more fun for you, then do what you need to do. That’s all part of the journey. The floor will always be there for you when you feel like coming back when you need to. The three journeys are always there (learn more in Teachers Education
  • Games have taught me a lot. Teaching in elementary school is mostly taught by games, so I incorporate all of that in my workshops


The Essence of Funk Music

Key Takeaways

  • I’m a b-boy stuck in the body of a DJ. I still don’t want to be DJ! I started because I wanted to hear music that I wanted to dance to.

  • After the initial sensation of flying that breaking gives me, it turned into the reaction to the music, that became the main motivation for breaking

  • If I break, I want a mix. The DJ’s job is to loop the breakbeats. When I create a mixtape, I want people to feel the groove then get hit by the break

  • People want to play faster music, but we’re not on coke. When I started experimenting with playing slower music, breakers came up to me and started telling me how they felt better breaking when I was spinning

  • The record of Pretty Purdy really changed how I thought about breaking and DJing because I understood what would happen to me if I wanted to break at 125bpm.

  • If you see a James Brown record wherever you’re traveling, buy it!

  • What salsa taught me: how to stay on time

  • Not everyone needs to watch ALL the prelims – you should have multiple circles going on at the same time at big events


inspiring the next generation

Key Takeaways

  • I used to work at a cell phone company, now I’m teaching the advanced level full-time through the Champions program (for people ready to make this their life) with Breakfree

  • I’ve taught hundreds of hours and learned a lot about teaching that way

  • The difference between teaching kids vs Champions program: kids on a beginner level, you gotta captivate their attention and gain their respect; just do a move and the kid will be like woah! but the captivation has to keep going – you gotta be charismatic and have fun – that delicate balance between fun and discipline; gain their respect by following through what you’re saying, delivering on what you’re saying; you don’t have to be the illest in the world to be the illest teacher

  • For Champions level, its not about the specifics of the move, it’s about the concept/big picture takeaway. The reason is not to master this combo but to open up your mind to the possibilities of combos. It lies in the articulation of the concept behind the lesson. People miss the reason behind “why” are we doing this toprock drill, this flare combo.

  • Champions program is a “do or die” moment. there’s no sugarcoating now. it’s go time, no time wasted. Communication is much more open and transparent

  • The difference between teacher, coach, community leader: in the classroom, you’re a teacher for that one hour. Outside of that, you’re a community leader and there’s always going to be eyes on you. Coach is whenever it comes down to applying the lessons you teach in class – when you’re trying to get all those lessons to stick and be at the forefront of when they’re performing or battling

  • If you want to succeed as a teacher, you need: 
    • willingness to fail and persevere
    • passion as your foundation at all times
    • openness to build and collaborate with everybody



Key Takeaways

  • I can’t bring everybody to the Bronx, so I brought the Bronx to everybody else

  • When I came back out of retirement in 98, there was an epidemic of OGs saying “that’s not bboying”, “they’re not doing it right”, so my thing was rather than criticize, why not teach them? 

  • No matter what I chose to teach, I was always good at it. I break it down to the simplest form, so that anyone could understand. My goal was to have more students than anybody else.

  • The game should be told, not sold.

  • I have enough to give away for free, so when the opportunity for a workshop comes around, I can still teach them something different. Not many people were doing what I was doing because it would mess up their workshop game.

  • If I could go out there and stay 3 months, I could go to a lot of different places. 3 months then turned into 6 years. That was before the European Union.

  • Cros discovered Korea, but I discovered Poland!

  • A real battle is not 3 rounds. A real battle is toe to toe, blow to blow without no h20 until somebody quits or gives up.

  • In my generation, we knew when we lost. But nowadays cats would get smoked and still be talking shit and running moves

  • What makes a great teacher: it’s not about being a great teacher, it’s about being a teacher that’s great. To be great, you gotta be more than everybody else. That’s why i always changed up what I taught. I never allowed video cameras in my workshops. When I saw people doing what I do, that’s when I did the “power to the people” workshop, so no one could bite it.

  • My job is not to make another Alien Ness, I like being the only Alien Ness.

  • “power to the people” is just giving people the power to dictate what they want to learn.

  • I can teach moves I’m not physically capable of doing.

  • The great teacher is a great student; I’ve never been afraid to ask anybody old-school or new-school how to do something. I teach air flares, and when I teach that method, I call it the short and supreme method, because Iron Monkey taught me. I was able to do that because I can go to somebody and say, “teach me that”. A lot of cats want to project “authority”. You can ask me anything but I’m willing to saying “I don’t know”

  • A lot of “beef” was not beef. That was just a disagreements. And a lot of b-boys gotta know that difference. You never know what the person in front of you is all about.

  • The future of b-boying is bright

  • Corporations are the biggest culture vultures, might as well take advantage of it

  • Pay attention to what your students do. I don’t like wasting time with them. I get them to send me videos and if i don’t see change, I don’t like wasting my time

How to Pass Prelims and Never Look Back

If you’re tired of waiting for hours at the jam only to realize you didn’t make it past prelims, you’ve come to the right spot. Today you begin your journey to understand what’s been holding you back from shining and consistently making it past prelims. Once you join the course, I’ll be sending you a series of three videos where I show you how to:

  • train your mind to a champion level
  • understand exactly what the judges are looking for
  • structure your rounds with killer content

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