Video: Salmon Arm kids bust a move

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

Three Lake Country firefighters scaled Spion Kop in support of their Movember fundraiser. (District of Lake Country photo)
Lake Country firefighters scale Spion Kop for Movember fundraiser

The three firefighters did the arduous 2.63-kilometre climb while breathing bottled air

Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Richard Brodeur discussing his paintings with the executive director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan Kirsteen McCulloch. (Contributed)
Former Canucks goalie King Richard’s art displayed at Kelowna gallery

Richard Brodeur starred in the Vancouver Canucks’ 1982 Stanley Cup run

A confirmed case of COVID-19 at Vernon’s Silver Star Elementary School has been reported. (Google Maps)
COVID case confirmed at Vernon elementary school

Member of Silver Star Elementary community self-isolating at home; letter sent to parents Nov. 28

Vernon cowboy Jaret Cooper, shown competing at B.C. High School Rodeo event earlier in 2020 in Quesnel, hopes to defend his Junior World Finals rodeo saddle bronc title next month. (Cassidy Dankochik - Black Press Media)
Vernon cowboy hoping to defend world title

Jaret Cooper has qualified in saddle bronc for the Junior World Finals rodeo in Texas

Members of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP paid tribute Saturday to Const. Marc Hovingh of the Ontario Provincial Police, who was killed in a shooting Nov. 19, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP honours fallen Ontario police officer

Const. Marc Hovingh was killed in a shooting on Manitoulin Island, Ont. on Nov. 19

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

(Randy Mills/@poohbah431111 - Twitter)
Motorcyclist rushed to Kelowna General Hospital after collision

The collision occurred around 7:15 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 33 and Gerstmar Road

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Real Canadian Superstore in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
Kelowna Superstore employee tests positive for COVID-19

The last day the employee worked was Nov. 23

Steve French caught the halo moon on his camera on Saturday night. (Steve French Facebook)
Did you see the halo moon last night?

The halo is actually millions of tiny ice crystals

Most Read