During the end of my high school years, and in the years that followed Eduardo and I have become increasingly more fascinated with the breakin’ phenomenon. While neither of us is very good at it, collaboratively we are a minor force to reckon with. For whatever reason two quirky white guys with limited abilities have fallen in love with this ethnically rooted dance form. Perhaps the weirdest part is that we feel the need to share our abilities with the masses.


Cardboard jungle was an endeavor that I’m going to leave primarily for Eduardo to discuss. It was filmed over the course of the summer of 1992 I believe. Our summer nights consisted mainly of driving around Redding looking for something interesting to do. On many occasions we would bring a video recorder with us. Much of what we found “entertaining” to do was pop, and lock in various locations. Pepe performed with us, and Paco manned the camera, and drove to the various locations. We filmed it, edited it a tad, and thus created ‘Cardboard Jungle’- a poorly executed look into the breakdancing culture of suburban Northern California circa the early 1990’s, as seen through the eyes of honkey white kids. That being said, it’s still awesome to behold.

I’d like to remake a more current mid-life crisis version of the film.


Chico Ca- One particular day Paco, Eduardo, and I went to Chico to hang out. The mall was filled with the Christmas spirit. There was a school choir singing various songs to celebrate the season. Parents of the performers, as well as mall patrons all stood watching the choir. Rule 1- Any group of people gathered to watch something is a good spot to unleash a backspin. I unleashed a mighty backspin (Caught on tape) right in front of the stage. To the credit of the choir, they kept on singing. Had I witnessed that kind of momentum changer, I’d be stunned silent. The crowd was perplexed or perhaps just impressed beyond words, because nobody said anything to me. I would have liked to add to my performance, and stayed around for autographs, but street dancing is frowned upon by most of white America. I feared persecution, and had to leave. I did however do an encore performance in the Carl’s Jr. Drive through later on, for a smaller number of people.


Def Leppard- Eduardo and I planned on going to see Def Leppard in disguise. We planned on making it a ‘white trash’ experience, and not one where breakin’ was involved. But as proves to be true with us most times we’re together, you can take the kids out of the streets, but you can’t take the streets out of the kids. At one point in the show, Eduardo and I were popping and locking in perfect synchronization to Def Leppard, much to the amusement of the largely older, rock n’ roll crowd. Keep in mind we were disguised to ‘fit in’ while we we’re doing this. While it was strange, and awkward to behold, it was also strangely beautiful.

Eduardo and I rarely get to get together now and really focus on our dancing, it’s sad, but our busy lives don’t leave much time for tutting’ or the robot. While we both try and keep our skills sharp at home, neither of our wives truly appreciates the talent and skills we’ve developed. I would go as far to say that they’re both quite embarrassed by them. One day maybe we’ll ‘get the band back together’ so to speak, but for now our breakdancing efforts have been reduced mainly to talks, and dreams.


My own breakdancing has also been reduced to rare or special occasions. In my older age I find myself shying away from a spin, where as in my youth I would have done a whole performance. I was in San Diego on a business trip this year (2004). I walked past an outdoor interpretive dance performance done by one of the local colleges. If ever there was a prime location and target for a fury of breakdancing it was this.

I didn’t do it.

It’ll be a regret I have forever, but without Eduardo, or Paco, to view it, the performance lacks meaning. If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is around to see it, does it still feel like falling? I think not.


Three weeks ago I made a minor breakin’ revival. I was at the annual cabin party in the Trinity Alps. A party located in the remote mountains of Northern California. The party consisted of about 100 people (roughly). All engaged in alcohol consumption to various degrees. A band played on the deck of the cabin. The band stuck primarily to rock/hippie styles of music, but took breaks throughout the evening. During one of these breaks ‘Jam On It’ by Newcleus came on the satellite radio. The crowd stayed on the floor and kept dancing, but as is the case with most of white America they had no idea how to dance to the song, nor did they realize the disservice they did Newcleus, and the whole breakdancing community by dancing to it as they would Elvis or the Beatles.

I couldn’t allow this to happen.

I proceeded to whip out some of the illest Tuts, Uprocks, Robots, and backspins that I’d done in years…maybe ever. I gathered a crowd of people chanting “Go!!! Go!! Go! Go!” and some even participated. Nobody was stepping up to battle, and I can’t say I blame them. I was in a zone. It was far more collaborative than competitve. While the joy and adrenaline lasted only a few minutes. The joy I felt will last a lifetime.