Break Dancer

Years and years ago, when the phenomenon that was ‘break dancing’ swept through Tyabb like a wild fire, my younger brother decided to take up lessons. In the interests of equity, I too was offered the opportunity to gain instruction in the gentle art of break dancing. However, even at that early age I knew that I was too shy to ever ‘bust a move’ in public so I declined.

Once the decision to take lessons had been made, a special mat whose sole purpose was to enable my brother to rap dance without getting third degree burns from the carpet, was purchased. However, my parents drew the line at buying him a New York style tracksuit, as so stylishly modelled by the members of the Rock Steady Crew.

Cam would return each week from his lesson and display his new found break dancing knowledge, much to the general amazement of his brothers and sisters. Secretly, I think I might well have been envious.

Lessons were held in the Tyabb Town Hall, which has the distinction of being the only building in Australia still standing, that’s totally made out of asbestos. My brother’s teacher, or ‘sensei’ as he preferred to be called was a local delinquent by the name of Maggot. Break dancing had been Maggot’s chance to really make something of himself. A chance to rise like an acid wash wearing phoenix from ordinary rural life.

I can just imagine him attending a screening of the film ‘Breakdance 2: Electric Boogaloo’ and dreaming of a better life. I often wonder what became of Maggot. Whether he’s keeping the break dancing faith, still doing back-spins, the moonwalk and the robot; waiting for the day when he comes back into vogue.

I bet he’s still waiting.


Footnote: My brother recently revived his break dancing career. He and his girlfriend got drunk and put down some cardboard in the living room and cut loose with a few backspins. Not surprisingly, only one wineglass survived the experience intact.


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