They’re the b-boys and b-girls of Bunbury and they’re preparing for the battle of the year.
Bunbury’s only hip hop dance studio, Southwest Urban Movement, are getting their talented students ready for the WA Breaking Championships – the biggest hip hop competition for young people in the state.
Co-owners Daniel Keith, also known as B-Boy Breezy, and Nathaniel Philipp, or Nitro, met during a street dance battle and spent years training and perfecting their skills together before they started teaching.
“We started doing little classes just last year and had two students but it wasn’t too serious,” Keith said.
“But then we thought that maybe we could actually make something special out of what we do so over the summer holidays we set up a proper business and promoted it a lot.
“And we’ve been through some ups and downs as every business does, but now it’s really starting to lift off. We’ve got 55 students now of varying ages and cultures.”
The pair said it was a big decision to start teaching classes more consistently, but they knew there was an interest and a need to bring workshops to the area.
“We wanted to bring what’s not down here yet. There’s just nothing for hip hop, popping, breaking down here, especially for young boys,” Philipp said.
“It was kind of like that saying ‘if you don’t find a door, make one, build one’ so we did.
“A lot of young guys can be afraid to dance because they think they’ll get bullied for it so we made a safe, open space for that.”
Keith said he can’t wait to see how his students go in their first on-stage battle.
“They are a very talented and creative bunch and have been training for this since the start of the year and they’ll represent Bunbury well in the battles,” he said.
“Hip hop has such a positive impact on the community and seeing these kids growing and pushing themselves has been the most amazing experience as a dancer myself.”
Philipp echoed his pride with regards to how far his students had come and how much they wanted to learn.
“There’s going to be internationally renowned dancers taking part in these battles and I can’t wait to see the kids’ reactions to them,” he said.
“We’re excited to see how they go on stage but we’re more excited for them to watch the legends.”
Located in the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, the Southwest Urban Movement hip hop dance, breaking and freestyle classes run on Mondays and Tuesdays and B-Boy Breezy and Nitro encourage all children interested in the street dancing culture and break dancing battles to come down and get involved.
The Southwest Urban Movement advanced breaking students will take part in the WA Breaking Championships in Cockburn on Saturday, September 2.