Breakdancing contest in Walla Walla to benefit charity

From left, Luis Garanzuay, 25, Louie Miranda, 26, and Bridget Hernandez, 17.

From left, Luis Garanzuay, 25, Louie Miranda, 26, and Bridget Hernandez, 17. Photo by Greg Lehman.

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WALLA WALLA — Cut the lights. Cue the music. Walla Walla is making its debut on the national breaking stage.

Breaking, or breakdancing as it is known to many, is taking over the Walla Walla High School commons Saturday with the Break2Break competition.

With a $2,000 prize going to the winning crew, more than 30 teams from Walla Walla, the Tri-Cities and beyond have signed up for the two vs. two breaking battle.

When and where

A break-dancing competition aims to raise money for Embracing Orphans.

From 4-9 p.m. Saturday at the Walla Walla High School commons, 800 Abbott Road.

Cost is $8 at the door

All ages

Proceeds go to Embracing Orphans charity

Breaking, also known as b-boying, is a style of dance consisting of intensely physical floor routines that require extreme athleticism and talent at the highest levels.

“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Break2Break organizer Louie Miranda said. “I used to play basketball and other sports, but breaking, the reason it made me want to stick with it — because it’s harder than any other sport I’ve played.

“To me I saw it like a sport, but obviously it’s not,” Miranda said. “To me it’s the thrill of using your whole body from head-to-toe.”

Miranda, who teaches break classes at the Walla Walla Dance Company, said breaking can also be an outlet for kids who aren’t involved in organized athletics.

“It’s for anyone, I just want it to be a positive,” Miranda said. “It’s also something to give teens something to do in Walla Walla. If some don’t play sports, they don’t have anything to do, give them dance maybe.”

Miranda and co-organizer Uriel Garanzuay began planning Break2Break in January with the goal of hosting a premiere dance competition.

The duo promoted the event on various social media outlets and as of Tuesday more than 450 guests had indicated on the event’s Facebook page (on.fb.me/18AtsO5) that they would attend.

“We hope more than 300 (people will attend),” Miranda said. “We’ve got 460 confirmed going on the Facebook page, but we know it’s not going to be that. It would be nice if it was 460.”

The cash prize has drawn entrants with names like “Frezh Stylez” and “THe Goonies” from as far away as California and New York City, but a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the event was a nonstarter, raising just $121 toward its stated goal of $5,800.

As a result, the majority of costs for the event, which is bringing in judges from Pasco, Tacoma and Seattle as well as professional DJs, fell on Miranda and Uriel, who have spent about $4,000 to put on the event.

Part of the expenses will be covered an $8 cover charge, but the majority of the proceeds from the competition will go to the Embracing Orphans charity, a nonprofit aimed at helping orphans and foster children in Jamaica.

“They really wanted to put something on that would be beneficial to the community,” charity chairman Carl Robanske said. “Something that would also be beneficial to the whole community, but also something that had a bigger vision.

“They thought they could pull off something very unique for Walla Walla to have.”

This isn’t the first competition Miranda and Uriel have hosted. They held a smaller breakdancing battle at Substance Dance Studios (now E Street Driving School) in August of 2011.

They have their eyes set on another larger competition — three vs. three or four vs. four — but first people have to show up Saturday.

“We just hope everybody in Walla Walla goes and checks it out,” Miranda said. “We want to throw another one and we just want a little more support from local businesses. It would just be more awesome to get more financial support so we can keep going and bringing this culture to Walla Walla and have it expand bigger.”

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