Ivan "Flipz" Velez, breaking judge for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Breakdancing–or breaking–is the new sport at the Paris 2024 Olympics. If you’re like Jill, you’re mesmerized by it but can’t figure out how it’s judged. What are they looking for, and how does a b-boy or b-girl win?

Lucky for us, we’ve got breaking icon–and judge for Paris 2024–Ivan “Flipz” Velez joining us to break it down for us. Flipz talks about the culture of breaking within hip hop and its evolution to an Olympic sport. He also points out what breaking judges look for during a battle. Surprisingly, it’s not like other judged sports, but once Flipz breaks it down for us (get it?!), it’s a lot easier to watch a battle and see for yourself.

An icon of the breaking world, Flipz started breaking after being inspired by the movie Beat Street. If you were an 80s kid, you’d be inspired by this too:

Flipz got his breaking name from his signature move. Check it out:

Flipz has performed in movies such as “Honey”, “Stomp the Yard”, and “Step Up 3D” and even toured with international music legends such as Madonna, Missy Elliot, the Spice Girls, and LL Cool J. He even performed at the Athens 2004 Olympics. He’s looking forward to being part of history as breaking takes to the Olympic stage.

Learn more about Flipz at his website, and follow him on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and X.

We also hear from Bboy Jeffro, who we spoke with at the Team USA Media Summit. He’s got some interesting thoughts about flexibility and the differences between b-boy and b-girl battles. Follow Jeffro on Instagram.

In news from Paris 2024:

We have an update on that Chinese swimming doping issue from last week. WADA has issued a timeline related to the event that lays out the position it took. Are athletes still upset? You guess.

In news from TKFLASTAN, we hear from:

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!

Photo credit: Angel Alzona


Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript and may contain errors. Please check its accuracy against the audio. Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.

335-Judging Olympic Breaking with Ivan “Flipz” Velez


Jill: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics.

If you love the games, we are the show for you. Each week, we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the games. I am your host, Jill Jaracz, joined as always by my lovely co host, Alison Brown. Alison, hello. How are you? That small, tiny thing. Defender to you.

Alison: Hello, small defender. How are you? Do you know that it was Kelly Cheng who actually gave me that name? I did not know that. I’ve been going back through some back episodes, so we’ll have to link back to that conversation, but she is actually, you know, a beach volleyball player gave me my B girl name. I love it.

Jill: Before we get to this week’s show, I wanted to give a shout out to our patrons and supporters who keep our flame alive and our flame would definitely go out if we didn’t have your support. So thank you to those who donate money, buy products and tell other people about the show. If you’d like to be an essential part of the show, go to flamealivepod.

com slash support and a shout out to Sam and Benjamin. Our brand new patrons. So thank you so much for joining the fun.

[00:01:11] Ivan “Flipz” Velez Interview

Jill: All right. We are talking break dancing this week or breaking as we’re supposed to call it. you know, when this, came into our inbox, I got so excited because one of the things that has perplexed me since I watched breaking at the youth olympic games in 2018 2018 I don’t use however back that far

Is how is this thing judged? But, we have today a, judge with us. Ivan “Flipz” Velez started breaking when he was 14. He has performed in movies such as Honey, Stomp the Yard and Step Up 3d. And he has also toured with international music legends like Madonna, Missy Elliott, The Spice Girls, and LL Cool J, which, oh my gosh.

Being on any of those tours with how amazing those performers are, like you got to be good to keep up with them. So Flipz is pretty amazing at what he does. He will be a judge for the final qualifying rounds for the Paris 2024 breaking competition. So of course we wanted to know what judges look for. We talk about that and so much more from the world of breaking.

Take a listen.

Flipz, thank you so much for joining us. Let’s start with, how did breaking evolve from a dance and cultural movement? to a sport, a competitive sport.

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: Very interesting question. So breaking has been around for 50 years, just like hip hop. It was the first, physical form of hip hop. So in 2018 and Buenos Aires in the youth Olympics, what ended up happening was they were giving a trial run to different sports and it did so well.

And it stood out. I think they held the highest crowds, to be quite honest, for the longest amount of time, because these battles were as 32 competitors were going back and forth, it kind of drew a crowd, right? So after I want to say four to six hours, they had the biggest crowd amongst the newest sports that were out and during these trials, what ended up happening as well was the, International Olympic Committee, the IOC had just a couple of years to try to see which sport it was going to be. And I know there was a lot of controversy between breaking looking like gymnastics and martial arts. So there was a lot of dancers that were saying, is it a dancer? Is it a sport? What’s it going to be? And then in 2020, it was announced.

Yeah. Um, I was on the talk. So they reached out to me and they said, Flipz breaking is going to be in the Olympics. and the host carry on a novel was saying, when did this happen? Like, all of a sudden, because a lot of the battles were electronic e battles, they’re called e battles. Due to, COVID 19. So all of these jams and all of these community centers, everything that shut down, all of the battles were still happening.

And because it was one of the most thriving dance and sports throughout that time, throughout COVID, it was given an opportunity and it’s right now, I want to say 68 countries are active. So it’s a very popular dance slash sport, but it’s also a huge community. And a thriving culture, for the last 50 years.

So, I’m so glad that in my lifetime, it’s actually happening. Cause I, I love the Olympics. I watch, you know, the 16 days of glory with Bob Costas every four years. So I can’t believe that. Yeah, we’re actually in it. B boys and B girls alike in 2018. It was the first time b girls were crowned equal to the b boys.

So we have kings and queens of breaking. So I love that it that took way too long. If you ask me to get the b girls in there to reign supreme and where the crowns just like the b boys do. So yeah in 2018.

Fast forward four years later, it’s going down in Paris. Exciting.

Jill: When we look at it at the Olympics What is the scoring system like and how many judges are judging on the panel?

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: Oh, very interesting. Okay. So the rules for first and foremost, what they are looking for is the fundamentals of breaking, right? You have top rock footwork.

Freezes and power moves. That’s what the public it’s the most common thing that you see when a b boy or a b girl starts to dance, they start with the top rock right at the very, very top and they’re telling a story. Then they take it down to some footwork. Then after or during the footwork, even nowadays, they will combine power, yeah.

and end it with a freeze. So the judges are trained to see that ever since the beginning of breaking in the early seventies. what ended up landing as the criteria that we’re looking for, it will be five judges. And we’re doing, creativity, how creative the people are, how they think outside the box, the technique.

Cause you can tell when someone’s been breaking for one year or someone’s been breaking for 20 years, you can tell based on the technique and how they execute the movement. Um, the variety, which is what they can bring to the table. There’s different dance styles now that are fused to breaking, right?

You have some house movement, you have some capoeira, you have some martial arts. You even have some gymnastics, like the Kurt Thomas flair that was adapted, in the early eighties. so it’s, it’s a full circle back to the Olympics. and performance, overall performance. Do you have stamina? Can you kill those 60 seconds?

You’re given 60 seconds, but in a cypher, it’s an eternity because you have to decipher what you’re going to throw against your opponent and you only have 60 seconds to do so. Now, as you’re thinking of what to throw out and your body’s reacting to it, that’s the performance part and it, it has a lot to do with stamina.

a lot of dancers get tired. B boys and B girls, you get tired. So they kind of drop their character. And we want to see the character all the way through. You got to carry that all the way throughout. And the most important is musicality. We’re judging on musicality. So you have creativity, personality, technique, variety, overall performance and my, my most crucial is musicality.

We’re given music. Music is the soundtrack of our lives. When you hear music, your body starts to move and react. So we’re really looking for how do you utilize the music to tell the story? you remember the, the old Disney movies that had the little bouncing ball. We want to see that. We want to see.

When the notes go up, when the BPMs go up, when they ramp up, when the beat drops, we want to see what we call burns or, we call it drops. We call them burns and you really want to play chess, strategically play chess with your opponent. don’t just show us what you’ve been working on or what we’ve already seen on social media.

which kind of dim some people’s light. If we see too many clips, on social media, and then when we see you in person, you deliver the exact same thing. You’ve almost shown us that you haven’t grown. You haven’t got creative or maybe your personality doesn’t shine. Cause it looks like you’re looking into.

A mirror or you’re just training in your garage. So we’re really looking for that and the connection as well. We’re not judging on connection, but you can tell that back and forth that like Tom and Jerry cat and mouse chase. It really, really elevates a battle when you see two people going at it and they’re able to answer back and forth.

If someone starts with a top rock or if someone starts with the power movement, the other side answers back with that or a dynamic blow up just to show you that they leveled you up. one move. I think it’s gonna be what I call the Olympics is World War Three. It’s like all these countries are bringing the best of the best, right?

And then there’s no touching, right? You cannot touch. You get points taken away if you touch. You get points taken away if you take too long. because that’s disrespectful to the DJ, the DJ. They’ve been studying their music for so long to lay out these soundtracks. So to keep the beat and the audience hype and the breakers going.

So to just sit there and kind of twiddle your thumbs and wait too long, you get dinged for that as well. So you get deducted for that. So, yeah, we’re looking for a lot. It seems like we’re looking for a lot. But we’re trained. We have a trained eye. We’ve been doing it for a while and you kind of know as a community.

When you get feedback from, the old, old school heads, what we call the OGs and you get these new kids, you know, the new kids on the block that are coming out, based off Tik TOK dancing and based off, YouTube clips, but they also want to learn. So you have the OGs passing down the torch and the knowledge to some of the new kids, just to let them know how they can be better, how they can thrive.

And also how can they keep that flame lit, you know, no point intended, but yeah, you got to keep the flame lit and you got to pass the torch, you know, and it, and it makes perfect sense because some of these kids due to technology, they might lack like the actual truth to why we choose. the way we move, why we choose our self expression, the way we dress, yeah, everything about it.

When you come to a cypher, what we call the circle or the cypher, you’re almost, it’s like a ritual. You’re like a warrior, and you’ve been blessed with, Talent right to dance and you’re you’ve also hopefully been blessed with knowledge to outlast your opponent or to Almost like withstand the test of time.

So if your name starts to Echo throughout the world you kind of know you’re doing it, right? That’s what a lot of the judges do is right after we judge we’ll come together. We’ll congregate We’ll come together and we’ll talk about Not just the pros and cons, but how can we tie the culture to continue to elevate rather than just judge based on a point system that said, this person is, you know, uh, half a point better than this other person on round two.

cause politically, you know, it, it numbers should never, measure someone’s potential numbers or a first place, second place, third place should never, put a ceiling to someone’s, capabilities. And that’s why dance is probably the fastest growing, including breaking. It’s the fastest growing. I want to say subculture in the world.

and it is part of hip hop. So you’re talking, yeah, endless possibilities. So, yeah, I’m, I’m excited. I mean, I go down the rabbit hole only because the more that I see and the more that I’m exposed to, the more I can share with you guys, I’m like from the five year olds that are just now entering battles.

to the 50 year olds that have been around since day one. It’s this just beautiful silver lining. And it really is knowledge. It’s not just knowing how to do the move, but where did the move come from? Learning where the move came from will actually give you a better insight as to how to make it move forward.

So you take a move, let’s say like a flair, perfect example. The Kurt Thomas flair 1972 Olympics by the time breakers watched it. And they’re like, we could adapt that not on a pommel horse because we didn’t have a pommel horse at the, at the local YMCA. But, um, at these block parties, they would open up the cipher just enough so that they can do the Kurt Thomas flair, which we saw and were inspired by on television.

We want to be everything we saw. We wanted to be wanted to be a little bit of Bruce Lee. We wanted to be a little bit of the Olympians, you know, and little by little, what ended up happening was the dance. It had this DNA strand tie to Olympic movement. And because we want to be the best of the best in the world, it automatically sets the stage mentally and physically for who is going to outshine anyone in any country.

And so the Olympics, I’m sure they caught taste of that really quickly. Like, Oh my God, even the colors when we battle. You represent a borough. A borough represents an area code. An area code represents pride. So, New Yorkers were wearing different colors based on the area codes and boroughs in which they lived in.

So it was called Battle of the Boroughs. It was like, what area code are you from? It was almost like your gang sign. What’s your gang sign, you know? so it was very territorial and now that it’s universal. I think the Olympics caught on. They’re like, no, no, no, Russia is doing some incredible stuff. Like, have you guys seen Japan?

Japan is killing it right now. And then you got, you have, um, I was just recently in Madagascar. So in, in France and these other, um, sub parts of France, the culture is growing So quickly and so big and in such a beautiful way that, I just feel like it’s time. The time is now and what better time than the Olympics, you know?

What better stage than the Olympics? I think that’s the world’s biggest stage for any dance or anything hip hop. I know the Super Bowl is big. And there was that, that big hip hop celebration a few years back with Dr. Dre and Eminem. but to celebrate 50 years of hip hop, I think it’s amazing that it ends up in, you know, not even in America.

I mean, America got to take it all over the world and it’ll be in Paris. So I’m just, you could tell I’m excited. I’m so like, Oh my God, this is so thrilling. It’s fascinating. And it’s happening on my clock, you know? Cause if it happens when I’m not here, I would feel so bummed looking down like, Oh, I wish I was still around.

Why didn’t I last? You know, I should have turned vegan when I had the chance

just to last a little longer, you know, little more gas in the tank. Anyway, I’m excited. You can tell I love it.

Jill: okay, let’s, we got a battle going. do you have like a certain number of moves you want to see?

Do you want to see a story? What are you specifically looking for when, when you go, Okay, here’s round one, what am I going to get? versus a round two or three or a finals kind of thing. Okay. Cause stuff progresses.

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: Fantastic question for me. Ivan Flipz Velez. What I look for I love pedal to the metal and I love blow it up immediately because tomorrow’s not promised and your next battle is not promised.

What a lot of people do is they try to strategize a bit too much and play the game of let’s see what they’re going to do first for me, even when I used to battle. I go for the blowups immediately. Let them know you own the floor. Okay. Let them know, you know, the music let them know you’ve done your homework.

You’ve trained hours upon hours, you know, the 10, 000 hour rule and bring it and lay it all on the line. Like they say, blood on the dance floor. I want to see people’s heart and souls left on the floor. So there’s no question of a tie. There’s no question of, well, you, you know, you didn’t tick this box.

Therefore you’re not going to gain points for me. And, I get along with everyone except in a battle. I don’t know what it is. there’s a switch that flips and I, I do like to see that happen amongst competitors. If you just had a slice of pizza with your best friend, that’s great. But when that music drops and, and, you know, they call your name out and you’re representing your country.

Your hood, you’re representing your family, your culture. I need to feel that. And what, what, what has been dumbed down just a bit over the years, is that, it’s the tension, the positive tension because it is energy, right? It’s energy, but it can’t be hateful energy. Right? So in the first round, I want to see an explosion.

I want to see you feel it. Flip or slide or glide or do a move towards your opponent just to let them know you own the dance floor already like from the gate almost like like on a On a rodeo when they open the gate to the bull and it just goes buck wild like that’s what I like to see And what i’ve also noticed lately in battles is There’s a bit too much talking back and forth.

and for me in a battle, when there’s music playing and there’s an opponent across from you, it’s not really time to lally, gag and talk and, you know, like call each other out. There’s no time for that because. If you were in a boxing match and you see the boxers talking, these, these are high level athletes.

These are the best in the world. There should be no exchange of words. and I do believe that dance is a universal language and you guys can elevate each other instead of disrespect each other through verbal, you can almost disrespect each other with like, well, I’m just better than you at every, every style or everything and have that back and forth.

So my very first round, I’ve always asked people, go, above and beyond the call of duty in round one, because I also, as a judge, don’t want to start tallying that it’s a tie from the beginning. If people don’t show, dominance right from the gate, it’s not that they’re not gonna come back and win it at the end, but you almost handicap yourself in a way.

Because we’re waiting. I mean, we’re sitting down. We’re anxious to see some movement, right? And someone like me, I’m like, I want to see fireworks. I want to see pyro. I want to see explosives. I want to see, dynamics. I want to see levels as well. There’s a lot of dancers that are one dimensional and they don’t like a footwork is a top tier level one.

It’s all the way at the very bottom. And then you have, power moves like swipes. That’s like mid level. And then you have air power, like air flares, double air flares. You have, corks, which is a gainer full twist stuff like that, which is up in the air. So there’s three dimensions that I’m watching.

There’s three levels. And if you don’t take those three levels to me, you’re not going to be the best well all around breaker, male or female, you have to take every box. If you stay at level one and you’re really good at footwork and you’re really good at ground power. That is fantastic. However, you haven’t explored the other.

it’s like the earth. it has the stratosphere. It has, you know, you have, you’re in different levels. You could fly a plane up here, Okay. You could take a rocket ship to the moon or you could just stay on the earth and you’ll never see that perspective I think dancers from the gate should go pedal to the metal.

I always say that like zero to 60 come out the gate Wanting to win you have to want to win and you have to show me that you want to win. The other thing is don’t second guess this is really good advice for people You That are going to the Olympics and people that are not going to Olympics and just started battling There’s an art to battling.

There’s an art of war in a sense and You cannot ever show weakness. So if you come out strong from the very beginning there is that perception of Oh, they’re, they’re stronger. They’re more dominant. They have self control. and to judges, sometimes that that’s the best card to play to a judge is you come out ready to win.

You already look like a winner. You’re doing all the moves. Then you set the bar. Now, if you can stay there and you could take round two and it’s a three round battle, guess what? That’s when the numbers do count. If you came out round one and you nailed it, you did everything. They, they answered back poorly cause they’re waiting for their next round for their answer back.

They actually lost a round. So there is an art, an art of battling. and I always say it is like playing chess, but sometimes if you’re confident enough and you have the moves and you’ve trained, You know the ins and outs of what’s about to happen. You almost battle yourself. You almost can only beat yourself because your opponent is no longer relevant.

If you’ve trained hard enough, there’s been battles where you do have an opponent, he has a name, and on the second round he gets to go first, but he actually doesn’t exist to me. it’s me against myself. I’m going to nail every move that I’ve, Been practicing and there’s no way for him to catch up if I can stay one step ahead, you know, and um, There’s a lot of battle cats.

We call them battle cats that when they enter a battle They think i’m gonna wait to see what they do so that I could do it better And sometimes their strength might be your weakness and you just shot yourself in the foot Unfortunately, you know like there’s no coming back from round one if you can’t level up You And at least match because we don’t want any ties.

So yeah, it’s very exciting, very exciting stuff that because you, you might have all the moves, but if you can’t play the game of chess and strategically put the moves together, your very first battle might not have been what you were thinking about last night as you were preparing. Let’s just say the battle, Takes place What I call, on the ground level like level one Your opponent only does footwork and they’re really good at footwork and slides and freezes And you’re like, oh man, I thought I was gonna do my power round this round You’re now actually doubting yourself and this person is shining and they’re not even going in the air yet.

So there’s definitely an art of battling and it’s very It can get very intense up here in your mind, in your own mind. So the only person you really battle is yourself. I’ve asked a lot of B boys and B girls that I was like, what caused you to, go pedal to the metal in the last round, or they always talk about.

How they were doubting themselves or how they didn’t stick it in the first round So they wanted to come back and do better. They almost forget that they had an opponent, you know what I mean? So It’s kind of like a pointer to all the b boys and b girls if you want to see yourself go far Make sure that you stick to your game plan And don’t, don’t fall for the trick of playing their game, I guess.

Yeah, it’s their game. Yeah. And you never, you never want to give them an advantage in any way. And you, you could smell that on a dancer. You can see it. they start to doubt themselves. They start to look down or they start to look up in the air, trying to remember all their moves. And that’s when they start losing momentum, which is, it’s always a mind game.

As long as the body. is Conditioned enough to follow through on autopilot and you’ve done your 10, 000 hours of training You just have to yeah, calculate it properly and execute and yeah You’ll you’ll get gold silver or bronze and that’s not even to say that the bronze is Could be the gold in your country, you know, because there’s so many people in the world and there’s so many different styles.

If somebody was to get third place, that could actually still be better than any rank they would have ever got because they’ve gone up against the world’s best. So I do want the dancers and the Olympians to know that as well. If you finish fourth and and you didn’t get a medal, but you finish fourth out of 16.

you’re in the top third in the world. So you should pat yourself in the back. I know there will be a lot of tears shed because a lot of kids have been training for so long, but there’s definitely going to be a heightened level of frequency that’s going to happen like this huge awakening.

Once the Olympics, shows the world There’s going to be these huge ripples in the culture and in the community. And that would be the best time to utilize it properly. just to give them an advantage, and people like Sunny, like Sunny has been winning so much. I know you guys interviewed her.

she’s so awesome. I met her back in 2018 in, um, reunion Island off the coast of Madagascar. She won that event as well. And I was like, Oh my God, your future is so bright. You’re going to do so well. And like, fast forward. Six years later, she’s going to be representing the United States, like waving the flag.

And I’m like, I saw her at like her prime. She’s still at her prime, which is amazing as well. it does take a physical toll both on the male and the female body as well. And, um, I’m so happy for all these Olympians. It’s time for them to shine, but it’s also time for them to get the recognition, in this day and age for all of their hard work.

Cause if you ask them how long have they been dancing and how many hours do they train and what do they eat and what do they listen to? And you’d be surprised while a lot of people like, Oh, I’ve been on YouTube 10 hours a day, you know, posting my videos. And they’re like, We’ve been training eight to 10 hours a day, physically, mentally exhausting our bodies to be the best in the world.

So it’s a whole nother mindset, which I love. I call it, 60 S I X D I see the invisible, do the impossible. That’s the only way you are able to tie mind, body and soul into one vessel to be able to headspin as long and to do 50 windmills and 100 air flares. There’s no other way besides training, preparing and then releasing like you have to let it go.

Everything you’ve trained to do. let it go. Don’t beat yourself up about it. And then once the body goes on autopilot, it’s It becomes art, which is amazing in the gym. And then as you’re training, it’s like hard work and blood, sweat, and tears, but the music cuts on you’re wearing your best clothes, which I call your, your gear, your warrior gear.

You put that on, you go against your opponent. Supposedly this person is as good or better than you. It’s an honor to be there across from them. But once they say, once they drop that beat, it’s like mortal combat. Round one fight, you know, like that’s what it feels like to me and it elevates the art form into this really amazing, um, competitive field, it’s so cool.

Like I, like I, I don’t know how to describe it besides pure joy. even when I’ve lost in battles, I’ll go to my opponent and I know, and I can feel that I’ve grown as a human being, as a dancer, as a person from the community, because we’re all one, right? We’re united in this community though.

We’re battling against each other. I think one of the, one of the most humbling experiences is to lose and know exactly why you lost and that person taught you that lesson without them even knowing You know that maybe I need to work on my stamina or I should have worked harder last month to make sure I got all those combinations down because now this guy came out of nowhere Never heard of you never seen you and you came and you beat me.

So like a lesson learned and it’s it’s pretty golden

Jill: Let’s talk about how the music fits in just a little bit because competitors aren’t going to hear the music and they won’t know it until the DJ drops it, right?

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: Yes.

Jill: how does that work with trying to fit, you’ve got 60 seconds to do a routine or, you know, lay down your side of the battle.


Ivan “Flipz” Velez: do you do it? So here’s the good thing about, loving music as a dancer. The thing about music, if you break it down even further, it’s the BPMs, the beats per minute, and when you start to dance. You start to listen to everything that’s ever been played by a DJ, right? What’s going to happen in the Olympics is DJs have only used libraries that they’ve been creating.

So it’s not like you’re going to get a Michael Jackson track or a James Brown song, but you might get the breakdown or the beat of it, which is very similar. and which is already kind of in your DNA. Cause you’ve heard it so many times. You’re able. to choreograph on the spot, which is amazing. I love improv improvisation.

You’re able to choreograph on the spot in 60 seconds and almost start your painting. It’s like before your opponent sees your moves, you have to see them in your brain. Once the DJ drops the beat, you have about one or two, eight counts, which is like three to four seconds to start to think of how you want to start.

And how you want to end everything in between is like sprinkles and fireworks, right? So what these dancers are going to have to do is pay very close attention to once the beat is dropped, how it makes you feel and the BPMs so that you’re, you are able to dance. Throughout that 60 seconds as much as you can using the music whether you’ve heard that beat before or not There’s always that chance that you you’ve caught on to that catchy break the breakdown Or the instrumental, and you start to think about what are these dancers gonna do?

In 60 seconds, once the beat drops, the first thing they have to do is focus and lock into the BPMs. and if, if there’s horns and you know how to, what we call stab a beat, it’s almost like you can land. jump, slide, or end up on a horn or on a saxophone. If you know your music really well and you dissect it, it’s your chance for your artistry to shine its best.

And you’re, you’re basically painting music. The floor is your muse. You’re an artist, and with your hands and feet as if they were paintbrushes, you’re able to dance your way through the 60 seconds telling a story. So that’s why music is such a huge part. If there was no music and they weren’t forced to, tell a story, anyone could just break to anything.

Just the, the wind blowing or, you know, the, the trees and the leaves falling. What’s cool about breaking is. You are a roller coaster and the train track is the song. It’s the track that the DJ decides to drop. Now, DJs are really clever and they’re really smart. If they want the crowd to stay hype, the BPMs are high.

The, the, the beat is always dropping really, really heavy. And they can almost tell it’s almost like a referee. They can almost tell how to navigate the battle based on. If the dancers are tired, they’ll throw in a song with more BPMs just to give them more energy. Because if you drop the BPMs, what ends up happening is you dance slower because you have to dance to the beat to get points.

You have to have musicality. So the DJ started going, round two, the beat starts to kick up a bit and then round three on the final battle, they turn up the volume and they turn up the beat. There’s a huge drop and they know that. like a heavyweight boxer. You’re in the 12th round, a, a three round of a battle or even a five round is a heavyweight bout because of the physical endurance you have to be in.

So the musicality is what makes it so awesome is the music that they drop the track right when they drop the track. It’s like a timer in, in a sense, for a dancer, for a B-boy and a B girl. the clock is ticking you don’t even need a clock, you know, once they drop the beat the clock is ticking You utilize about one or two eight counts to get your um, what we call get your bearings, you know What the bpms is you try to go through your rolodex in your brain.

Have I heard this song before? Does it have horns, you know, what when does the um, the break come in? How long does because you can also time your power moves You To that break before, the other part of the song kicks back in. If you can dissect a song like that and in 60 seconds, know what you could, put down or throw down on the dance floor, you will be world renowned because it’s, it’s like I describe it.

That’s literally what has to happen in someone’s brain and we haven’t even started dancing yet. It’s like, yo, DJ, drop that beat

right there. That first, four seconds. I know that’s breaker’s revenge. That has an electro beat to it. It’s got a, it’s piano heavy, you know, and then there’s like vocals that happens within four seconds of The knowledge in my brain of when the beat drops, you know, and that’s why the djs love playing chess with the dancers They’re like, yo y’all ain’t ready.

Y’all ain’t ready. Yo dj drop that beat and once he drops it the crowd loses their mind and Sometimes the b boys or the b girls they don’t know they almost play scissor paper rocks because they don’t know they’re so excited They don’t know who should go out first, which is a trip. Sometimes they both go out at the same time There’s almost like a collision on the dance floor.

That’s how exciting it is When the DJ drops the beat, it’s it’s like it’s such a free for all. It’s almost like a like a battle royale it’s really cool. If you talk to some DJs, they’ll tell you they feel like they’re like the ringmasters. They get to set the tone and sometimes they wave their wand and they drop that beat and it’s really funny to see their egos flare.

Like, yeah, y’all didn’t know that was coming. You know, it’s super cool. DJs have such a cool job. They play like the Wizard of Oz in a way, you know, behind the curtain.

Alison: So talking to you and Sunny, there’s a lot of talk about the musicality and the vibes and how it feels. And I’m wondering when you’re judging, do moves have, you know, this move has 10 points or this move has five points, you know, how, because you are going to end up with a gold, silver, bronze, how are you.

translating that into actual numbers and comparing dancer to dancer to keep it fair.

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: Certain moves are not worth certain amount of points. That’s more on the gymnastic realm. And the reason we do that is because some people will just try to master that move to score high. Right? But if you do more of the modern moves, the air flares, the air chairs, the air power, the dynamic air power that that needs a lot of torque and a lot of speed to even accomplish it.

We do base it on how technical can you make that? It is a difficult move, so you will get score highly. There is no significant number to that move. Like you won’t automatically get a 10 if you can air flare because you could have bent legs. Or your form on your hands might be a little off to where as you’re doing the circumference of your circle doing your air flares It might be off axis.

So we won’t necessarily give you 10 or 9 points for an air flare But if you’re doing an air flare and you’ve innovated the air flare in a way that we have not seen the technique is high The skill level is, above the rest, then you will score high because no one else now on the floor with our trained eye has done it that well.

It’s the same move. It’s very difficult to do, but some people have mastered it in a way where they can have fun with it in between the move. And that in itself, I know Sunny could vouch for this when you can do power moves that require strength. dynamic speed and torque and you could play with it to the music.

That’s when you have mastered Another level of difficulty and technicality when it comes to these moves. The fundamentals We’re already looking for those. They don’t score as high because it’s fundamentals. You’re supposed to do the top rock. You’re supposed to get into your footwork round.

You’re supposed to at least do a freeze or attempt to do a freeze. Hopefully you stick it and you hold it. and you frame Now when a b boy or a b girl doesn’t execute something at a high level, unfortunately, we can’t give you points for what it should have been or what it should have looked like.

That’s when the gymnastic, the very tough gymnastic point system comes in to where we know what Simone Biles can do, but if she doesn’t stick it and she takes that half a step back, you have to deduct her no matter how hard the trick actually was because she has to land it. You know perfectly and then frame herself with their hands up to let us know that she finished There’s a lot of breakers a lot of b boys lots of b girls.

You learn to mask it Now, if you’re a master of masking, then our trained eyes sometimes gets fooled. If you slip just a little bit and you cleaned it up and you ended up in a really well framed, strong freeze, we almost can’t hate or deduct on the fact that you. When maybe six inches or, or eight to 10 inches past where you were supposed to land because you actually stuck it.

So yeah, it’s hard to be a judge because once you look at it and you’re like, we thought they messed up, but they actually cleaned it up in between. You also can deduct for a crash. A crash is when you hear that the person fell out of their move. And gravity kind of took over, you know? It’s like, like a slip and fall.

If you don’t clean that up, someone like Jackie Chan can clean that up. He, he slips and he lands in a really nice windmill fan kick and pops back up. That’s kind of what you need to, you need to do, is be, yeah, be a master of disguise in that way, but there’s a lot of new kids on the block that think if they just practice the hard moves, they’re gonna score high.

Imagine 60 seconds of all hard moves. You’re probably not going to last that long. You’re probably going to gas out. and there’s very, very few that can utilize that 60 seconds from the very first second and then start on a very, very technical slash hard and difficult routine. You probably not going to last that long.

just in stamina alone and your body, you could wreck your body to where you don’t end up in the finals. you’ll go viral. You’ll end up. You know, on, on, everyone’s, uh, tick tock feed that week doing really, really difficult moves, but not just your career. You could cut your battles short because you can’t last as longer because you’re injured.

So a lot of these, newcomers need to realize the longevity of the game and the higher you score is by ticking all these boxes, not just doing difficult moves. and the technique comes with it. Some people think technique is making the move difficult. That’s not the technique. The technique is making the difficult move look easy.

That’s where you get scored high. If that makes sense. Some people think the technique is if I could do this really hard move that nobody else could do, that’s not necessarily technique. Technique is making that very difficult move so fluid and so Almost like it was made for your body, but then when you see it on other bodies, it’s like, Oh, wow, that must be difficult to spin on one hand 37 times if this kid from Russia can do it.

But the dancer from Italy can only do five revelations. So yeah, that must be a very difficult move. That’s when the technique comes in because it comes with grace. It’s very graceful. And yeah, a lot of dancers were like, I was technical and I was this and I was that and I was like, don’t don’t mistaken technique for, difficulty.

That’s two different things. You know, they’re like, nobody could do what I do. It’s like, well, some people can and and if you can combine it from one move to another. You’ve now bypassed that person that only focused on getting that move down that one time so you take Someone who is a master at combinations.

They’ll do like a flare windmill 90 head spin and stop in a freeze That’s four different moves four different levels high level of difficulty to keep it in at a steady pace Then some dancer will come and they’ll go I went from an air chair To a heads, to a head freeze, to a 90 into an air flare. I’m like, fantastic.

That’s great. But the fact that you broke your, um, they break their flow in order to, to strengthen their way through the combination. It’s choppy. It’s ugly to watch. There was no finesse behind it. It’s not that it wasn’t difficult. We didn’t judge on the fact that it wasn’t difficult. It actually is difficult, and I probably myself couldn’t do it.

But because we are judging on all these criterias, and they don’t tick all the boxes, they always want to ask, Why didn’t I score higher? And I’m like, well, if you go on, www dot olympics. com and you read what the criteria is and you know what we’re looking for. Unfortunately, you haven’t done your homework as a dancer.

If you, if you want to win the gold, silver or bronze, you can’t just come in with your ego flared. only doing what you do best. You have to tick every box and that’s what makes it a competition. That’s not to say that you’re not the best in the world at what you do. That’s only saying you chose to sign up for this type of competition.

The only way to win is to tick all these boxes and all these criterias need to be met. Sometimes you get a, you know, a person that’s a bit stubborn and say, why didn’t I score higher? And I was like, well, well, Do you have paper and pen or, you know, yeah, you got a pencil nearby. Let’s sit down and talk about it because they’re just like, I did some of the hardest moves.

I’m the best in the world at this. And I was like, Oh, that is not even to be argued. You are the best in the world and no one can do it the way you do it. But there’s three rounds and you gave us one round of all your best move The other two rounds were fluff or you crashed on your second round or in the third round You already thought that you won so you didn’t even give us an answer back.

You gave us like a very I’m too cool for school ending, you know Didn’t use the music went against all odds and just kind of, thought you already had the gold medal around your neck, unfortunately. And that, that’s also because of the culture, the ego plays the hero and the villain in these dancers minds in those moments where you feel that you’ve already won.

So the judges, maybe you haven’t, you know, or maybe to the audience, maybe the audience has never seen that type of breaking before. And there’s, you get the ooze and Oz and the, the roaring level of the crowd is beyond an earthquake. And you and your mind feel that you’ve already won. And yet here we are trained professionals sitting down.

I was like, Oh no, you’re waving that flag too soon. And then here comes your opponent. And they capitalize on the fact that you thought you already won. They use that to their strength, and they just give you a longer round. I have seen that as well. I have seen the strategy of. I’m going to give my final round every bit of 60 seconds and even a split second after I’ll hit my freeze on 60.

5 seconds, you know, to get the judges to be like, Oh my God, they utilized every single millisecond of their solo. it, it’s almost worth giving that person the extra point or the kudos or the golden star, you know,

Jill: One of the things as Olympics watchers pretty much every other sport that involves music and routines. That’s choreographed, but breaking is not. So how do you as a judge prepare for what you could possibly see?

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: I think for the variety, And the personality and the performance there’s also the creativity That’s what allows us Even if we know the flow of this dancer and how how they would normally come in and out of a move it is their duty to wow us and impress us by Approaching what they have normally choreographed in their garage or dance studio for years to play with that and to improv with that.

So I think it’s, it’s, it’s something that we do look for only because by default, if we’ve seen this person, we know their ins and outs of movement, you know, Almost in a silhouette, you know how Sunny gets in and out of her moves. So in this next competition What she does is someone like Sunny someone like Victor They do their homework and they say I know I normally slide in on the second round and go into my headspin What i’m gonna do is i’m gonna go towards my opponent flip away from my opponent already the approach of round two To someone like me judging waiting for her choreography to come into play or their choreography to come into play, they’ve already changed it up.

They’ve, what they call, flipped the script on the move or the solo. So we can’t ding them if they do some of their moves wrong. Because they’ve trained it so many times to come out of some stuff, like a windmill, a very rapid move or a freeze to come out of it the way that they normally do.

Sometimes that becomes the trademark or the DNA of that dancer. Like, my name is Flipz. If you don’t see me flip in a battle, I should not call myself Flipz any longer, you know? I used to have every round. I used to calculate where every round I would throw a different flip. Nobody knew what flip it would be.

So if I was an Olympian, going to the Olympics, I would try to have the same approach is people know that I’m Flipz. They know that I’m going to flip. But what if I slid out first on my knee and then from my knee I went off to do the like, like a round off double full into a head slide. No one has seen that.

They’ve only seen the double full. They didn’t see the entrance and the exit from that trick that I’m known for. So that’s one of the biggest things with the choreography is if you can improv before And after the during you can play with it. It’s like playing with a puzzle and you know what the corners are and you get to fill in the middle and you leave that last piece.

That last piece that we see in a dancer. It’s interpretation is to be interpreted as this person is complete. They know their ins and outs. They know how to improv. They can freestyle. They know how to, choreograph just bits and pieces of their solo only to get their point across.

I think is why people choreograph their movement. If something works, right? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If something works. Out of their slide into a move and all they have to do is throw a flip before or after and make sure they stick their freeze And we’ve never seen it composed or compiled in a, in a, in a choreography piece in that way.

we’re already getting, uh, what is that called? Like, we would already give you that. You tick that box. There are people that choreograph it, unfortunately, from beginning to end only because that’s the only way they’ll get through the 60 seconds. Does that make sense? Like an exercise.

And they’re training. They’re like, I know I got to do 20, you know, 25 pushups and then 15 sit ups. And then by the 30 burpees, my 60 seconds is up, but they’ve never trained it any other way. So if you reverse it and you just give me burpees first, at least switch the amount of burpees that you’re doing.

Cause we’ve already seen you do 30 burpees in your set. You do, you know, 15 sit ups and you do 25 pushups every time we see you at every jam. So if you could learn to switch it up and if there’s music playing and you give me, I’m just using it as an example because sometimes power moves are harder to explain in a combo, but if you’re giving me.

Every eight count you’re giving me like five burpees to the beat and then you do a back flip and then you land in a push up position and you give me five push ups to the beat, right? And then you slide and you give me a freeze and you give me another five sit ups to the beat. You just showed me that you, you gave me 60 seconds of complete improvisation freestyle with creativity, personality, technique, and we see that you were musical with it.

even though you’re showing us the fundamental workouts of, of what you’ve been working on in the garage or in your dance studio. So. a lot of the judges, we look at each other like we kind of know that you’re good to do that move. But the more impressive thing when we talk amongst each other is how did you get in and out of that move?

The ins and outs is so important because you know that move is coming at a certain part of the battle, you know, Flipz is going to flip. You know, Sunny’s gonna do her flair. You know it. Like, when is she gonna pull it out? It’s a, it’s a strategic moment for her, but you know it’s coming, or the drill to her hollowback.

Like, is she gonna throw it in round three or in round one? What’s it gonna come after? Once you keep us guessing and you keep the audience engaged, that’s when we’re not gonna ding you. But yeah, if you go through every battle, Every battle leading up to the olympics doing the same thing in 60 seconds then yeah, we’re definitely gonna ding you and you’ve shown You haven’t shown innovation.

You haven’t shown growth. You haven’t shown that you’re willing to even take yourself on a journey of freestyling and figuring things out That’s another word for freestyle is you’re figuring it out as you go. So maybe they do play a slower song and that old You Programmed, choreographed set that you had in your head no longer makes sense.

So therefore you are able to play with what you even thought you were going to do that day. and yeah, stars align for these dancers. Sometimes, the DJ drops the right beat. there’s, uh, judges with specific criteria and you know, you know, When Flipz is judging, he wants to see a flip. He wants to see people up in the air.

He wants to see slides, glides, moves, grooves, freezes. I’m not just stuck on, I want to make sure they do top rock and footwork and freezes, right? I want to make sure they go above and beyond that, beyond the steps. I want to see character. I want to see their, like, I want to see from what they chose to wear head to toe.

I call that, One of my biggest pet peeves is you’re, if you’re a dancer and you don’t dress, the word is called fresh. If you don’t dress fresh, like, become the part, right? Like in these movies, in Beat Street, you had the red team versus the blue team. You had Adidas versus Puma, like, dress the part.

Don’t just wear, like, sweatpants and, you know, Chuck Taylors and a t shirt. You know, and it just looks like you’re going for a jog around the block, like come feeling like 50 years of incredible culture come looking like, Run DMC. Even the way I dress. Look, I got my, I got my Paris Olympics shirt on. I got my Levi’s denim jacket.

I got my shell toes. I’m ready for battle. Look. RTB ready to battle like you have to come I don’t know you got to come ready I think that’s one of the things that allows you to think outside of the box as a dancer It’s not just the pressure and you don’t buckle under the pressure you go there with a clean slate And you know, you have a thousand moves now strategize when you want to pull them out when this beat comes I’m gonna start killing my my combos.

When this beat drops i’m gonna hit the floor, you know, because it’s got drums So I want to use my feet to engage to the drum set stuff like that And then You start to see why these dancers are warriors it’s like they’re kings and queens of this culture and that cipher that circle creates a It creates a higher frequency level of energy that I don’t think the audience even understands have you guys ever been in a cipher in a circle?

No. Okay. You see, though, right? You’ve seen in in these events, how they create this circle, right? All these dancers just somehow. There’s a synergy amongst them. They can’t wait to start throwing their moves, but because of the circumference of the human body, there needs to be space, right?

So what ends up happening is if you know that these people are going to start spinning and sliding and flipping, they need space. So, so these warriors that end up in the front row, it’s like, Like when you’re in war, right? You have that front row that they, they run. And they, get on one knee and they put the shield up and they build the circumference of where the battleground is going to be.

Does that make sense? Like back in the day, right? Like the Spartans, they put the, the front line puts down the shield and then everyone else kind of guards around. But you, Understand why from conflict to joy and dance that is set, it sets the frequency, it changes the energy and the humans that can withstand that type of environment stand right in the front.

Like I love being in the front of a battle and I love going out first. There’s something about it to where your body almost, um, you don’t shake due to nerves, but your state is altered. Sunny could tell you this, like, yeah, once you get in front of the cypher, also some people retrieve, they can’t handle that type of, energy because these people are at their highest frequency at any given second, ready to explode and do their solos.

And. release this energy and circular like movements and very dynamic type forms that they’ve been training so hard for. So it’s like a, like a Mexican jumping bean and you let it out of the jar. You can’t even keep up with where it’s going to go. When they do this cipher thing in the Olympics, people are going to feel that like, Oh my God, I feel the energy.

If they were able to get any closer, you start to feel it. and then you see based on the movement of these dancers, how far their sweat flies. Like if you see some of the slow mo shots of these, of these dancers, you’re like the torque. In which he they’re able to spin and that girl was doing her head spins and you see the Sweat drip off their forehead and their extremities of their body You see it fly that goes to tell you imagine if you’re that close what you feel when you type that type of synergy when people are going like this, that’s why some Parents, unfortunately don’t like their kids around some of these battles.

They feel like the energy is um, It’s too much. They don’t comprehend it. My mom was the same way My mom was like, you know hip hop had like curse words and people were battling and it looked like they were fighting and my mom Didn’t understand it So she didn’t want me a part of that world. She felt it was dark and it was, it was not dark in the sense of evil, dark in the sense of it was in a warehouse.

The battles were in these like club houses and the lights were dim and you know, the music is loud and. You can’t even see what the person’s wearing across from you, but you know, you’re battling them. So it creates this, this really great mystique of the underground culture is like, twilight, like we’re like these like vampires that thrived in the dark, you know, but when you see us dance, you’re like, these people are incredible.

And now that we’re respected as Artists slash athletes. I call us dance slates. Their dance athletes fused into one being, you know, and it’s very, very me. It’s so good to be able to describe it, to you guys and to some of my friends and to my parents, friends, even to where they understand the caliber of what these, these kids have been training to do, because If you measure it as far as dance, you’re like So You Think You Can Dance or Misty Copeland or Michael Jackson or Fred Astaire There’s only certain levels in which you can compare What these people are doing but when you watch what they’re doing and you’re like they’re in the olympic games You put Simone Biles in the circle next to Sunny And Simone Biles will feel they’ll both feel like, Oh, these are two queens on the dance floor for sure, because what Simone Biles could do.

Sunny is like, I could never in my life. Imagine being in the air and doing all that stuff and still landing upright, you know, breaking all the laws of gravity in 2. 3 seconds in the air and landing upright and still being able to walk out of it. Then Sunny Choi shows Simone Biles. Now watch what I turn this really hard concrete floor into like a canvas.

And then Simone Biles looks this way, like looks down at it. Like, Oh my God, she’s an artist. She’s an athlete. She’s a dancer. She’s an artist. This is amazing. And then once that ground is broken, like the wall in Germany, that understanding there’s nothing more there to, to, to block the connection.

it makes the world just revolve in such a better direction to me because I, I, I’ve been asked before, like, doesn’t it look like gymnastics and why isn’t it? Why isn’t dancing in gymnastics? You know, you get that. There’s almost like that really small hiccup and misunderstanding of it can coexist in the same world.

At the same time in the same place and here we are in the olympics

Jill: Okay. We have talked about floor work and we have talked about power moves and you’ve talked about different specific moves, but not where does the worm fit into all

Alison: of

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: this?

Oh, the worm. Man, listen, the worm, you can’t, you can’t underestimate the worm. The worm is everyone’s favorite party trick. Number one. And the fact that you’re on the floor, it counts for me. It counts as a power move. It’s like one of the first power moves to become, to lay flat on the floor. And whether you go forward or backwards, you, you transform into an animal and you give it a go.

So the worm for me is a power move and it’s definitely, definitely underrated. It’s one of my top go to power moves, whether I’m doing karaoke because I can still sing while I’m doing it, I can still hit a note, or if, if no one is willing to hit the, hit the floor or hit the ground, I’m there. The worm is my first go to.

Always get a good worm out there. Always. I

Alison: still feel so vindicated now.

Jill: I do, I do. I’m not going to throw Sunny under the bus, but she’s like, you guys are old. No, you

Alison: could.

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: Hey, that was the move of the decade back in the day.

Jill: Yeah. When we were kids, that was what

Alison: we

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: started. We could all do it. That was the power move.

Yes. Yeah. Yes. The move of the decade. All right.

Jill: Finally. Breakin’ or Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: Oh, I would I want to say Breakin’ I want to say the first one. I want to say the first one I feel like the first one was more authentic and the second one was Though I give it props, it was just very like, Oh my God, Hollywood took over.

Jill: You know, I will say break into electric boogaloo has been on the cable rotation this year, so I just saw it and it’s been like, Oh my gosh, how did, how did this get made?

Alison: It’s like, did they really shoot it? Or

Ivan “Flipz” Velez: was that on a lot? No, I do feel like they went. They went haywire, they definitely had a really nice budget on breakin to electric boogaloo, but on breakin one, you can tell it was a little bit more grassroots.

and I will say, if I can say this on record, my absolute favorite, what became my bible in breakin was Beat Street. Beat Street, the movie Beat Street, where they ended up going to the Roxy Club in New York. They hopped on the train, they were training on the train, and they battled the red team versus the blue team on that floor at the Roxy.

That to me became my bible of breaking, because a few years later is when I found out about breaking and breaking to Electric Boogaloo. So Beat Street was like it for me. When that song dropped, it was Afrika Bambaataa and the Mighty Zulu Nation. They had those. Fabulous outfits they were going they went to the future and back.

I was like, what are they wearing on stage? But when that song dropped And they they eyed each other From when the crew walks in to where the crew was next to the stage. They eye each other from a mile away And as they walk forward, the crowd just parts, sees for them to battle. That was so epic to me.

And then they did the, the top rock where they get arrested in the subway, the dancing war, they start battling with their bump boxes and their boom boxes and their radios. It was two crews. It was neutral ground in New York. They were in the subway. They’re like, every time we see those guys, we’re going to battle them.

And it was, I just felt like it was so raw. I don’t know how much of that would really happen until I moved to New York in 1999. And I was like, I want to go to all the locations. I want to ride the same train. I was like, nostalgic. I felt like I was in a DeLorean.

Jill: Excellent. Well, Flipz. Yeah. Thank you so much for spending so much time with us and really breaking down this world the dancing and the, the sport, we’re excited to get to see it in Paris. We’ll be there. So hopefully we’ll be able to, to see you there.

Yes. Thank you so much Flipz. You can find Flipz on his website. It’s Ivan dash Flipz dash Velez. com and he’s also on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and X at Ivan Flipz Velez. So we will have links to all of those in the show notes.

[01:04:34] Bboy Jeffro Interview

Jill: And continuing with our break in theme today, we have an interview with B boy Jeffro, who we met at the Team USA Media Summit.

B boy Jeffro won silvers at the 2022 World Games and at the 2023 Pan American Games. He has a degree in kinesiology and sports administration and developed fit break. A program that combines breaking and fitness, and I will tell you, I got sucked into that today. Did you do it? No, I mean, I didn’t. They had like little exercises on their Insta, and I honestly said, I could eventually do that.

Excellent. Part of our training program. So yeah, exactly. So take a listen to our short time with Jeffro.

Alison: Okay So we’ve talked to Sunny Choi.

We have a little bit of background in this and

Jill: we’ve tried to flip So,

Alison: how is men’s and women’s different?

Or is it?

Bboy Jeffro: It’s very different. I think the guys are way more dynamic as far as their moves. But I enjoy to watch the women’s. Over the guys just because they’re more creative. A lot of guys, we’re strong enough to throw ourselves around so that we use that as our superpower instead of using your mind as far as like, how do I get creative?

Because in hip hop and in breaking, it’s about style. It’s about what you create. What are you bringing to the table? Because if you’re not adding on to it, You’re not adding value. So if you’re not bringing anything new, you’re not adding anything. So when I watch the ladies, they go and they’re creating different movement, they’re using their hands and they’re not relying on their strength to hold them around.

Alison: Okay, so men are stronger, women are generally more flexible, but you have to be flexible as well. So how do you work on that?

Bboy Jeffro: Yoga.

Alison: Don’t, don’t shake a yoga. I’m a fan.

Bboy Jeffro: No, I actually, actually, which is new to me. Yoga is new to me. I do it twice a week now. I do yoga twice a week, which I would never expect myself to be doing that.

But since January this year, I’ve been on it twice a week

Jill: with

Bboy Jeffro: my training.

Jill: Yeah. What got you to

Bboy Jeffro: start? Um, it realized how unflexible I was and that I needed it because one, injury prevention. That’s that’s major. And then too, I want to be able to do more moves. And a lot of times it’s in order to do a lot of those crazy moves.

I have to be able to increase my shoulder range of motion and my hips too. So that’s one thing that I’ve always tried to like do. And I realized I just do yoga.

Alison: How prepared is your routine when you go in?

Bboy Jeffro: It is 40 percent prepared. Well, I set 40 percent of it. And then when I go out there, it’s probably 20%.

It goes down. Anything can happen. The music, one, everybody comes with like 100%. A lot of people come with 100%. And I come in at 40, but then when I do go, it’s, it’s always, it always diminishes because the music and I’m trying to connect with the music and the things pop up in my head, the floor could be a little slippery, so then you might slip a little and then you’re looking at the judges.

You like, Hey, did they see that? I did not see my competitor tapping the floor like I just messed up. So there’s a lot of things going on all at once. So things change.

Alison: Do you prefer going first or second?

Bboy Jeffro: I prefer going first because I mean people see it as a disadvantage but if I set the tone and if you can’t keep up with me then it’s going to look like you’re having a hard time catching up.

Alison: What do you want to hear on the DJ pick in Paris?

Bboy Jeffro: I want to hear some boom bap, real hip hop beat, you know, that I can get funky to. I want to get down.

Jill: When you compete in different countries, does the DJ have different styles? How much international flair do you get from the DJ?

Bboy Jeffro: Yeah, uh, it’s pretty interesting because whenever I go to Asia, I know almost none of the, the breakbeats.

Um, and then even the style of it, you might hear these little instruments in there that they, they like using and I’m like, uh, I don’t really like that . But in the, like in the us, the beats that I dance to, I’m, I’m, you know, I’m in tune with it. I like it, but you know, so regionally, yeah, there are some different beats, but yeah, I just try to adapt to ’em.

Alison: Thank

Jill: you guys so much. Great. Thank you. That was great. Thank you so much, Jeffro. You can follow B Boy Jeffro on Insta. He is at Jeffro Rad and we will link to that in the show notes.

Uh, you can find the Fit Break Workout at fitbreakworkout. com. They have a location in Houston, but they have an online option as well. And B boy Jeffro is still on his road to Paris. He has to go through the Olympic qualifier series. One of those events is in Shanghai on May 16th through 19th, and the other is June 20 to 23 in Budapest.

[01:09:29] Keep the Flame Alive Paris Viewing Guide Now Available!

Alison: We’ve got more competition schedules out for Paris. We do. Handball and water polo have come out with all their early round games and matchups. And if you want to know who is playing when you can take a look at the Keep the Flame Alive Viewing Guide. It includes daily schedules, handy tables for metal events, descriptions of the events, full info on the preliminary rounds of team sports.

The ebook is available on Amazon and now Apple Books, and you purchase that and updates will be automatically sent to your device. You can link to those purchases on our website, flamealivepod. com.

[01:10:06] 2025 History Moment Selection

Jill: It has been a while since we’ve heard our History Moment music on this show. We have a special History Moment show every month that we, are been exploring, uh, Chamonix 1924 all year, and that’s been a lot of fun so far, but we wanted to announce the winner of next year’s games that we will focus on.

Alison: I feel like we’re sort of like the games commission, the Future Games Commission, how they’re starting to announce the future games earlier and earlier.

So we’re just following with Olympic and Paralympic administration right now. But yes, so for 2025, it is.

Sydney 2000. Whoop whoop! It was an overwhelming choice.


Alison: Okay, that was a little terrifying. It received 57

Jill: percent of the vote. Which was fascinating because at the beginning it was kind of neck and neck with Moscow 1980 and people just said no. No.

Alison: So Moscow ended up with 22. Antwerp and Paris were far away in third and fourth. So we’ll be going back 25 years to Sydney, which is going to be great.

Jill: It’s going to be exciting. That is an Olympics where I put a divot in somebody else’s couch because I sat there so much.

It is also the Olympics where I thought I could become an Olympic fencer, which led me to meet Contributor Ben.

Alison: And this was the Olympics right before we

Jill: met. That is correct. So it’s going to be a fun one. I’m looking forward to it.

[01:11:51] Paris 2024 News


Jill: All right. Well, there’s going to be opportunities, plenty for you to practice your French On May 3rd, Samsung is going to open its Olympic Rendezvous at Samsung, also known as O R A N G. at S. Uh, a brand showcase that will be at 125 Avenue des Champs Élysées.

Visitors will be able to experience Samsung’s mobile tech and engage in Olympic related interactive activities. activities. My hope is that there will be a, what Olympic sport can you do? I want to know how many pavilions there will have a, what Olympic sport can you do? And you want them all.

I do. And I want to compare and contrast. The rendezvous will be open from 10 AM to 8 PM Monday through Saturday and 11 AM to 8 PM on Sunday through October 3rd. 31. And this is not the only rendezvous space they’re going to have. There will be others at the Olympic Park, the Olympic and Paralympic village and the Main Press Center.

Ooh, there’s going to be one at the main press center. , they’re going to have Samsung Galaxy charging stations at key Olympic and Paralympic games venues, which will be a bonus for everyone who is going.

LVMH, the Paris 2024 sponsor is going to have what Forbes contributor Clara Ludmere calls a cultural path across some of its retail locations. So if you go to their flagship stores in Paris, you will be able to see Olympic inspired photography, art and fashion exhibit. Exhibitions. Look for these at stores like Guerlain, Berluti, Dior, La Sommetaine, and LVMH’s Art Foundation.

Alison: This reminds me of those cards that they hand out at museums for kids where you have to get a stamp at each stop and at the end you get a little prize. So if they will give me a Gerlain You know, cosmetic perfume at the end of this, I will do it.

Jill: Uh, what they should do is, you know, stamp and give you a pin. They should have pins for this.

Alison: Wait a second. This is LVMH. I want perfume, a bag, maybe a pair of shoes. I don’t, I don’t want a pin unless there’s jewels in it.

Jill: Not going to happen. I can bet. There is going to be an African house in a little Saint Denis, uh, station. Afrique will be at the Robert Cesar Stadium from Saturday, July 20th to Sunday, August 11th.

Then again, from Saturday, September 7th to Sunday, September 8th, they’re going to have a opening and closing ceremony watch parties. So if you can’t get into the Senn, you can maybe go. watch here. There will be concerts. There will be a special house for Dakar 2026, which is the next Summer Youth Olympic Games.

There will be a little African village with sports, art, culture, and crafts, food, of course, and a little sports area. The station will be free, although some concerts are going to be ticketed, so we’ll be on the lookout for that. It will be open from 2 p. m. to 10 p. m., and then if they have concert nights, it’ll be open until midnight.

Also, if you are going to hang out at the Urban Park at Place de la Concorde, the food stands there will be 100 percent vegetarian, according to the Associated Press.

Alison: Oh, yay. They, they, they don’t hate me.

Jill: No, there, there’s a lot of plant based stuff going on there. So that’ll be nice. I have read an article about food that they will have at the village, including perhaps a plant based hot dog.

Alison: Those are awful.

Jill: They, well, maybe the French make good ones. Maybe.

Alison: But just so. It’s nice to know that some of the food stands, they’re thinking about LA 28, please pay attention. And just making the variety of food available.

Jill: Oh, I would agree because otherwise you’re, you’re stuck eating like French fries half the time and that’s not healthy.

So hopefully they’re going to have some good, healthy food there and a nice fun options.

If you are staying home to watch the games and you’re in the U S we have some more coverage or more info about the game. NBC coverage, Kevin Hart and Kenan Thompson will have an eight episode Olympic highlight show on Peacock.

This will start on July 26th and air two to three times a week. And if you remember during Tokyo 2020, Kevin Hart was with Snoop Dogg, but we now know that Snoop Dogg is going to be in Paris. Doing his thing.

Alison: I’m looking for you, Snoop.

Jill: If you have a Roku box, there will be an NBC Olympic Zone link on the home screen menu that will be able to take you directly to Peacock coverage.

I think they’ve got the message about we can’t find stuff on, on Roku. Peacock. And speaking of peacock, there will be a price increase to 7. 99 a month when, and ad free will be 13. 99 a month. According to reporting by CBN, CNBC’s Lillian Rizzo, the price increase will go into effect for new customers beginning in July.

So existing customers will get the increase on or after August 17th. So if you’re looking to Uh, save a couple bucks, although I don’t know, do you really save money if you, if you get it in June and you pay your 5 and then,

Alison: yeah, you don’t save money, but you, then you have an extra month of access if you’re on the fence as to, Oh, should I get Peacock or should I wait?

There’s a little money grab Peacock,

Jill: right? Well, and as listener, Don pointed out in the Facebook group. So the Olympics will be at the old price, but the Paralympics will be at the new price.

[01:17:38] Doping News


Alison: Don’t get upset. It’s nothing new.

Jill: Correct. the World Anti Doping Agency published a six page fact sheet detailing the Chinese swimmer doping positive tests that now have the athlete community in an uproar. So you’ve got more info on this, right?

Alison: So I read through it. None of it is new information. WADA is not sharing new details.

What they did do is they put it in a timeline with what they did when and why they did when and why they didn’t do more. So if you want a really good summary, if you feel like you don’t have a handle as what happened with this Chinese doping scandal, before Tokyo, this is a great place to just kind of get the summary.

There is a lot of times where they say in this fact sheet, this is why we did this, if we had gotten other information, we would have done more. So they’re definitely defending their actions because they’re being attacked by USADA, various Olympic committees. They’re, they’re staying their, case here.

[01:18:44] TKFLASTAN Update


Alison: Welcome to Shookflushton.

Jill: It is the time of the show where we check in with our Team. Keep the Flame Alive. These are past guests of the show and our listeners who make up our citizenship of Shookflushton, our very own country. We’ve got some results from the US, , Olympic trials for wrestling, uh, in the 67 kilogram, which is a weight that the US has not yet qualified for the Olympics.

Our very own Alejandra Sancho, uh, lost in the championship round two to one against Ellis Coleman.

Alison: Mandy Marquardt has had a very busy spring. She competed in Hong Kong and got some qualifying points. She also committed in the Pan American track cycling championships in LA and winning the bronze in the women’s team sprint.

And then in the Kieran, she crashed and injured her knee and got a minor sole shoulder sprain and minor rib fracture. Uh, the knee’s not serious and it’ll take a little bit of recovery time. And, on a happier note, Mandy also received the 2024 Special Award for the United Nations World Bicycling Day for her leadership in diabetes through cycling.

And World Bicycle Day is June 3rd.

Jill: The Montreal Olympic Park is having a competition for our architectural professionals and students to come up with viable concepts to repurpose the stadium’s existing roof, which they plan on replacing. This I thought was pretty cool that they were having this.

The roof, which has over 20, 000 tears in it, I know,

hence why it needs to be replaced. Right? .

The roof is 42, 000 square meters of material membrane. It has 434 connecting fixtures and the structure of it is more than 12 kilometers of steel cables.

So, the idea of the contest is take these materials.

This is what you’ve got. What can you do with it? Right.

So I’m very curious as to, yeah, right. It’s cool. I’m curious to see what will come of the competition. I’m curious to see if they will put any of these ideas into action and create a new structure or, I mean, some of this, some of it sounds like it could be recycled, but I don’t know if they’re going to have a competition for reuse.

Maybe some of it can’t. The professional competition will have four winners, they’ll each get, uh, 15, 000 Canadian dollars and there will be four student winners and they’ll each get 5, 000 Canadian dollars.


Alison: McKenna Geer competed at the U. S. Paralympic Trials Shooting Part 3. Alison Levine is competing this week at the Montreal Boccia World Cup event. Jacqueline Simoneau will be competing in both duet and team events at the World Aquatics Artistic Swimming World Cup in Paris, May 3rd through the 5th. This is the test event for the Olympic Aquatic Center in Saint Denis.

Chuck Aoki

Jill: was officially named to Team USA in wheelchair rugby for Paris 2024.

Alison: And Olly Hogben was in Rimini, Italy to cover the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

Jill: And he and Blythe Lawrence were together announcing something recently as well because I saw their picture on X. I’m like all shook bastons in the house.

So excited.

[01:22:19] Coming Soon

Jill: So that is going to do it for this episode. Let us know what you think of breakdancing and if you’re looking forward to watching it at Paris.

You can find us on X YouTube and Instagram at flamealivepod. Send us an email at flamealivepod at gmail. com. Call or text us at 208 352 6348. That’s 208 flame it.

You can chat with us and other fans on our Facebook group, Keep the Flame Alive Podcast, and sign up for our weekly newsletter with even more Olympic and Paralympic info for you at our website, flamealivepod. com.

And that is not something that clutters up your inbox. I will tell you that. Is it? It is a good story every week that, you won’t hear it on the show.

So if you like info and,

Olympic knowledge and being in the know, be sure to sign up for them. All right. Next week, race Walker, Evan Dunfee returns. We love talking with Evan because he is no holds barred. And once again, that will be the case. So look forward to that. Evan has changed events. This quad from the 50 kilometer down to the 20 kilometer.

It may sound simple, but it’s not. So he talks us through how he managed to become a sprinter in the racewalk. Thank you so much for listening. And until next time, keep the flame alive.