Friday, January 8, 2016

B-Boying & The Breakdance Project Uganda (Information & Videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides general information about b-boying (breakdancing) and provides information and comments about Breakdance Project Uganda. Five Breakdance Project Uganda videos are also showcased in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Abramz and all those involved in Breakdance Project Uganda. Thanks also to all those who are featured in this post, thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these examples on YouTube.

"B-boying or breaking, also called breakdancing, is a style of street dance that originated primarily among African American and Puerto Rican youth, many former members of the Black Spades, the Young Spades, and the Baby Spades, during the mid 1970s.[1] The dance spread worldwide due to popularity in the media, especially in regions such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Russia, and South Korea. While diverse in the amount of variation available in the dance, b-boying consists of four kinds of movement: toprock, downrock, power moves, and freezes. B-boying is typically danced to hip-hop, funk music, and especially breakbeats, although modern trends allow for much wider varieties of music along certain ranges of tempo and beat patterns.

A practitioner of this dance is called a b-boy, b-girl, or breaker. Although the term "breakdance" is frequently used to refer to the dance in popular culture and in the mainstream entertainment industry, "b-boying" and "breaking" are the original terms. These terms are preferred by the majority of the pioneers and most notable practitioners.[2][3]"...

"Bouncing Cats is a 2010 documentary film written and directed by Australian director and photographer Nabil Elderkin. The film follows the efforts of Abraham "Abramz" Tekya and Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU) to use dance to empower youth in war-torn Uganda. The film is a testimony of Crazy Legs of Rock Steady Crew and his experiences in the BPU program. The film features narration by Common and additional interviews with Mos Def, and K'Naan. Also appearing in the film is Okot Jolly Grace, whose guidance enabled the filmmakers to see and understand the plight of children in northern Uganda. [1]


Bouncing Cats is the story of one man's attempt to create a better life for the children of Uganda using the unlikely tool of hip-hop with a focus on b-boy culture and breakdance. Abraham "Abramz" Tekya, a Ugandan b-boy and an AIDS orphan creates a free workshop teaching youth b-boy culture to 300 disenfranchised kids living in precarious conditions in Kampala in 2006, and in Gulu in North Uganda. …

Crazy Legs receives an invitation from Abramz to teach b-boy classes in Uganda. He accepts to join the program and is inspired by the passion for hip-hop by the kids enrolled in it. Bouncing Cats follows Abramz, Crazy Legs, and Breakdance Project Uganda on a journey to use hip-hop culture for positive social change.

In terms of the title, Bouncing Cats "is the sound made by the kids in Uganda when they have no access to a boombox,” according to the film's director, Nabil Elderkin, “Using 'bouncing cats, baboons and cats' in repetition, they create their own beat.” [3]

Breakdance Project Uganda

Breakdance Project Uganda started in February 2006 by Abramz out of his belief that hip hop can be used as a tool to engage and empower disadvantaged youth. Its mission is to involve young people in hip hop culture in order to build leadership skills and promote social responsibility for positive change. From the initial three students who turned up at the first session, the Project has grown through word of mouth, regular showcase performances, and exposure on the World Wide Web to become a thriving organization with over 1,000 members nationally in Uganda and many more supporters around the world....

"Proceeds from the film benefit Breakdance Project Uganda".
A clip of the Bouncing Cat documentary is given below as Example #5. The full Bouncing Cats documentary can be found on YouTube at Hopefully, having the documentary on YouTube helps advertise it so that people can still purchase it.

These videos are presented in chronological order based on their publishing date on YouTube with the oldest dated video given first.

Example #1: kids teaching kids how to breakdance, Uganda (BPU)

Abramz, Uploaded on Nov 9, 2007

Breakdance project Uganda (BPU) is grooming teachers right from the tender age.
In Breakdance project Uganda, everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student.
You learn something free of charge, you teach somebody else free of charge.

All the members of this project are directly involved in expanding and sustaining it since everyone plays a role of passing on skills to others.

You don't have to know a lot to teach, you can share the little you have with those who don't have it.

'breakdance for positive social change'
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
imagedance, 2009
"Man this is dope. My Dad is from Uganda and I was born in Kenya. Dance professionally and this is what I had in mind for Africa. Glad to see someone has started something BIG for the Mother/home-land. Much love and respect and I shall be there soon!"
"Dope" is an African American Vernacular English word that means "very good".

Danwlsns, 2010
"This should be Sharing centre in Kampala Uganda. This place groomed me from 1987-1996. I am very grateful to Father Fleskens (deceased) who set up the place for the less priviledged young people of Nsambya, Kibuli, Katwe etc. I now live and work in the Netherlands.
The word "should" may be a typo for "could".

Example #2: Breakdance Project Uganda kids at 2009 Brave Festival, Poland. Pt 1

Abramz, Uploaded on Jul 19, 2009

Breakdance Project Uganda kids performing at Brave Festival at Rynek in Wroclaw, Poland in july 2009.

Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
43470anbetsi, 2009
"Thanks to Salesians the children could come to Poland."

CRYKIT , 2010
"LOVE IT! I teach breaking at after school programs in San Francisco and I must say it is such an amazing opportunity to showcase in another country!!!! I respect and appreciate the work you have done for your community!!! ONE LOVE!
-Crykit..aka Bgirl Crix"

liluprawk, 2010
"very dope i love that my people from the motherland is doing hiphop MIKEYICE
ZULU NATION united states..1 LOVE

sltruong3, 2010
"Thanks to the SIFF for showing 'Imani', the Uganda film that exposed me to this project. It's awesome!"

Example #3: Breakdance Project Uganda


jonsmithman, Uploaded on Nov 4, 2009

Breakdance Project Uganda is an organization teaching the kids of Uganda how to, well, breakdance. It's friggin' awesome. We were lucky enough to sit in on one of their sessions.

matteoT100, 2010
"dope bboys in africa, bboys everywhere"

Kristabelle1, 2010
"Heeeeeeeeey I remember this spot!! I danced right here with you guys, a wonderful experience, again so uplifting Abramz, all the best to you and all the crews you dance with :)"

bboymcKick, 2011
"great energy and flow! Keep it breakin' :-)"

Jean-Gustave Nsabiyera, 2011
"Respect for Ugandan bboy and all african Bboys. Keep breakin'

JazzyTem, 2014
"Its like bronx hip hop in early 80th.Hip hop as it is. Big props from Russia.Keep ROCKING"
"Props", an African American English clip of the word "proper", means to give someone his or her proper respect, acknowledgement, praise. "Big props" means a lot of props. Read the comment below and the explanation for "Big up".

Realtalk MyBrother, 2015
"Big Up My African Brothers..... EXCELLENT"
"Big Up" is a Jamaican colloquial expression of respect, acknowledgement, praise, and/or encouragement.


Abramz, Uploaded on Feb 7, 2010

The legendary Rock Steady Crew (Crazy Legs, Ynot and Servin Irvin) at Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU) Community show in Kisenyi slum, Kampala, Uganda in march 2008 when they came to visit BPU and to teach in some of the communities where they have activities running.

BPU is an organization which uses Breaking and other elements of Hiphop to promote positive social change and social responsibility among young people.

Breakdance Project Uganda
"Breaking (breakdance) for positive social change"

Example #5: Bouncing Cats - Break Dance Project Uganda

Infinit3 Records, Uploaded on Jan 24, 2011

tobiasstelter, 2011
"Can hip-hop show the way towards liberty of a nation? In Uganda it can: The “Breakdance Project Uganda” is becoming movement for youngsters, who suffered from war and tyranny for years. Music gives them power and autonomy. Our author visited the kids – find his story in our new Red Bull lifestyle mag “Red Bulletin”. Take a glance online on our website. Or grab it at the kiosk if you go for it."

tschecker002, 2011
"So great film...want to look it - Can anyone tell me whats the music at 0:30 and 1:40 ?"

tschecker002, 2011
"@ALL Guys: the song at 1:40-end is K'naan - Take A Minute.
Know anybody the other one at 0:30 ?"

AndieWorldFlava, 2011
in reply to tschecker002
"@tschecker002 It's Road To Zion by Damian Marley & Nas"

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1 comment:

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