The simplest way to keep the culture of Breaking alive in Tunisia

I have built it through open mindedness as well as curiosity as I am constantly eager to learn and explore new dance styles.

Note: Breaking here means Breakdance.

I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed when I stumbled on Flava Kids’ recently-posted video.  That is when I realized I had to talk about this again. How teaching kids and the younger generations what we do in order to keep our culture alive and going. How important is to invest in the youth. 

I can talk for hours about the things that went wrong here and there all over the past years in taking the breaking scene to the right level and place, but there is one crucial thing and I personally consider it the main reason why the scene in Tunisia isn’t at its best today. 

The older collectives/crews did not invest in the new generations. 

As Louay Chakroun mentioned in one of his previous blogs, Where are the Crews?

There is always place for the new generation. 

Raising new family members is fundamental for the long living of the crew and the spread of the culture around the country in order to reach a bigger hip-hop community so that everything changes automatically. 

The hip-hop culture, especially the breaking part of it, literally depends on the elders of the culture to carry what they do through the youth and this is how it is for every culture around the world. Every army should recruit soldiers.

Flava Kids’ New Generation in Sidi Bouzid | Photo by Ilyess Gharbi

Although we can’t deny that there were many initiatives to teach the youngsters our dance, the fault in those was that there wasn’t no follow-ups and that is the key. 

If you organize a workshop in a town and then leave it without ever checking on those kids you taught, believe me, all of them will end up forgetting the dance in a month or even less. Not all the people are self-motivated. Especially kids, kids us to be there for them. Always and constantly.

If you are a bboy* and you want to be real, then believe this: There is nothing more real than sharing, teaching and passing our dance with others. Most importantly kids. 

We don’t need luxurious things to do that. No need for big events or anything from that kind. We only need to be there in the moments and bring the kids to the dance floor.

Kids learning their first breaking steps | Photo by Khalil Zammeli

Here are some tips to make it easy for you: 

1// Know what their interests. 

This is how you are going to find the path to make them interested in what you are teaching them. Know their interests and use that in what you are trying to achieve. Like, if you find kids playing football, play with them and then ask them if they would like to play with you. Then, all you have to do is a headstand.

2// Make learning the dance fun. 

This is really not a tip, we dance because it is fun. Therefore, if you are not making the dance fun, you are doing something wrong and that is completely fine. You just have to learn how to approach your students. The easiest way to do that is to play games with them.

3// Play them videos and show them pictures. 

Breaking is known amongst people through videos. Videos of bboy* spinning on their heads, doing flips, flares, footwork combos, etc… Show them the different styles of breaking and ask them what style they would like to learn. Then support them achieve it.

Kids watching breaking videos | Photo by Khalil Zammeli

4// Follow-up and communicate. 

The world is a better place if we keep communicating. Communication is the key here. Keep in touch with your students and make sure to follow their steps and assure it that they are making the right steps. Let them know that you are going to be there for them next week, next month or any time they need you. Kids follow adults. Kind-type of adults. 

Make sure to tell us about your area and the generation coming up there and make sure to share this so we can reach your people! ♥

Also, big thanks for Ilyess Gharbi, Hamza Slimani and the Flava Kids crew for the reminder and for keeping building. They have an upcoming event, Underground Session #2, next December in Sidi Bouzid. Make sure not to miss it.