The buoyant b-boy!

STREET DANCER

Naser Al-Azzeh’s b-boying moves are sure to leave you amazed. But behind those swift and agile moves are long hours of work and sweat.

Not having gone through any formal training, Naser who has been performing since 2008, says, “I used to watch videos on Youtube and that’s how I picked up the moves. And then I started hiring studios so that I could practise them.”

Pursuing an evening course in human resource management from Mount Carmel College, the student reveals that the first time he saw a b-boying performance, he felt it wasn’t meant for him.

“I was awestruck. And it just seemed impossible,” he shares. But that didn’t stop  him from training hard to master those moves.

The same year, Naser entered his first competition and walked away as the winner. “I still remember the competition was so tough with there being so many
foreign artistes. And there I was, just starting off not knowing what was going on. But it was a pleasant surprise when
I was declared the winner,” smiles Naser.

That win egged him on.

“I started working harder after that and formed a team. On a daily basis, I put in two to three hours of practice and five hours if I’m preparing for a competition,” he explains. But along with all the success, Naser has made mistakes which he says have taught him a lot.

“In the last two years, I’ve had two ligament tears in the knees, two dislocated toes and a hurt wrist. It’s partly my fault because I’ve always
disliked warm-ups and cool-downs. But now, I’ve learnt my lesson,” admits Naser.
B-boying, Naser says, is a different ballgame altogether. “If we’re performing as a team, then each performer has to have a different routine.

Having similar routines is frowned upon. And if it’s freestyle, you just have to go according to the music and anticipate the beats,” he says. Pointing out that b-boying is quickly catching up in Bangalore, Naser says, “Mumbai is probably the hub of b-boying. But if I were to compare the City to Bangalore, I would say that while Mumbai has quantity, Bangalore has quality.”

The student, who participated in ‘India’s Got Talent’ in 2010, says that he and his team decided to opt out of the show even after getting through the auditions.

“I personally didn’t like the experience. Everything is staged. For instance, we had to run out jumping with excitement much after we knew that we had qualified. But what made us back out was that they wanted us to be available at any time that they wanted.

For a student, that is difficult,” says Naser.

On the other hand, recalling his recent trip to Germany for a b-boying event, he says, “I stood second and the international exposure I got during those ten days is
incomparable.”

Explaining that he has the complete support of his family, Naser says, “They have been supportive of what I do because they know this is what I love doing.

Despite all the pain I’ve gone through, they have stood by me. I’ve been lucky because there are many parents who are not supportive.”

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