From Dance on the Metro to High Performance Centers, the 'Breaking' Slow Way Towards the 2024 Games Listen to this article

“rooms Breaking It’s in the background, follow the music and you won’t get lost”, warns the person in charge of security. And, in fact, the music is played at such a volume that it can be heard even before it reaches its sentry box. The speaker is the size of a suitcase for three weeks of travel. He warms up to Juan de la Torre in a room at the CAR (High Performance Center) in Madrid, xakAna Maria Ortega Fury, and Ruben Ortiz, Nerup. Feather BreakingThe dancers know each other by their surnames.

All three are part of the national team that has finally gained access to elite facilities. till last year XAK – Number seven in the world ranking – Trained in a gym room that a friend abandoned because he was the boss. Fury -Ranked number 15 and twelfth in the last World Cup-, the withered face and permanent smile, he did it on the street or in the civic centres. Others, in the subway or wherever he played. This is how Laura Garcia summarized, Law, The state of his sport, which will be the first Olympics in the Paris 2024 Games and which has nearly 400 licenses in Spain, reported in this newspaper in March last year: “It looks like they only named the Olympics; It is not reflected in anything else. I train at the place where my father has improved”.

Has anything changed in these 12 months? Yes for some, no for others. xak considers and celebrates as a “success” what should be common in elite sports: facilities to prepare for the Games, a physical trainer, a physio, medical follow-up and a scholarship to access the dining room of the Bloom Residence . Except for the facilities reached by personal commitment in April 2021, the rest have been achieved in recent weeks, when there are only two years left for Paris 2024. this is how he summarizes it Fury: “We never did a medical checkup, we did the first one last week.”

and it echoes Zak: “I told the federation: If you demand this level of physical and training demand from us, but we don’t have anyone to support and support us, it is going to fail because physically or mentally we are going to fly. ,

In June last year, he got team silver at the European Championships. In CAR they train from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM from Monday to Saturday. The routine—as competition dance is called—is highly demanding on a physical level, involving twists, suspension movements, kicks in the air, frozen poses. xak He is the only one who will enjoy the scholarship this year, finishing fifth at the World Cup in Paris in December, and has also received the help of two sponsors. He left Lucena (Córdoba) in 2017 to move to Madrid and devote himself exclusively to Breaking, “If I wanted to be the best, I had to train with the best and at Lucena I was stuck,” he says. He is 35 years old, he is a lawyer and has worked in an office in Cordoba. He lives in a shared flat and continues his search for life to get extra money shows -Next week they hired him for one in Ibiza.

he’s not alone and so he tells it Fury: “There are six of us who have trained here at CAR today [por el jueves] There are only three of us as others are working abroad, on a film and planning to shoot. You have to get the extra money as it is”.

Ana María Ortega, better known as FURIA, poses for EL PAIS in CAR.
Ana María Ortega, better known as FURIA, poses for EL PAIS in CAR. Santiago Burgos

She, who is 27 years old and worked in Barcelona until September on a medical emergency phone, dropped everything to move to Madrid, where she shares a flat, lives on unemployment and prays when it is over. If he goes, he will get something. “It still doesn’t compensate me, I don’t get paid as an athlete … but I said to myself: Either I give up everything or I’ll never do it. I should have been full focus In training, it was the only way to improve: training with people who do it exclusively to compete. If I stop thinking about the situation [económica] Sometimes I get scared. We are asked to participate fully, but it is not easy because you have to look for small jobs to get out of trouble.

To avoid finding yourself in a similar situation, Law Has been observed Compelled To live in Granada: “Without any kind of financial aid or scholarship I can’t leave everything to go looking for a job in Madrid. It’s all a little crazy.” He is a fitness instructor and chiropractor and that was his fix ticket. He has pulled money out of his own pocket along with other colleagues to manage a space – a training room – at a sports club in Granada.

nerup is one of b boys -That’s what dancers are called in jargon Breaking there are more girls b girls– From the national team. He is 26 years old and moved from Lucena to Madrid three months ago so that he can grow in the sport and train with the best. “Throw away from savings from when I worked at Burger King. I am taking chiromassage course to be able to work on it. I too live in a shared flat. Last year break dance It was not yet considered as an Olympic sport in Spain for the purpose of requesting a subsidy from the Higher Sports Council. This year dancers have already received scholarships from the Bloom Dining Room and the Federation will be able to request places so that b boys And this b girls are internal to CAR.

self taught

Everything is new to them, who have come from a very street culture – this is the essence of their sport, which is a dance that took place as a social movement in late sixties New York in a complex economic and social context. was born. – And by practicing on the metro platform or wherever he plays. It’s detailed by physical trainer David Moronta, who began taking charge of her last January. “This challenge is complex and fun at the same time, it’s like watching an Olympic sport born from minus ten, not from scratch,” he says.

And he gives an example: “Mark Clavaro [uno de los chicos del equipo nacional] He told me the other day: ‘Last year I was on the subway and now here I am’. They need adaptation, there is no coach, no technical manager. They are self-educated and I am pleasantly surprised by the level of where they come from. I was very confused that we are doing the channel. They are pure athletes, but diamonds are rough.”

Juan de la Torre in CAR in Madrid, known as XAK.
Juan de la Torre in CAR in Madrid, known as XAK. Santiago Burgos

Moronta says they ask themselves things like: Am I doing too much? am i doing too little? Is this a champion train? “They see it as something extraordinary to train for 4-6 hours a day for six days a week. This is normal within a high performance center, but for someone who has never been…”. And in fact, within their action plan is to hold talks with other elite athletes – this week xak For example, he had one with gymnast Ray Zapata—so that he would become familiar and normalize certain positions.

Fury He says that having a work routine with a physical trainer has improved him a lot. “Previously, I worked the muscle chains separately, now they’ve taught me to do them together.” What a high-level athlete needs to perform in a sport that requires more Breaking, Moronta replies: “They need to feel like high-level athletes. They may not be travel agencies that organize trips for competitions, or autophysio with small machines at home, or nutritionists who look up on the internet what supplements to take, may not be physical trainers and the internet but can see what to sit [cosas que hacían hasta el año pasado porque no contaban con nada], The moment they feel that they are just athletes, they are going to do much better.”

The road to Paris 2024 (16 men and 16 women qualified) has begun, albeit slowly. There is a national team of 19 dancers, technical groups to train young talent for the next Games and Spain will host Cambrils in April – the first international championship scoring for the Olympic rankings.

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