Breakdance Boys in South Philly

By Mariel Waloff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 12 | Posted Jan. 22, 2010

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Racial tensions and violence have been escalating at South Philadelphia High School, and peaked a little over a month ago when 30 Asian students were the target of a violent attack. But one group of diverse students have resisted the divisive racial tensions by breakdancing.

Nicholas White, Trung Tran and David Seng, students at South Philadelphia High and Bok Tech have been breaking for the past year and a half. They dance after school in a program run by SEAMAAC, the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition. Breaking has brought these young men together in ways they never expected. Nicholas White, an African-American student at South Philadelphia High School now counts Trun Tran, an Asian student at South Philly High, as one of his best friends.

“I call him my brother now, and the fact of the matter is that you can tell we don’t look alike.” The two of them are also ambassadors for their school—Trung Tran is the vice president of the Asian society—and have spoken out against the recent violence and negligence of school authorities.

“It’s like breakdancing is bringing one group of people together, it’s not even about your color or where you came from, it’s all the way you break and how well you break together.”

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Comments 1 - 12 of 12
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1. Krystal Narcise said... on Jan 23, 2010 at 09:06AM

“I'm glad to see that you guys are enjoying what you have found for you to become a better person. Not only are you improving your self-confidence but I believe you inspire younger students to follow their dreams and encourage them to take a stand and challenge themselves to do better things than being on the street.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Jan 23, 2010 at 04:39PM

“It's young men and women like this who inspire me to return to teaching in Philly. Excellent job! I hope that they continue to inspire others to turn around negativity in the city.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Feb 2, 2010 at 12:28PM

“Ah how nice. Gangbangers one day and friends the next. Oh, and of course it's due to the "negligence" of school authorities and not because our hyphenated brothers act like animals. I'm glad it worked out this time, but add this as another reason to not live in Philadelphia. I prefer my children to get a good education free from violence.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Feb 22, 2010 at 09:09AM

“well anonymous 3 seeing that your afraid of philly your lack of repect or knowledge just shows that you live in a life of fear which is pretty sad really why don't you and your family go live under a hole.”

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5. Anonymous said... on May 2, 2010 at 10:01PM

“Call me an idealist because I still have some in me. This is a great story. If only this could happen more. This is an example of how arts and culture can bring people together no matter what so they can become close on a deeper level.”

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6. Anonymous said... on May 16, 2010 at 07:39PM

“Anonymous 5 your a brilliant idealist!”

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7. Mike said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 02:52PM

“great article! If you are looking to hire breakdancing b-boys for your next upcoming event google Dance Stylez Entertainment. They recently performed for The Jerry Springer Show. Breakdancing is awesome!”

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8. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 02:55PM

“Yes! they're website is www.DanceStylezEnt.com (DJ's, Breakdancers, & MC's)”

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9. lee pierre' scullion said... on May 16, 2011 at 02:11AM

“Hope all is well, Lee Scullion here.... I have been traveling the globe on a sabbatical from work & whilst doing so i have been organising my own fashion shoots.

I turn to you guys to see if you OR any breakers you may know who would enjoy shooting for with me, all images will be supplied on hard copy in return for approx 1/2 hour shoot on location. All you guys will have to do is pop & jump slowly & sometimes aggressively for me to capture some fresh strong shots!!

Basically i would have a model in the shoot with you performers surrounding!

Shoot to be confirmed, i intend to seek location AS SOON AS I LAND IN NEW YORK.

Be sure to check out my work www.leescullion.co

(Philadelphia 17th to 22nd)
New York 22nd to 27th

Please check out my website & traveling blog below.
Hope to speak soon & see the zcards of your trade models.

Lee www.leescullion.co

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10. KENDRA said... on Jul 25, 2011 at 03:28PM

“MY SON IS A HIP HOP/MODERN DANCER AND HE IS REALLY GOOD. CURRENTLY HE ATTENDS THE PERFORMING ARTS CAMP. WOULD LOVE TO HAVE HIM PARTICIPATE WITH YOUR GROUP. PLEASE ADVISE:)”

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11. nancy pagan said... on Jun 18, 2013 at 07:20AM

“I would like my son to participate in your group he wants to learn how to do hip hop an break dance please write back soon”

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12. Chuck said... on Jan 28, 2014 at 02:10PM

“I'm having my 50th b day party,would like to hire a couple of dancers.to help me do the vanilla ice song.ice ice baby, 267 475 1087 cell”

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