The dancer will come to Buenos Aires 2018 to inspire the young athletes
“It’s just a great opportunity being a part of it, which makes me feel accomplished.”
Moises “Moy” Rivas, an American with Mexican heritage and an array of breakdancing world titles, believes hip-hop dance is a force for good.
Named among the Athlete Role Models for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires next year, the 34-year-old Houston resident says hip-hop has been breaking down barriers seeking acceptance as a valid Olympic discipline.
“I would have loved to have participated in something like this but I don’t see that happening because of my age, even if it was included in the senior Olympics,” he said.
“It’s just a great opportunity being a part of it, which makes me feel accomplished,” he told buenosaires2018.com of his involvement in the Games in the Argentine capital.
He believes dance has a very valid place at the Olympics and makes a comparison with gymnastics.
“Breakdancing is such a physically demanding dance that people forget the athleticism it requires, but once it gets displayed on a platform like the Youth Olympic Games I think people are going to start to realise, like wow, this is very, very close to a floor routine in the Olympics but with more musicality and rhythmic approach,” he said.
“Every gymnast I’ve seen performing a floor routine has attempted to dance.
“So I don’t think we’re far from it, I think we’re already close and (its inclusion in Buenos Aires) is a good step in the right direction.”
Moy has worked hard to get where he is today, still attending events around the world, at times as a competitor, others as a teacher or a judge, while also running his own dance school.
“I’m still an active competitor, even at 34 years old I’m still considered one of the top level competitors in the world. I do a lot of my own training in the mornings,” he said.
“I have my school that I own and have been operating now for six years which is called Break Free Hip-Hop School with a focus on educating youths and young adults on positive hip-hop culture with breakdancing being one of the elements.
“The program has expanded, now we have a school in Hawaii and we’re looking to open others in several cities across the world, educating kids on the art and the dance that impacted my life.”
Moy, who discovered breakdancing during middle school and has been fully dedicated to it ever since, is well aware of the difficulties hip-hop dance has had to face in trying to gain acceptance as an Olympic discipline.
“Hip-hop dance carries its own misconceptions and people maybe are very judgemental towards it,” he said. “They say ‘hey this is just a street dance, this doesn’t have any formal technique or formal approach’, so immediately it’s excluded because it can be portrayed as negative.
“But that’s not the case, hip-hop dance was created as a positive alternative,” said Moy, who at home faced difficulties at first getting his life choice accepted by his parents who now support him wholeheartedly.
“I showed them it’s something positive, that it’s growing every day and that reaching the Olympics is something huge for the hip-hop community.
“I truly believe that when you love something so much and you do it wholeheartedly and organically that good things will come and that’s exactly what got planned out for my life,” he emphasised.