'2007. Athens, Greece. I was walking outside a dance school when I noticed a handful of guys dancing to something I had never been exposed to before. They were breaking.
[ 3 months later ]
We were practising together everyday. At the dance school. In the gym. Outside the 'Odeion' on the marble floor. At rooftops. We were just doing it everywhere, it was beautiful. I joined their crew.
[ 11 months later ]
My right shoulder had had enough. I had jumped into very advanced moves too fast too soon. Freezes on my arms were my favourite thing to do. I barely had any footwork.
[ 2 months later ]
I had to go through the hardest few months of my life when I was told by my Surgeon that I wouldn't be able to dance again because of how severe my shoulder injury was.
[ January 2015 ]
It has been almost 7 years now but I started dancing again. My physical impairment on the shoulder is still here with me though. I didn't listen to my body when it was talking to me. I decided to create Project Breakalign and make sure my story is not repeated by anyone else in the world.'
Founder & Manager
WHAT IS PROJECT BREAKALIGN?
Project Breakalign was founded by Nefeli Tsiouti in 2013 to prevent injuries for breakers/dancers. The team of dance and medical specialists at the European level is committed to create a methodology of corrective exercises which will reduce the risk of injuries for breakers.
Project Breakalign is working in association with Dance UK and taught prevention of injuries workshops in several events around the world such as Breakin Convention (UK), IBE (Netherlands), Street Style Lab (USA), PHD (UK), University of West London (UK), Ideastap (UK) and T.E.A.M. (Cyprus).
HOW TO REDUCE DANCE INJURIES?
A quality methodology of corrective exercises is only possible with preliminary knowledge on risks. Project Breakalign is doing researches to learn more about breakers' injuries and find a better way to prevent them.
Project Breakalign will be collaborating with Theoharis Constantinou, a sports therapist and bboy, to conduct a University research on the causes of injuries on bboys and bgirls on the upper body. The research theme is ground force reaction on the upper limbs on breakers, especially on the wrist and shoulder. It will take place in London until the summer of 2015. This is the first University research of Dance Medicine on bboys/bgirls in the UK, conducted by bboys and bgirls, with the aim to create accessible and accurate knowledge for the hip-hop community. The research will involve bboys and bgirls who are active in the hip-hop scene as the core team, as well as researchers, physiotherapists, coaches, medical specialists and people who can contribute to make this vision come to reality. In addition, it will be essential to use university resources and equipment for the research and the collection of data from the breaking community in the UK.
YOU CAN MAKE IT COME TO LIFE!
The research has ethical approval from a University in London but there is no funding involved to be able to complete this project successfully. Project Breakalign needs your help to reach its goal by pledging any amount of money. You can make it happen by contributing from £1. Let’s reduce injuries for dancers!
NEFELI TSIOUTI / Bgirl sMash: Founder/Manager of Project Breakalign - Lecturer in Dance - Choreographer - Dance Researcher
Nefeli has been dancing for 20 years, having as her main dance training classical ballet in Cyprus and Greece. She has obtained a BA in French Language and Literature from the University of Athens in 2009 and a Masters in Choreography from Middlesex University in 2011. She has been a Lecturer in Dance in Colleges and Universities across London since 2011. She is also the Artistic Director of Scope Dance Theatre since 2010, making hip-hop dance theatre using the elements of the hip-hop culture, mainly Breaking. Nefeli's professional performance and/or choreographic credits include Olympics Opening Ceremony, company Grounded, RIOT Offspring/Sadlers Wells, Open Art Surgery/Breakin Convention, Dance Umbrella/Barbican, B.Supreme UK Tour, Faraday's Cage film/Company Bricolage, BIDE, MOVE IT, The Place, Big Dance and more. Nefeli won the Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Fund in 2014, choosing New York as her research destination. She was also awarded the Bogliasco Foundation fellowship for 2015 in Genoa Italy for further research on injuries in breakers. In addition, she was one of the bgirls of the ELLE-Adidas MyGirl Global campaign in 2013. She has been competing in Breaking battles since December 2010 and won B.Supreme bgirl battle in 2013.
THEOHARIS CONSTANTINOU / Bboy Bonez: Sports Therapist / Sports Lecturer
Theoharis is the lead researcher of this university project. With his love for performing arts and a concern of others' well-being, he was led to study a Bsc in Sports Therapy. Since then he continued by attending modules from MSc Sports Rehabilitation and Triage and now studying part-time MSc in Performing Arts Medicine at UCL. Alongside his studies, he is also a therapist for a rugby club based in Luton, a Sports Lecturer in Barnfield College, a gymnastics instructor and also works with clients in the Bedford Integrative Health Centre.
ERIN SANCHEZ: DANCE UK's Healthier Dancer Programme Manager - Administrator of the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation's Medical Website
Erin Sanchez is the Healthier Dancer Programme Manager (job share) at Dance UK, and administrates the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation’s Medical Website for healthcare professionals and dancers. Originally from the United States, Erin pursued vocational dance training with American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet School and the Alvin Ailey School. She also holds a BA (Hons) in Dance and Sociology from the University of New Mexico and an MSc in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Erin is a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) and has lectured in dance science, taught dance technique and holds the qualification in Safe and Effective Dance Practice.
MARK ARCHER: Physiotherapist / Lecturer
My background is in sports and martial arts. I sprinted and long jumped as a teenager, smashed myself up playing rugby and have had an on/off love affair with various martial arts thought-out my life. I have been extraordinarily prone to injury... repeatedly twisting, tweaking and breaking an assortment of body parts which meant I was in a perpetual rehab state for many years! I finally decided I could be better use to the world if I were on the other side of the treatment bench and become a Physio. I have worked in various guises over the years, both within the NHS and the private sector. My first interest was in complex pain, this developed into an interest in pain within the sporting context. Later, after doing a heap of research into the injury of dancers’ for an MSc module, I wanted to see if I could help bring the (slightly alarming) injury stats down a little and took a position at Laban conservatoire where I worked as a screening therapist, strength and conditioner and physiotherapist. Movement and a clear perception of movement is the starting point for all recovery processes. My work consists of helping people recognise patterns that may be causing problems, whether it is an injury problem or a performance problem, and provide movement solutions in the form of exercise. I also work manually, to facilitate movement, with soft tissue and joint mobilisation/manipulation.
ALINE SOYER: Arts Administration Manager
Aline has been learning dance for 25 years, from ballet to house dance, and she has been a dancer of the amateur contemporary dance company “Océane” for four years. She has a master degree of Jurist and Manager of Artistic and Cultural Organisations. She worked for Dance Theater Workshop in New York, within the Marketing Department, and then as the Production and Administration Manager of Juste Debout in Paris. In 2009 she started to work for the French Federation of Circus Schools, where she was in charge of communication and European projects. She was running the secretarial work of the European Youth Circus Organisation. Additionally, Aline is involved in several dance projects such as the Quality Street Company and IBE in the Netherlands. She also organised the presence of physiotherapists for Red Bull BC One World Final in Paris. In 2014 she successfully graduated in Sports Sciences from the University of Paris 12 and she will start a physiotherapist training in 2015.
ANNA TOOMBS: Movement Therapist - Running Coach - Barefoot Runner
Anna is a fully qualified movement therapist with a background in traditional fitness training, Pilates and injury rehabilitation. She has been teaching individual clients and small groups since 1997, co-founding a specialist movement therapy company in 2003. Anna is also a running coach and barefoot runner, teaching individuals and workshops throughout the UK. In 2012 she co-authored a book ‘Run Strong•Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running’ and is Editor of the popular ‘Barefoot Running Magazine’. Anna and her partner, David Robinson, have developed their own movement system which can be adapted to all sports and all levels of fitness to enhance fluid, unrestricted movement throughout the body to improve performance and reduce injury. Anna has a degree in psychology and her approach with each client is an integrated one; the mental and the physical are inextricably linked and she believes that any movement work should be approached with this in mind.
CALI NELLE: Martial Artist - Stuntman - Dancer - Freerunner
Franck "Cali" Nelle was born and raised in Paris. At age 16, he started learning martial arts, more specifically Taekwondo where he developed this incredible vertical jump he's known for. The he taught Taekwondo,for over 10 years. At 19 years, he got in body popping, locking and break-dancing. In 2006, a knee injury got in the way of his Taekwondo career. In 2007, Cali moved to London and began doing Parkour in London, where he quickly got spotted to work in short films, adverts and music videos. He competed in the 2008 Barclaycard World Freerun Championships, in which his performance consisted of a large amount of dancing. He was a judge for the 2009 championships. A couple of months later he left Urban Freeflow and created, with some of his friends, a team called Storm Freerun. His various set of skills (martial arts ; parkour / Free Running ; acrobatics ) open him the doors to the stunt double world. He's training for the stunt register. Cali is the co-founder of Skilltown in London.
DAVID ROBINSON: Conditioning & Running Coach - Barefoot Runner
David began his health and fitness career when he was just seventeen, teaching his first martial arts class and ultimately setting up a series of martial arts dojos around South East London. As well as a background in competitive martial arts, David also danced semi-professionally, specializing in Latin and Ballroom. He is a qualified personal trainer and sports fitness specialist with a deep understanding of biomechanics. He and his partner, Anna Toombs, run a movement therapy company and together they use their own movement system with clients to help improve their performance and reduce injury. David is also a barefoot runner and running coach, and Creative Director of ‘Barefoot Running Magazine’. He co-authored ‘Run Strong•Run Free: An introduction to the science and art of barefoot running’ with Anna in 2012. David is the Head Sports and Conditioning Coach and Kick Specialist at Gaijin Ryu MMA and applies his biomechanical knowledge and martial arts background to his fighters to improve their movement and technique for competition.
DJ RENEGADE: Coach - Lecturer in Dance - DJ
DJ Renegade has a long history in Hip Hop.From it's arrival in the UK he has been a part of the scene in one form or another. Starting as a 1st generation street dancer in 1982, he progressed to djing in 1986. A specialist in providing music for breakers, poppers, lockers and Hip Hop.He is a regular DJ at all of the big dance events across the globe including; UK BBoy Champs, IBE, BOTY, R16, Freestyle Session, Juste Debout, HipOpsession, Redbull BC1, BreakOnStage, EuroBattle, OutBreak, WOD...He has had a major influence on the type, style and the way music is played at dance events around the world. He has 20 years of martial arts experience and he is the coach of UK's National Champions 'Soul Mavericks' and 'Monsterz' Popping crew. He was a Lecturer in Dance at UEL until 2013.
ERESON CATIPON / Bboy Mouse: Dancer
Known for his smooth and funky style, Ereson 'Mouse' Catipon began bboying when he moved to England from the Philippines is 1996. Since his first exposure to the bboy culture, Mouse has dedicated the last 15 years to perfecting his art. With numerous solo b-boy titles under his belt, Mouse has gained international respect as the forerunner of the UK b-boy scene. Mouse was the 2006 World B-Boy Champion having won the tough solo battle at the UK B-Boy Championships World Finals. He was also the runner up in the 2008 finals. Mouse is an original member of the highly acclaimed Funkstylerz UK dance company and B-Boy Allstars. He has built up an impressive resume of performances, from major advertising campaigns to working with the likes of Madonna. He is also part of the theatre show 'Life of a Bboy' which he co-wrote and choreographed with Funkstylerz UK. The show features the stories of the lives of three b-boys and their journeys of discovery through b-boying. The show toured the UK and Europe in 2006 and received rave reviews after performances to sell out crowds. Mouse's cheeky personality and crowd pleasing moves make him a natural showman who is adored by audiences wherever he performs.
JOHANNES HATTUNEN / Bboy Hatsolo: Conditioning Coach - Dancer - Dance Teacher
Bboy Hatsolo is part of FlowMo crew in Finland. Johannes “Hatsolo” Hattunen is one of the world’s most famous breakers. During his career, the internationally acknowledged dancer and Champion of Red Bull BC One Scandinavia 2012, has earned three subsequent Scandinavian Championships and won several world-famous competitions such as Circle Kingz (Switzerland) and Rock Steady Crew Anniversary (USA). Hatsolo is an inspiring teacher and known for his high energy and strong, recognizable style on the dance floor.
JUAN DAVID GAVIRIA / Bboy Spin: Dancer - Personal Trainer & Fitness Consultant
A member of Soul Mavericks Crew, Spin is making his mark on the international scene. Spin has spent the past five years travelling all across Europe and beyond to test his skills against the world's best. As well as being a good all rounder, Spin's unique footwork skills, original combinations and style have gained him great respect from his peers on the scene both at home and abroad. Spin has been National Solo B-Boy Champion 3 times and has represented the UK for for the last five years at the UK B-Boy Championships World Finals.
NIELS ROBITZKY / Bboy Storm: Dancer / Dance Teacher / Choreographer
'Storm' started dancing as a little child, but seriously cought on to the dances Bboying, Popping and Locking at the age of 14. His first tours he did for "Bravo Breakdancesensation 84". Soon after that, the big fashion 'Breakdance' died out. Nevertheless, he didn't stop studying styles, got connected with other Bboys and stayed creative and productive throughout the times when Breakin´was considered obsolete. By 1991 his group "the Battle Squad" was one of the leading bboygroups worldwide and thanx to them and others, the art of Bboying is so alive and strong these days. In 1991 and 1992 him and his crew Battle Squad won the "international Balle of the year". Because of the struggle in times when Bboying was out of fashion and the fact that he´s been dancing for so long, he decided to establish HipHopculture in the theatreworld. From 1992 on he danced with a New Yorker dance Company called 'Ghettoriginal'. He performed shows in Washingtons 'Kennedy Center' and in NYCities 'Lincolncenter'. During the same period he was hosting the HipHop Magazine 'Freestyle' on the german TV channel Viva. Briefly after quitting the job in early 1996, he decided to form a dance company in his hometown Berlin, which was called the 'Storm and Jazzy Project'. With two choreographies they toured many different theatres around the world The first performance was seen in February 1997 in the "maison de la danse" in Lyon. In 2000, Storm decided to create a Solo, named "Solo for two"; It's been shown all over the world in more than 50 different countries and 160 cities. Nowadays Storm also choreographs and directs for different theaters and institutions all over the world. He also choreographed for the opening ceremonies of the "Expo 2000" in Hannover and the "FIFA soccer world cup 2006 in Germany". In 2004 he starred in the German HipHop movie "Status yo" and played a gas station worker. In 2010 he starred in the dance movie "Berlin dance Battle 3d" and played himself. Storm is teaching all over the world on different dance festivals throughout each year. Since 2001 he is educating annually at the "Impulstanz" festival in Vienna. He developed his own didactical methods which are based on the original concepts of the styles Locking, Popping and Bboying.
SUNANDA BISWAS / Bgirl Sun-Sun: Dancer - Dance teacher - Choreographer
One of UK's foremost B-girls and founder of 'FLOWZAIC' UK's first all female Breaking crew Sunanda performed, judged and hosted at some of the biggest Hip Hop and B-boy events from UK B-Boy Championships, Nike Dance Clash to Battle Of The Year and B-Supreme women in Hip-Hop festival at the SouthBank Centre. She was co-choreographer for the NHS segment of the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony and is now Associate Director of 'Grounded' who gave their début performance at Sadler's Wells Breakin' Convention's 2013 tenth anniversary. Other credits include: choreographer on the Bafta Award winning film 'Fishtank' working with Andrea Arnold; Mel B, Gabriel and touring with 'Take That' as a featured rapper.
THANK YOU for supporting our project, please take the time to spread the word!
Risks and challenges
One of the challenges we will face is to manage to have the same breakers coming in the university labs for the research we will conduct on them. It is important that the same people come on all the sessions we will need them for, to make sure the data we collect is precise. This is why we will cover their expenses, to have some commitment to the project.
Another challenge we will face is finding dates that will be suitable for the use of the lab and also having Bboy Hatsolo/Johannes Hattunen coming to London from Finland to offer his expertise during the process of the research. We also need to bring Bboy Storm from Germany to help the team with his decades of knowledge and experience.
Another risk is that additional research might be needed after using the laboratories and equipment that we will have at the university, but this will be after the summer 2015, as we will have to collect all the data, analyse it and publish it first.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)