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Milwaukee breakdancers excited for sport's debut in 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Michael Silva is known in the breakdancing world as B-Boy Myth. On any given day, he's here at True Skool in Milwaukee, teaching breakdancing, or breakdancing himself.
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Posted at 5:26 PM, Apr 18, 2024

MILWAUKEE — In just a few months, the world will be watching Paris with the start of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. While it will be the third time the Summer Games have visited the City of Love, this year's Olympics will debut a new sport, one that's been around for decades... breakdancing!

Michael Silva is known in the breakdancing world as B-Boy Myth. On any given day, he's here at True Skool in Milwaukee, teaching breakdancing, or breakdancing himself. Silva describes breakdance as a mix of multiple art forms that include karate, African dance, Marange, and salsa.

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Eight-year-old Atumra Free loves it. He says, "it's a way I can express myself." Next year, the world will learn even more about this dance-style born on the streets of New York in the 1970s. For the first time, the best around the globe will compete for an Olympic medal. Silva thinks that change is huge, and the city needs it, adding "after the pandemic, the Midwest scene in general, started picking back up. Competitions, practice sessions, everybody came back hungry."

Milwaukee actually has a deep history with breaking. Our TMJ4 archives showed the growing interest in what was then a new dance-style, in stories our reporters did in the 1980s. In one report from 1984, a doctor talked about hospitals seeing injuries from people breakdancing. One old-school breakdancer is Ramon Candalaria. He got his start and fame on Historic Mitchell Street in the mid-80s too. Candalaria says "Mitchell Street is where some of us would say where we were born." He danced with the Magic Rockers, the first group, he says, to dance for New Edition, the Green Bay Packers, and many others. Candalaria says "we would get paid to perform and to me, that was just incredible!"

That incredible journey for today's breakers could mean a trip to the Olympics. B-Boy Myth says he plans to try and go for the Olympics in 2028. "I want to see how it plays out, what to look for. I don't want to just jump in." I asked him, "B-Boy Myth at the Olympics?" Silva said, "it has a nice little ring to it." It sure does!