Breaking Away the Cycle of Violence
I spent my early years in Queens, New York, where — just like in the music videos — it wasn't surprising to see local youth poppin' and lockin' to Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa. Break dancing attracts and interests all kinds of crowds because of the sheer athleticism and skill required to complete some of the most standard moves.
Which is why I'm pretty disappointed that I won't be in Toronto for the Breaking the Cycle: the Canadian Break Dancing Championships presented by UNITY Charity at York University this Friday. Not only will the night showcase some of the best break dancers in the nation, but all the proceeds will be going to Hip Hop Away from Violence, UNITY's high school anti-violence outreach program that aims to help youth make positive life choices through positive forms of self-expression.
In addition to the break dancing championships, Breaking the Cycle will also feature live hip hop performances, DJ sets, photography, and even some spoken word by one of my favorite artists in Toronto, Boonaa.
While the night promises to be one crazy party, it's great to know that it's all going down for a good cause. Since 2003, UNITY has run their program in over 20 high schools in the Toronto, Peel, York, and Durham regions, reaching over 15,000 youth.
Breaking the Cycle goes down this Friday, February 1, at 8:30pm at The Underground. Tickets for the event must be purchased in advance, so drop by York University to buy yours, or email UNITY Charity for more information on how to get a hold of tickets.