^
Keep Westword Free
4
| Art |

RoxRite and Bboy Factory Bring Breakdancing Classes Online

RoxRite and Bboy Factory Bring Breakdancing Classes OnlineEXPAND
Ian Flawes

Ian Flaws, who grew up in Boulder in the ’90s, learned to breakdance as a high school junior. At the time, dance studios weren't teaching hip-hop moves, so he was schooled in basements and garages, gymnasiums and any other makeshift spaces where B-boys were congregating to perfect their daring moves.

After college, he set off to teach English internationally, with stints in Cambodia, Costa Rica and South Korea. There he used breakdancing as a way to connect with young people. About a decade ago, he returned to Colorado, rented a space, and began to set up a breakin' studio. By 2012, the Bboy Factory was born.

Flaws says it took him three years to get his business out of the red; teaching drop-in classes for people ages three to fifty and giving away twelve hours of free studio time a week weren’t exactly the way to turn a quick profit. But eventually he created a passionate hip-hop community, turning the Bboy Factory into a celebrated Denver institution.

But when Colorado’s stay-at-home order went into effect last month, shutting down gymnasiums, he was forced to close the Factory. “At first, it was a bit of a shock to be totally shut down,” Flaws says. “My landlord sent me my rent. I quickly just got a schedule together of classes. I had zero experiences. It’s been a learning curve, for sure. We got several classes online for our regular studio students."

Most of his students stuck with him. And within weeks of launching online, students from New Mexico, California, Texas and Georgia had also signed up for drop-in classes. “It’s been cool to see that expanded reach,” he says. “I think this experience has really permanently changed the dance industry.”

While Flaws has currently cut his adult classes, he's still taking online students. And even after the studio reopens, he plans to continue to teach virtually, since it not only gives him another source of income, but also a way to expand the Bboy Factory's reach.

On Thursday, April 23, Flaws will co-teach a ninety-minute virtual class with world champion Red Bull B-boy Omar "RoxRite" Delgado Macias; the class will be followed by a twenty-minute Q&A. This will be the first online workshop RoxRite has offered.

"I teach workshops, which tend to be for people who already know about breaking," he says. But the online session will be for beginners too.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

In the months ahead, RoxRite had planned to compete in battles all over the world, but they have all been canceled. The workshops he was going to lead at universities and community centers are no longer happening. And the prospect of performing soon — in a stadium or even a smaller venue — is off the table.

Outside of online classes, which he will be teaching from now on through his website, and online B-boy competitions, he's focused on improving his craft.

"All I can do right now is stay consistent with my training," he explains.

The workshop with Flaws and RoxRite takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23. There's a suggested donation of $15; sign up at info@bboyfactory.com. For more information, go to the Bboy Factory website.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.