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Breakdance club members help each other

New and experienced breakdancers create a weeknight rhythm.

Members of Syracuse University’s breakdance club casually enter Archbold Gymnasium’s cycling room on a Monday evening in March. They stretch and chat for a few minutes. Then club president Alfred Ng attaches his iPod to the stereo system and presses play.

For the next two hours, the dancers — they call themselves “breakers” — practice their moves. Some breakers, like Michael Piscitelli, rotate in and out of the performance area on one side of the room.

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Piscitelli, the club’s vice president and an aerospace engineering freshman, sometimes removes his knitted cap mid-performance and sets it on the wooden floor to cushion his head. “It helps with windmills and head spins,” he said.

Ng, a political science freshman, says he wears a long-sleeve shirt and sweatpants to prevent rug burns. “But I don’t need elbow pads or a helmet,” he said. “That looks a little silly.”

Other breakers, like Stacy Lemery, an international relations graduate student, practice basic moves on the other side of the room.

Lemery, who said she is the only woman in the club, said the group is welcoming and inviting. “We are a group of dancers not for the sake of performing, but a group of dancers for the sake of improving as dancers.”

Lemery says she is a beginner who hopes to improve through more experienced breakers’ guidance.

“I’m still finding my balance, and that means I’m falling a lot,” Lemery said. “Falling is part of the game. Even if you’re good, you’re going to be falling a lot.”

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