Breaking, or b-boying/b-girling, was born nearly 50 years ago as a dance sport that blends urban dance with demanding athleticism. Early on, breaking was done by tossing a piece of cardboard on a sidewalk and letting the music, which was usually hip-hop, funk soul, or breakbeat, dictate the moves. By the 1980s, the dance art form had become codified into a discipline and commercialized by pop culture and mass media.
Today, there are independent competitions around the globe and veteran instructors operating in most major cities. Due to the voice of many crusaders such as Moy, breakdancing became included in the 2018 Youth Olympics and will now be a medal event at the Olympic Games 2024 in Paris.
In this edition of Dream Circles, Monster Energy meets up with the b-boy legend. Clad in Monster swag, Moy tells his triumphant origin story of growing up in a neighborhood where kids were constantly tested, both as b-boys and just as kids walking down the street. He takes us on a tour of Houston b-boy cultural landmark Mason Park, and its surrounding neighborhood where Moy was raised. He also busts out some fly b-boy moves on the spot, showcasing his smooth flow, and Moy drops some b-boy wisdom that has shaped the way he sees the world.
Growing up, Moy’s mom lived two blocks from Mason Park, the thriving communal and cultural hub that was the place to be every Sunday. Moy recalls that from 5 to 10 pm, the streets were jammed with the bumper-to-bumper traffic of custom lowriders, and the park was buzzing with gatherings of family and friends.
One day, Moy realized there was a stage inside the Mason Park gym, and he inquired if he could practice his moves there in the air-conditioning. Moy was given the green light, and Mason Park became his home for the next several years. He regularly practiced there after school; the HaviKoro crew sharpened its game in that gym, and Moy and HaviKoro would battle other crews every Sunday afternoon at Mason.
Houston in the 1990s was a hotbed for breakdance culture, but it was also notorious for gang violence. Moy remembers being chased and sometimes robbed just walking down the street. He also recounts a particularly heartbreaking moment where he and his brother had their radio stolen at gunpoint, after which the two boys spent the next few moments in sad silence. Moy waxes philosophical about the obstacles he faced, seeing them as lessons and tests of strength and commitment.
The b-boy lifestyle continues to inspire and teach Moy. As he’s gotten older, the dance form has taught him a lot about life and perseverance. He says, “Breaking is being able to find solutions on the spot; being creative and being strategic on the spot; and being able to adapt and knowing you have a mission—a mission to go out there and be hungry, grow, learn, and become something.”