09252017 Headline:

B-Boys breaking down barriers

New club dances around the STEM subject

By Gabby Rivera

Bopping their way to the top, B-Boy Club takes a spin on the meaning of having a dance club. New to the list of Thursday clubs, this crew of students is unlike the usual STEM clubs at RAHS and is working to get the student body more involved in the arts.

Fearless leaders, senior Felix Tran and junior Brandon Vallin, have taken inspiration from the multiple dance circles that occasionally occurred during lunch hours, and made an official time of the school day.

“My bro, Brandon Vallin, and I met last year, and we sessioned [danced] together and formed a pretty strong friendship through B-Boying,” said Tran. “This year I started B-Boy Club as a small group on Facebook, but Brandon was able to get permission from school and here we are with the official school club.”

Tran and Vallin were surprised at the early acceptance by the administration for the placement of a directly art-related club supervised by math teacher, Karen Wilson. With the increasing emphasis on STEM with the move to the new school, the idea of a new dance club seemed far-fetched at the time.

“I understand our strong goals and aspirations toward STEM education, but a little more emphasis on it [the arts] would be nice in my opinion,” said Tran. “A well-balanced curriculum, not only just focusing on STEM.”

As it turns out, they were welcomed with open arms. At the beginning of the year, during the sign-up for the Thursday clubs, the young club nearly reached the maximum number of students. To Vallin, this came as a surprise.

“There were a good number of people that wanted something like this,” said Vallin. “They loved the idea of combining breakdancing and school all in the same day and location.”

Day and location were most likely the deciding factors, but it was the message and theme that made this club stand out among all of the other clubs during that sign-up day.

“I think our club really brings something new,” said Tran. “You don’t see that many dancers at this school…We bring a new community and experience to our school’s atmosphere.”

Both leaders of this club believe that this could provide another artistic outlet that the school needs. Tran says that it is a combination of the business atmosphere and physical activity.

While that’s one major advantage, Vallin also thinks that its availability can prove to be an opportunity.

“My plan is to make [B-Boy Club] open to everyone,” said Vallin. “We just want to prove that anyone could learn.”

However, B-Boy Club isn’t stopping at Thursday club time slots. They’re figuring out a way to make the most of the club and really involve as many members that they can—not just the thirty two-student maximum.

“We’ll probably start up a jam as a fundraiser for the club,” said Tran. “Posters. Events. Get that all on Facebook too. Just get it all up in people’s faces. But we won’t force them. We’re just an open door of opportunity that people can definitely feel free to enter and join in on this amazing experience.”

As for first steps, Vallin says that they’re going to try to make an after school club that could meet up weekly and come up with more ideas about how to get students involved and make the club more prominent in the school community.

Vallin and Tran have started their dance club journey here at RAHS, but both of them started their interest in B-Boy dancing differently. Vallin first became interested in middle school and learned from there, spending time practicing with friends.

Tran also learned from friends, but his serious dancing experience started here. His dancing experience started with an early dance troupe made up of John Paul Pilapil, Phillip Liu, and himself.

“I didn’t start off a pro, I only knew about 2-3 moves and only had my carpet-floored room to practice in,” said Tran, “but after a few years of progress, I finally got back into it ‘officially.’”

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