Briekdanser wants to strike at the Games

Henry

Courtnae Paul, a break dancer from Johannesburg, is determined to make her debut at this year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

The 32-year-old native of Durban has two hurdles standing in her way to qualify for the Games – qualifying rounds in Shanghai and Budapest.

This sport is making its big appearance at the Games this year after it achieved huge success at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018.

“It’s a mixture of martial arts, gymnastics – all of that cool good,” Paul said of the sport.

She added more silverware to her trophy case at the Red Bull BC One Cypher in Johannesburg at the end of March.

The competition format involved head-to-head duels, where dancers demonstrated their creativity and mastery of various dance techniques.

Paul is one of seven breakdancers from Africa who are crossing their fingers to book their plane ticket to France. She hopes to make her breakthrough and thus represent her country on the world stage.

She says that she practiced other sports such as gymnastics, kickboxing and Muay Thai before she started dancing.

After moving to Johannesburg, she had one goal in mind – to become known as a professional dancer. She started working as a choreographer, DJ and media entrepreneur, among other things.

Paul practiced the decade-old street dance style only as a hobby and soon after left her mark on the dance floor.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, she seized the time available to her with both hands to practice her dance passion.

She has developed a unique style and is described as a strong woman who embodies herself in her movements.

Worldwide, only 16 women can represent their countries at the Olympics; this is precisely why Paul is now throwing everything into the fight to ensure her participation.

Paul says she was blown away when she learned that Games participation was a possibility.

“I could not believe it.”

Her dream was not easy to chase because the sport is not yet very popular in South Africa. In addition, she also has to pay for most things out of her own pocket.

Hopefully, the Games will ensure that the sport gets a definitive injection of popularity.

According to Paul, she is ready to compete in the elimination rounds.

“I worked as hard as I could; a confident person is a dangerous one.”

  • Break dance is an urban dance style that originated in the streets of the Bronx area in the USA in the 1970s. It is characterized by acrobatic movements, fast footwork and enthusiastic DJs.

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A post shared by COURTNAÉ PAUL (@courtnae_paul)

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A post shared by COURTNAÉ PAUL (@courtnae_paul)

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A post shared by COURTNAÉ PAUL (@courtnae_paul)