Hey boys, it’s time to break dance

Mecklenburg native comes to Matthews to lead boys-only dance workshop

by Alan Hodge

Mecklenburg County native Matthew Sanchez (above) will lead a boys-only break dancing class June 11 to 14 at The Crews Center in Matthews. Photo courtesy of Matthew Sanchez

Boys who think dancing lessons are less than manly haven’t seen 19-year-old Matthew Sanchez in action.

A Mecklenburg County native, Sanchez is enrolled at the American Music Dramatic Academy in New York City where he’s studying singing, acting and dance. But his specialty is break dancing.

The Ardrey Kell High graduate will lead a Bboy break dancing workshop for boys ages 8 and older June 11 to 14 at The Crews Center, 1201 Crews Road in Matthews. Cost is $45 for Matthews residents and $50 for non-residents.

Sanchez says he’ll be teaching a blend of break dancing and martial arts.

“I want people to understand that break dancing is not just rolling around on the floor,” Sanchez said. “It’s really structured and just as difficult and serious as ballet or jazz.”

Amanda Sheppard, director of dance at the Matthews Community Center, is the organizer of the Bboy classes. She met Sanchez last year when she was choreographer for the Ardrey Kell production of “Footloose.”

“I saw Matthew’s talent for dancing,” she said. “In talking to him, I became aware that break dancing was his thing.”

In addition to dancing, Sanchez also played football, ran track and field, taught himself how to play guitar and piano, is a master of the yo-yo, a whiz at solving Rubik’s Cube puzzles and practices martial arts.

Sanchez also founded the Charlotte-based dance troupe “Antix” and has performed at the Matthews Alive! festival. He says he got interested in break dancing by chance.

“One day I was bored and saw break dancing on YouTube,” Sanchez said. “I knew right then I wanted to do it.”

According to Sanchez, some of his favorite break dance floor moves were spawned in the gym.

“I like to incorporate flips and martial arts moves into my break dancing,” he said.

Sheppard came up with the idea of bring the Bboy dance classes to Matthews.

“I was looking for a way to reach out to boys,” she said. “And to let boys be boys and still learn to dance.”

Sheppard says Sanchez was a natural to lead the classes since he has taught break dancing at schools in Matthews, Charlotte, Davidson, New York City and New Jersey.

“I know Matthew is very gifted in the area of teaching and I think he will be an inspiration to the students,” she said.
According to Sanchez, his plan for the Bboy classes is for the guys to get together and kick up their heels.

“Everyone who takes part can have some fun and express themselves,” he said. “Maybe they can find themselves and find out what they want to do.” Music the Bboy students will dance to is appropriate for young students. The final class will end with a break dance contest where the winner will receive a trophy.

Want to break dance?

The Bboy dance workshop will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 11 to 14 at The Crews Center, 1201 Crews Road, in Matthews. Cost is $45 for Matthews residents and $50 for non-residents.

To register, visit www.matthewsfun.org and click “Summer Camps 2012.”

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