Breakdancing Teacher: Mr. Yang

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The 2021-2022 school year introduced many new things, including new teachers and staff. One particular addition to this year’s staff is Eunshawn Yang, who teaches English 9 Honors and English 10 Academic. 

In his first year teaching full-time, Mr. Yang has already found some major takeaways and positive aspects of the job. 

“I’m really getting into the Animal Farm unit this year,” Mr. Yang said. “I love watching when my students make connections with the books we’re using and the real world.”

Before Stone Bridge, during his time at James Madison University, Mr. Yang participated in the university’s Breakdance club. Through this club, he discovered his passion for teaching while guiding peers. 

“I really enjoyed helping others to learn and understand new things,” Mr. Yang said. “Teaching really gives me the opportunity to do so and share my passions with the next generation.”

Alongside his passion for teaching, Mr. Yang formed a deep appreciation for breakdancing, or “breaking” as it is commonly called. The activity is something he believes has many benefits to offer students, all while having fun. 

“Breaking lets me express myself and get out all that nervous energy I usually hold in,” Mr. Yang said. “It also feels good to be active in a way that I know I can do. I get a huge feeling of accomplishment whenever I learn a new move or combo. Breaking really puts you in control of yourself.”

This control, accomplishment, and method of expressing is not limited by age either, breaking is open to everyone, regardless of age. 

“If you can do a pushup you can probably breakdance,” Mr. Yang said. “I’ve seen seven-year olds destroy twenty-year olds, and I’ve seen fifty-year olds do the same.”

When looking into breakdancing, there are a few resources to start with: an existing club in your area, YouTube tutorials, or even other breakdancers, such as Mr. Yang, who are willing to teach you. 

If you can do a pushup you can probably breakdance,” Mr. Yang said. “I’ve seen seven-year olds destroy twenty-year olds, and I’ve seen fifty-year olds do the same.”

“The biggest breaking competition is called the ‘Red Bull BC One’ and most of the breakers featured in that competition or in videos they’ve uploaded to Youtube are great sources of inspiration,” Mr. Yang said. 

Every once in a while, competitions known as “jams” are held. The battles are intense but overall people are there to have fun with their community.

“The jams can get pretty intense during the actual battles. It’s not like a performance where you’re just trying to be better than the other person, you’re battling against the other person,” Mr. Yang said. “During the off-time, though, everybody’s having fun watching or joining in the cypher and showing off what they can do.” 

While starting in the style, setbacks, obstacles, and frustration are almost guaranteed. Your mindset plays a key part when it comes to improving, so it’s important to stay optimistic. 

“Don’t rush into things and don’t compare yourself to others,” Mr. Yang said. “Everybody works at a different pace and it takes a while for your body to adjust to the new movements and to learn how to do it with ease.”  

Despite having less time to practice due to the school year, Mr. Yang still thoroughly enjoys partaking in his passion. His hope is that this passion one day spreads to his students as well. 

“Breaking gives students multiple pathways to progress and refine their skills, explore the limits of their physical abilities, and express themselves,” Mr. Yang said.