“I was taken by seeing someone dancing in that style because I used to be a b-boy myself when I was that same age,” Zevon said.
Captivated by his performance and wanting to offer the young man a safe space to practice, Zevon gave him his business card and told him he worked at the center, which happened to have plenty of space and a decent floor to dance.
Without even realizing it, Zevon had created a break dancing haven for b-boys and b-girls throughout New York City, and eventually, the world.
The young man, John Gomez, brought his friends the next day, who in turn brought their other friends, and so on. The group has become so large Zevon now dedicates three nights a week to the break dancing activities.
“We have grown to the point where we have over 150 registered participants each year,” he said. “We get dancers who travel from around the world to NYC to practice at Queens Community House (QCH) and to attend our sessions and events here.”
With over 18 years of breakdancing programming, Zevon has come to learn many things about the young people who participate in the sport and what it means to them.
“We have gotten so much attention over the years for the amazing work the young people put into their art and it really has raised awareness of the importance of having these programs available for at-risk young people,” he stated. “My favorite thing is seeing the love, admiration and respect the dancers have for each other. They care about this Center and it shows that we are really doing something right by these young people.”
It is with that exact history and power-to-inspire that Frank “Sirswift” Hernandez, President of World BBoy Battle, asked Zevon to host the extreme breakdancing event’s qualifiers in Forest Hills on Saturday, May 14.
The World BBoy Battle Qualifiers will take place at Queens Community House from 12-8 p.m. It features eight full hours of non-stop, action-packed competitions and music. Pro b-boy athletes from all over the world will be competing for the 16 spots to advance to the Championships the next day at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.
“QCH has a great b-boy/b-girl program that allows the local youth to get together to train, network, and have a great time pursuing their passion,” Hernandez said. “And best of all, the program helps youth stay away from drugs, violence, crimes, and gangs.”
Ultimately, Hernandez believes holding this event at QCH will help local officials and residents see the value of breakdancing to the larger community, and he encourages all to come out and experience it for that reason.
“This event showcases our beautiful culture, amazing athletes, and thrilling competitions, which we believe adds a great value to the community and will help others to place great importance on QCH’s b-boy/b-girl program,” Hernandez said. “With this competition, we can show them that their donations make a positive impact in the lives of our youth.”
For more information about World BBoy Battle, go to worldbboybattle.com/. Admission is free for the qualifiers, but visitors can make donations to QCH’s Evening Teen Center.