Britain’s Karam Singh is breakdancing’s world number 18. Dubbed “the Anthony Joshua” of the sport. He self-funds his travel around the world, working part-time in a call center while studying for a degree.
“We’re not taken that seriously because a lot of people don’t understand what we do. I create new movements in an artistic way but I practice and perform in an athletic way.”
With ‘breaking’ being proposed as a new sport for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the tides may be changing.
“I think it’s an incredible step forward for the current generation and those to come in terms of the opportunities it is going to provide, We sometimes get treated like we’re kids like we don’t know what we’re doing. The Olympics will open doors to us and allow us to actually be taken seriously.” Singh said
Singh admitted he had not always considered breaking as a sport, but now, given the way he “trains, competes and performs”, his mind has been changed.
Aged 10, Singh became the youngest breaker to step on the World Championship stage. Since then, he has travelled to all corners of the globe, winning time and time again, including last year’s Street Dance World Cup in China. He does it with no funding, He self-funds his travel around the world, working part-time in a call centre and advertisements for brands while studying for a degree.
“Funding is all off my own back, I think for the majority of dancers that’s the case unless they are lucky enough to be sponsored. But even when people do have cool brands sponsoring them, the majority are not paid, it’s just free clothes or gifts. We’ve had to just get on with it just because we love what we do. It’s an addiction.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will consider Paris 2024’s proposal to include breaking – as well as climbing, surfing, and skateboarding – and must reach a decision by December 2020.
For the next generation of breakers, Singh says “It will give them something to aim for, to be able to say they are training towards the Olympics would be an incredible motivation for them,” he said.