Transferring from Breakdancing to the Olympics Triggers the Salmon Arm Man’s Distinctive Creation – Kelowna Capital Information
The upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris transformed a Salmon Arm man’s reflections on sportswear design into distinctive jackets and t-shirts.
Manny Christjansen has been breakdancing for years and loves creativity and athleticism. He is not alone.
In 2024, breakdancing – or breaking – will make its debut in the Olympics, with competitions for men and women to appeal to younger athletes.
“I like the freedom in dance, there is a lot of personality in it. If you really like flips, acting, and personality, you can bring that to the dance. It’s a very technical dance, so when you’ve practiced enough it feels like a video game. There is always the next level up, ”he said.
“Your music changes and you can enjoy the challenge and competitiveness of dance.”
Christjansen has long been designing sportswear in his head, but when the Olympic announcement hit, he knew it was time for him to develop a windbreaker – or spinning jacket. He knew break dancers would like it.
“I’ve been looking for a spinning jacket for a while, but there really isn’t anything. I decided to develop mine. “
He said his was the first spinning jacket in the world; It has slippery material on the high back to make spinning easier.
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Breakdance is not only a sport that Christjansen knows well, but also one in which big companies like Adidas or Nike are not involved, he said. He likes the idea of sponsoring it so that it can be supported locally.
The spinning jacket has many breakdance-specific details. The main difference, he said, is the sturdy airflow mesh on the high back where breakdancers spin most of the time.
There’s also mesh on the inside with antibacterial material that lets the air through and prevents the breaker from getting too hot and smelly, he said. Even if the breaker is sweaty, the jacket won’t stick to the floor.
“You will still be able to move when you are drenched in sweat, which is quite common.”
The jacket has cuffs so that it does not fall over the hands and prevents it from slipping.
The zipper only goes halfway up the front so it doesn’t get caught or scratch the floor.
The jacket comes with a hood that can be tightened to protect the head if a breaker makes windmills or turns the head.
Christjansen said he knew a manufacturer in Pakistan so he sent him his prototype and they did a couple of testers. Now they’re doing the jacket.
“It works really well. I have videos of people doing this and they spin very nicely. “
Bboy Jax (Jas Hsu) models a black Breakela jacket designed by Manny Christjansen of Salmon Arm. (Lifestyle flavors)
Christjansen knows people who will be at the Olympics so he gave them jackets to try out. He said he patented the design and his company sponsored Vancouver Olympic qualifiers about two weeks ago.
He contacted Team Ireland and Team Canada to see if they would use them.
Lululemon had the contract for the street equipment and opening ceremonies, he said, but not for the actual events.
However, there is a legal process. It must be noted that his Breakela Pro-Spin jackets aren’t too beneficial for the competitions to be fair, he said.
Christjansen adds that they can be used by anyone and there are around a million break dancers worldwide who are not professionals.
“The jackets look really good, so they are also coordinated with streetwear.”
His website is Breakela.com.
Christjansen still teaches breakdancing in public and private schools in Samon Arm, Vernon and Kamloops, although it was tougher during the pandemic.
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While he says support for breakdancing in the Olympics is shared around 50/50, he is for it.
“I’m excited … I think it should be, it’s part of the growth of the dance. If it doesn’t grow, it will die, and it has died twice already … “
He said it would be seen more as a sport when it is in the Olympics.
“People who can and take it to the extreme levels, then they can actually get paid. It’s not just a dead end. “
Despite being a male-dominated sport, he said it is getting bigger for women. A girl from Vancouver won silver at the Youth Olympic Games and he believes she will represent Canada in 2024.
Christjansen said Korea will likely be the country to beat.
“You are very, very good. So is Russia. Name the country and it will be there. “
The Breakela logo represents a cipher, which means a circle of breakers. Every bgirl and bboy has the opportunity to step into the center of the circle and show their movements. It doesn’t matter how long you dance, how experienced or talented you are, where you are from or how you look, because everyone is the same and everyone shares the love of breaking and the need to be in the forum. (Lifestyle Flavors picture)
Christjansen’s Breakela logo is shaped like a flower to represent the beauty of dance.
It is explained like this: “The Breakela logo represents a cipher, which means a circle of breakers. Every bgirl and bboy has the opportunity to step into the center of the circle and show their movements. It doesn’t matter how long you dance, how experienced or talented you are, where you come from or how you look, because everyone is the same and everyone shares a love for breaking and the need to be in the forum. “
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Bboy Jax (Jas Hsu) models a black Breakela jacket designed by Manny Christjansen of Salmon Arm. (Lifestyle Flavors picture)
Bboy Jax (Jas Hsu) models a gray, red and black Breakela jacket designed by Manny Christjansen from Salmon Arm. (Lifestyle flavors)