Lakeisha, Toufeeq represent city at battle of the breakers

Lakeisha Dick, 16, from Ocean View, and Toufeeq Baatjies, 27, from Muizenberg, will be representing Cape Town in the Red Bull BC One national final on Saturday April 22.

Ocean View’s Lakeisha Dick, 16, and Muizenberg’s Toufeeq Baatjies, 27, are among the eight Cape Town breakdancers who will compete at the Red Bull BC One national final on Saturday.

The winners will represent South Africa at the Red Bull BC One world finals at the Stade Roland-Garros, in Paris, on Saturday October 21.

The Red Bull BC One is one of the most prestigious one-on-one breakdancing events in the world

The South African BC One series kicked off with qualifying events (cyphers) in East London, Oudtshoorn, Johannesburg and Cape Town to find the country’s top “breakers“.

Lakeisha and Toufeeq, also known as B-girl Keisha and B-boy Toufeeq, won the Cape Town cypher on Saturday March 18 and will represent Cape Town at the national final, at GrandWest’s Sun Exhibits.

Lakeisha started dancing at the age of 8 and is now the youngest breakdancer in the country’s top 20.

“Growing up, I was a huge fan of dance movies,“ she says. ”My interest in breakdancing was influenced by Step Up and Honey.“

A breakdance, according to Lakeisha, is characterised by styled footwork, acrobatics, and athletic movements performed to hip-hop music.

“I really enjoy watching other breakdancers perform incredible power moves and seeing the different styles they have.”

She also enjoys the competitive aspect, or “battling”, as she calls it, and feels that as the youngest she has a lot to prove.

Training for the battle was exhausting and stressful but winning the cypher was a memorable experience, she says.

“My dedication and commitment really paid off.”

For the finals, she says she has to increase her training hours because she is going up against the best. “I need to work harder and do more to ensure I’m at my best.”

Toufeeq discovered breakdancing while walking home from school with friends.

“I saw a group of children standing around in a circle and at first thought it was a fight. As I got closer, I realised it was a B-Boy named Angelo who was teaching a breaking lesson. That’s when I fell in love with breakdancing and how I became who I am today.”

Toufeeq’s father was also a breakdancer in his day and he taught his son how to do a backflip. “He always motivates me. He’s like my mentor,” says Toufeeq.

Toufeeq has won the city cypher four times and the Red Bull BC One final in 2015. He is confident he can add a second national final victory to his résumé.

“You have to be disciplined, focused, and work hard. This year I’m confident I can win the title. I’m prepared and ready.”

To all young aspiring dancers, he says: “I was born in Mitchell’s Plain, surrounded by gangsterism. I could have easily followed that path, but I knew there was something else I was meant to do. Your life’s path does not have to be determined by your surroundings.”

“All things are possible if you believe. There is no limit to what you can do. Don’t be afraid to dream big, put it out there into the universe, and speak it into existence.”