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Breakdancing Around Des Moines

Des Moines Breakerz

September 20, 2022

We have been building up the break-dancing scene in Greater Des Moines (DSM) through teaching classes, live performances and private lessons. In February of 2022, we launched Des Moines Breakerz, LLC, and since then, we have been busy getting out in our community and sharing our passion for breaking. Anthony has been identified as our Head Instructor/Co-Owner and I’m (Tami) the General Manager/Co-Owner. We both have a passion for being involved with the youth in the community and teaching peace. This summer we have expanded our program into several communities through Des Moines Parks & Recreation organizations, libraries, etc. and our progress resulted in around 150 students taking summer classes.

Des Moines Breakerz at Valley Junction Farmers’ Market

For the past two years, we have been teaching on Sundays at Valley Junction’s Activity Center as part of a partnership with West Des Moines Parks & Recreation. This summer we connected with Valley Junction Farmers’ Market to get on the schedule for live performances during Thursday night Farmers’ Market events. When we do live performances, we put down a 12x12 piece of vinyl for our crew to dance on and a boom box to dance to the beat. The crowd excitement was wonderful for our youth/teens to experience and gain confidence. We got to highlight to the community that break-dancing will become part of the Olympics starting in 2024 in Paris. This spring we attended two qualifying battles which lead to three teens ranked on the leadership board for the Olympics.Dancing

Des Moines Public Schools Programming

Anthony’s dance journey started 15 years ago when he was a senior in high school by attending a break-dancing workshop. He was inspired heavily by the crew Floor Spiders from Des Moines. Two crew members (Bboy Yinn & Bboy Twisted) mentored him. Bboy Yinn is part of Des Moines Breakerz now as Media Support, another crew member Bboy Au-Thomactic from Floor Spiders is one of our instructors. Anthony has been in a teaching role for eight years now, hosting battles and serving as a youth mentor to several students.

About nine years ago, Anthony started his partnership with Des Moines Public Schools by teaching at the after-school program at Harding Middle School. This school added a break dancer as part of their mural in the cafeteria at the end of the 2022 school year. The breakdancer was painted by our Instructor Bboy Au-Thomatic.Dancing in Historic Valley Junction

We have expanded our teaching recently with the Des Moines Public Schools and are now able to offer more schools our program. Also, six years ago, Anthony was asked by Michelle Obama to come with students to the White House to perform. The group of students practiced hard before the trip, which was a great team bonding experience and paid off. The group stood out! The students and Anthony did get to meet Michelle Obama and had an amazing experience.

This year we have established new partnerships with Boys & Girls Club of Iowa, Children & Family Urban Movement and Youth Xcel Program. Each partnership has had a positive impact on the youth. These organizations are supportive of our mission and we are grateful for what we stand for. We do plan on expanding more in these programs in 2023.

Below is a list of performances, competitions and battles we attended in 2022. This list will continue to get bigger as three weeks ago we got the keys for our own studio. It is currently undergoing renovations and will be open for classes starting in October.

  • Dew Tour (Des Moines)
  • 80/35 Music Festival
  • Downtown Farmer’s Market (Des Moines)
  • Ingersoll Live
  • Waukee Art Festival
  • Waukee July 4th Parade
  • Bondurant Parade
  • Valley Junction Farmers' Market
  • Pridefest
  • Juneteenth
  • CelebrAsian
  • Back up dancers for local music artists (Coldsaint & Entre Luche)
  • House of Dance 8 Year Anniversary
  • Breaking for Gold (Philly, Arizona & Twin Cities)

Learn more at desmoinesbreakerz.com.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Tami Swartwood

Tami Swartwood is the Owner and General Manager of Des Moines Breakerz.