March 7, 2010

Bgirl Rockafella

fulltimebboy @ 4:30 pm

Name: Ana Garcia
Bgirl name:Rokafella
Born when:70’s
Current Location:New Jersey
Started Breaking:1994
Crew Name:Full Circle, Transformers, Breeze Team, Float Committee

Why did you choose to be a Full-time bgirl?

I knew that this dance was unique and could carrry me thru my life with constant work. I saw breaking provide travel and performances for the first batch of breakers in nyc in the 80’s.. I knew i could do the same although hip-hop had changed. it just felt right.

How has your decision impacted your relationship with your family and friends?

I have a schedule that shifts from week to week.. so I don’t get to see my family often or during birthdays,
holidays or other family gatherings. My friends know that if they really need me they can call and i will do my
best to be there for them ..but usually I don’t hang out with my friends too often either since my schedule is always fluctuating. At first it was hard to get respect frommy family and friends for what I was doing.. but
decades later people know it is serious for me.. it is makeing a difference in people’s lives.. showing the world dreams are reachable.. even for a short latina with a gap tooth smile with almost no education.. I have learned as I walk-dance…

Can you describe the impact of being a full-time bgirl in your life?

At first being a full time b girl meant I was training alot and traveling to be at events..and there so few at thattime. Later it beame clear that I had to begin teaching to make up for less performance opportunities. so I had to create an approach that would be good for beginners and would connect the history and social issues of hip-hop during class. B girling for a living made me see it as a really serious personal journey and not just a means to humiliate another dancer. of course if the battle happens then it happens but it is not my focus anymore. This is how I live and work and play. It is how I grow and mature on all levels.

Can you tell us some of the challenges that you faced or had to overcome as a bgirl?

Being a woman always has its challenges but i think the streets really tests you as a woman from the jump. What kind of mental frame are you in is the first test. ARe you down for whatever, are you only down for the money, are you gonna have loyalty, are you a schemer.. these are a few of the tests but more than likely it boils down to how low can you go? will you be promiscuous or not. plain and simple. These same things happen to guys but for a woman the limitations of how far and high you can get on the ladder are set. So to transcend society’s image of how much a woman can do, you really have to know human nature and still navigate it well enuff to reach your full potential… stay strong in your stance and check things out for yourself cuz you can’t always take people’s word as truth.

What do you think of the people who only view bgirling as a hobby?

for some people hobbies are important since they have really tedious jobs or careers and feel empty. For me it isthe only thing i have ..it was epitome of my talent.. i put in so much time.. sort of my masters/phd.. so every aspect of it is accessible to me. I am still learning so much from it everyday that is an ongoing growth process. There are so many political implications of belonging to this community of breakers that i could not just see it as a passing things to ease stress or a form of recreation. i really see my community as my family with new faces and so many emotional issues that we heal each other constantly.. but we also hurt each other too.. so we stil gotwork to do. we are the children of immigrants and of the forgotten poor workin class people who were not expectedto be successful..

Where do you see breaking ten years from now?

I see breaking becoming more organized career wise and culturally regarding its history and its presence in NYC history books. I also see it branching more into theater and education. As we get older and more experienced I feel like we can have our own media channels..like online shows and music.

What are some of the things do you think we should do in order to improve our bboy/bgirl community?

I think there should be more discussions of where we go with it with people who have branched out into commercial and educational realms. I also think there shouldbe more local history reference materials..like jersey city should gather info on who were the firsts in their town and who came next and who is lining up now to hold it down. It only makes us more aware of how far we have come and makes us recoginize each person’s contribution.. as equal.

How do you motivate yourself as a bgirl?

I think of other b girls and their challenges and I have to keep going.. keep envisioning new ways to evolve this dance so it keeps me uplifted carrre wise.. i know where i have been others are also passing thru so i have to tryto make good on my achievements so others can believe in themselves. At first it used to motivate me to try and get to the level of respect that my peers were at.. like Kwikstep who was my teacher, mentor and life partner. Then it was inspiring to know thre were other b girls out there who were aspiring to prove to the world that we can handle this dance style. So i couldn’t let them down.. i was on their team you know? Then it became a mission to reach many people with this to let them know we can overcome our fears of weakness… dance is a step in the right direction. So when i meet young breakers (male or female) i am motivated to show them how far you can take this if you really want it.

What is the most important thing do you think people should know about you?

One thing is that i love my immigrant farmer parents and i owe them my existence here in the belly of the beast…NYC. the last thing i will ever do is forget my ancestors.. even as i represent the concrete jungle- the mountainsof Puerto Rico are my roots-as mixed as they be. for now i just work my mind body and soul to music.. and let it lead me to new places.

What advice can you give for people that are starting out in the bboy/bgirl community?

please look at your ancestors and their strength.. as you learn the history of breaking and hip-hop, remember thatno one can make you a better breaker.. you have to put in your time and earn your stripes and trust that your journey is different yet shared. you have to know you will be betrayed by your friends, family and even your boy/girl friend because some are just looking for fame and others are just ignorant of the process of growth in dance. The growth process in dance is the same as the growth process in any field.. you start at the bottom and then you make your way towards mastery through challenges. when you get to the point of mastery you have to feel your way towards a unique way to work your talent.. to evolve it..into things like media, publishing, education, fitness, theater, commercial, and international possibilities. The world is waiting for you. Use your ‘bad ass-ness’ for the bigger picture not on your peers.

websites

http://www.alltheladiessay.com
http://www.fullcirclesoul.com
http://ana rokafella garcia facebook.com
http://myspace.com/bgirlrokafella
http://myspace.com/larokasoul

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