Three nights a week the basketball courts at the Queens Community House ring with the sound of heavy bass instead of bouncing balls and sneaker screech. On Monday, Tuesday and Friday, breakdancers flock from all over New York City to practice their moves in the only free spot in town.
The program started 15 years ago when Mike Zevon, assistant director for youth services at Queens Community House, walked past some teenagers dancing in Flushing Meadows Park. Zevon opened the space to them, and the crowd grew from a handful to over a hundred.
“When I started coming here, there was maybe ten of us,” said Ramon “Jiggz” Silverio, one of the original b-boys. “Little by little more people started hearing about it.”
Rickey Perez and Nigel Roberts, who were both inspired to breakdance a few years ago after watching “America’s Best Dance Crew,” on MTV, take the two-hour trip from the Bronx to practice their flips, handstands and windmills.
“I don’t mind the trip, it’s well worth it every time,” Roberts said.