Los Angeles Times

Breakdancing tries to catch on as an Olympics sport

LOS ANGELES - A thudding beat fills the nightclub, music so loud it rattles your bones. Emerging from the crowd, a guy in white sneakers and a bright yellow hoodie skitters onto the empty dance floor.

With plenty of room to move, he drops suddenly, catching himself on one hand and kicking his legs in the air. The next thing you know, he flips upside-down, spinning on his head.

"I'm a little bit anxious," he says later. "When I get like that, I'm making it up as I go."

The nerves get to him because this b-boy named Yuri isn't just breakdancing. He has reached the final of a regional qualifier with a spot in the national championships at stake.

"Freakin' crazy," he says.

To the dancers who competed in the recent Red Bull BC One contest in Hollywood - and hundreds of fans who came to watch - "breaking," as it is correctly known, is no less athletic than gymnastics or figure skating.

Through round after round of one-on-one "battles," competitors must execute basic footwork and perform the sort

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