Leaving a Legacy with 'Let's Break'2 Aug, 2008 By: Carrie Widder
Battle-dancing with Miley Cyrus on YouTube, the Grammys with Rihanna and two world tours as Gwen Stefani's lead dancer fill up the schedule of breakdancer Jonathan Lee Perez (aka Legacy). What does he do when he has down time? Make an instructional breakdance DVD for kids.
Let's Break With B-Boy Legacy (DVD $14.98) streets Aug. 26 from Well Go USA. The DVD helps kids increase flexibility, coordination, style and rhythm, while learning to break it down like the breakers in Stomp the Yard.
Legacy was introduced to breaking, or “B-Boying,” when he was 15. He said ever since he was young, he liked to teach, inspiring the creation of Let's Break. He teaches dancing at studios and thought making a video for kids would inspire them. Legacy said he hopes making a DVD will “expose dancing all over the U.S. and even the world,” making it easy for any kid to learn to dance.
Before making the DVD, Legacy did careful research on the history and culture of breaking, which stems from hip-hop. He took the time off work and touring to make the video, giving it his full attention.
“Sometimes instructional videos are put out by people who want money fast,” he said. “I took the time off and went back to make it, and to really study the hip-hop culture.”
Extras on the DVD include clips of Legacy performing, and an interview with him talking about dancing and freestyling. The DVD also will include a clip of Legacy freestyling with the kids in the video, including one of Chris Brown's backup dancers, Miles.
In the works for Legacy are more performances, his upcoming film B-Girl, a part in a film spoofing the dance-movie genre, and the upcoming Hannah Montana movie, which he just wrapped shooting. With the popularity of dancing in Hollywood films increasing, it's no surprise Legacy's plate is full. With good friend director John Chu choreographing box office hits such as Step Up 2 The Streets, dancing is more than just back-up these days.
“Every artist has back-up dancers. iPod commercials show people dancing. Kids look up to Miley Cyrus. It's everywhere,” he said. “It's on the frontline now.”