April Ziemer

April Ziemer

Last week while sitting in my Amery Free Press cubicle, kitty-corner across from my boss, Tom’s cubicle, he yelled over some exciting news to me. It wasn’t about government or pandemic information (he would have saved that for a group news editor’s meeting). It was an announcement he knew I needed to learn about sooner rather than later and I think he was excited to share the news with me…breakdancing is being added as an Olympic sport.

When you work closely with people, after awhile you really start to know what makes them tick and Tom Stangl knew this sort of thing was my cup of tea.

In an announcement made December 7, the International Olympic Committee shared breakdancing, or breaking, will make its debut as an Olympic sport at the 2024 Summer Games in Paris. Breaking was previously featured at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.

The Paris Games will also feature skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing, three sports set to debut next summer at the Tokyo Games, which were postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

IOC president Thomas Bach said the new sports would be part the Paris Games’ plans to “focus on gender equality and youth” and to deliver a Games “fit for a post-corona world.”

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Games will run July 24-Aug. 9, 2021.

Those who know me even in the slightest know it is not the Olympics themselves I was excited to hear about, it was the addition of breakdancing!

When I was younger there is nothing I wanted more than to be a “Solid Gold” dancer. Weekly, when viewers tuned into watch the biggest pop tunes of the early eighties, I wanted them to see five-year-old April swaying and kicking to Barry Manilow.

Though I never received any professional dance training (that was reserved for my spoiled younger sisters), but I eventually taught myself many dance crazes throughout the rest of the eighties and nineties. I “mastered” the Moonwalk, the Roger Rabbit, the Sprinkler and the Macarena. I can step by step perform the finale scene from Footloose, which takes real precision, so I am sure breakdancing would be a walk through the roses for me.

Breakdancing is an athletic style of street dance born in the good ol’ U. S of A. While diverse in the amount of variation available in the dance, breakdancing mainly consists of four kinds of movement: toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes. Breakdancing is typically set to songs containing drum breaks, especially in hip-hop, funk, soul music and breakbeat music.

Breakdancing was created by metropolitan-living youth in the early seventies. By the late seventies, the dance had begun to spread to other communities and was gaining wider popularity.

Now that our little history lesson is over, it is time to give an inspirational pep talk.

Sure I turn 44 this week. Yes, I am slightly out of shape. I have broken both of my ankles due to clumsiness and have a bum shoulder from unfortunate incident that involved a mechanical bull. Yes, yes, all of those things are true, but you know what else is true? Somewhere deep inside of me is still five-year-old April, full of confidence and ready to shine each time a favorite familiar tune is played.

I hope somewhere deep down inside of all of us still a care free kid who hasn’t been to jaded by life experience and maybe now and then we should let them bust through.

It’s probably too late to throw my name in the hat for those 2024 Olympics. But just in case it’s not, I might start training a bit more. I’m sure most of you have heard the saying, “Dance like nobody is watching.” Well, that is a very nice saying, but I am going to dance more and hope people are watching. I especially pray people are watching when I am at the stoplights, dancing behind the steering wheel, with my embarrassed teenage daughters cringing down into their seats.

If you see me, stop taking yourself so seriously and join along. If you choose not to participate, I hope that in the least you get a good laugh-that is something everyone could certainly use these days.

I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you and look forward to readers sharing their thoughts in return.

Feel free to email me at editor@baldwin-bulletin.com, write me at P.O. Box 76, Baldwin, WI 54002 or I can be reached by phone at 715-268-8101.

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