Breakdance

You may have seen them.

Every Friday, they gather across from the rushing Sombrilla Fountain, they tape down a piece of cardboard and they let the music flow through their bodies.

The members of You Don’t Even Know (UDEK) have been freestyle dancing in the Sombrilla for around five years now.

UDEK first formed in the Fall of 2009, and shortly afterward began Freestyle Friday as a way to recruit members. Initially, they danced during Late Night at the Rec, but when the location and times changed, the group decided to move their freestyle dancing to the Sombrilla.

“Let’s one day get a mat and a boom box – even if we have to put some batteries in the boom box – and let’s just find a spot on campus and do our thing,” said Robert Sam, a senior public relations major and one of the founding members of UDEK, describing how the idea for Freestyle Fridays was born.

Originally, the events were supposed to be every other Friday, but they are usually held weekly since members just can’t wait to show off their moves.

“It’s all about expression, showcasing what you’ve learned throughout the week,” said Sam. “It’s about having a good time.”

Even students who have no dancing experience whatsoever are welcome to come and dance to their heart’s content. In fact, UDEK welcomes members who have no experience as long as they have a genuine interest in dance.

Another founding member, Quinton “Icebreaker” Winston, admitted that he was only a novice dancer when he helped found UDEK.

“The original idea was to create a group of people with similar interests – with a passion for dancing,” said Sam.

Winston, who has now graduated and works as a professional dancer in California, also formed sister organizations to UDEK. Those organizations include Phree Motion in Dallas and Green Eggs and Ham in California.

“If (members) go somewhere else, I want them to have a family,” said Winston. “It’s all about networking.”

Winston still talks to many UDEK members. “Dance is what brought us together,” said Winston, “but it isn’t what keeps us together.”

Both he and Sam said that many members have joined because of Freestyle Fridays.

They have had organizations come to dance with them during Freestyle Fridays and even teachers. “When they see you dancing, they just want to join in because it’s contagious,” said Winston.

“For Freestyle Fridays, you do whatever your heart desires,” said Sam. “Just go out there and express yourself, whether it be through lyrical movement, poppin’ and lockin’, break-dancing (or) busting a rhyme.”

According to Winston, expression is the most important aspect of dance. “We can be taught anything,” he said, “but with art, you have the power of freedom. You have the power of just being you.”

Besides Freestyle Fridays, UDEK also participates in charity work, especially involving children. They have partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio and have performed for children at the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital.

“Eventually, we’re gonna graduate. Eventually, we’re gonna move on and this is going to be the next up-and-coming generation,” said Winston on the importance of working with children.

Currently, UDEK has practice every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at Laurel Village. They are usually in building 11 or 12.

If you are interested in joining, you can attend their practices or join them in front of JPL on Fridays from 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for Freestyle Fridays.

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