Breakdancer Victor Montalvo is already pondering (and speaking) in regards to the Olympics

Victor Montalvo, 28, from Orlando, FL is undoubtedly one of the most talented break dancers in the world (that's break dancing for you, dad) and recently won the grand prize in the 2022 Red Bull BC One World Final, what is considered to be the most well-known competition prestigious breaking competition on the planet. In order to outdance his opponents for almost a decade, "Supa" Montalvo likes to stay active to work on his strength, agility and endurance. And while breakdancing is certainly considered a niche sport at the moment, it's also a discipline that's on the rise. With breakdancing set to be included in the 2024 Olympics, M&F caught up with the b-boy to find out how he got started, honed his craft and became one of the scene's most innovative risers.

Congratulations on winning the Red Bull BC One World Final 2022. How was that experience for you?

I celebrated with my wife and my close friends. I was really nervous! A week before the event I was already waiting for it to be over. I actually couldn't train as hard as I wanted to. I only had about three weeks and they were super intense. I did a lot of interval running and interval breaks, which involves a 30-minute all-out set followed by a 20-30 second rest. I also incorporated a lot of calisthenics. I then went to Vegas for a big party. I still feel like I'm enjoying that win because I went to Vegas, spent some time at home in Los Angeles where I live now, then vacationed in Japan for a bit, followed by Hawaii. w it's back to LA to train!

When did you first fall in love with Breaking?

When I was 9 or 10 I remember my cousin invited me over and they played this music in his room. He taught me some moves and I remember it was really difficult, but I loved how challenging it was. The next day I was too shy to go back so I stood in front of his door and listened to the music. There was something about the style of music that made me want to move and dance. And at that age, it automatically clicked. Breaking quickly became something I loved and it came so naturally to me that it eventually grew into a career.

Breakdancing is definitely a family affair for you, isn't it?

I would practice with my cousin. He put cardboard on the carpet and we just danced. My uncle is Hector Bermudez and my father is Victor Bermudez. They're twins who started breaking up when it really hit fame in the late 1980s. They crewed with their other siblings and five out of ten were breakers. From what they told me at the time, they had to hitchhike to all of these events to meet up with various breakers and crews to fight in their city of Puebla, Mexico. They stopped when they left Mexico to come to the US around the age of about 18 or 19 to start a new life because life in Mexico was really tough and super dangerous.

You were only 14 years old when you won your first breaking competition. Do you have memories of that first win?

I remember it was one of the happiest moments for me. I was shocked but I worked so hard for it. I remember friends coming over who wanted to hang out before the competition, but I declined so I could continue training. I had to win this event. But all the training was worth it for the win!

Does breakdancing have a routine where you come up with certain moves, or is it more freestyle where you decide what to do over time? What processes and thoughts go through your head while dancing?

For me, it's more feel and freestyle at first, which allows me to discover new moves, like my signature moves (the 'Super Montalvo', a one-handed spin, and a back-flip-to-flare combo). . But at the same time you need structure when it comes to competing in bigger events and competitions like a Red Bull BC One or an Olympic qualifier. So it's half freestyle and half structured. When I'm dancing or fighting, I'm really nervous. I have so much on my mind and I can get pretty stressed out. To be honest, sometimes I can't wait for the event to end. But at the same time while I'm fighting I tell myself positive things like "You got this, don't worry" and I always have plans B, C and D just in case!

From a physical point of view, breaking must be pretty tough?

I once had a really bad back spasm that was causing a lot of lower back pain. I couldn't sit up or sleep, and it hurt a lot to do anything. But luckily one of my uncles is a chiropractor so he fixed me and I was up and running in two weeks. Another time I had a bad shoulder injury. I tried to do a move where I throw myself up in the air and twist, but I accidentally landed on my shoulder and it's really swollen. Shortly after that I had a competition and had to compete with a swollen shoulder. I also once had water in my knees and couldn't really dance. But if necessary, I still work my way around my injuries. When I get injured, I know which parts of my body I can't use, so I find different ways to dance and land moves.

The older I get the harder it gets to brake so I have to keep myself going. That means I have to consistently eat better, stretch more, and be more physically active.

I remember when I was younger I could party all day and wake up the next day to compete and do amazing things, but I can't do that anymore. I have to go to bed early and get ready. It's a lot of preparation, stretching and nutrition.

Victor Montalvo

What is your training regime like?

When it comes to breaking, I train two to four hours a day depending on how I'm feeling. But I'm also physically active all day long. I'm always doing something. I like to walk to the beach or ride my bike. Outside of break training, I don't have a set schedule for training as it's just an all-day thing that I like to stay active at. I have intensive training sessions at the Red Bull Athletic Performance Center (APC) where the Red Bull athletes train. Other days I like to train in my friends garage.

Breakdancing requires strength, speed, agility, balance and endurance. What methods or exercises do you use to work on each aspect?

Calisthenics helped me a lot because it helped with balance and strength. I also incorporated boxing and muay thai for fun. The mental aspect is also important. Breaking is very physical, but for me it's almost more mental. There is a form of learning that many breakers who are stuck on the physical aspect lack training in. You must learn about the dance and nail your strategy as you battle to be the best.

As a dancer, do you have to watch your weight?

I try to eat three meals a day, my first being a light breakfast, but honestly I don't eat most of the mornings. I'm going straight to training and I'm going to have a big meal afterwards. I also drink a lot of water. Nutrition is very important to me before a big event. I stay away from salty or sugary snacks like chips, candy, and cake. I always tell my wife not to bring snacks in the house because I will eat them all! For protein, I eat a lot of chicken and fish; like salmon. I try to avoid beef because it makes me feel heavy. And of course I eat a lot of vegetables and drink a lot of water.

Do you have a good support system?

I have a few crews that I deal with, but I mainly train with the Squadron in Los Angeles. But mostly I train alone or with my wife who is also a breaker. When I'm in full training mode for a big event, I'm just being myself and pushing my limits. It's a privilege to be sponsored by Red Bull. t many Breakers get sponsorship opportunities. It's amazing and there are many benefits that Red Bull offers its athletes. Red Bull allows me to fight at any event in the world and I've met so many great people through Red Bull.

How excited are you that breakdancing will be part of the 2024 Olympics?

For me it's all about the moment and that's why I'm only worried about qualifying at the moment. I just hope to qualify and go to the Olympics. But it's an amazing thing that Breaking will be part of the Olympics and hopefully I'll represent the USA. I think after the Olympics and even before that there will be a lot more opportunities for breakers and more big companies will start sponsoring breakers. I'm looking forward to earning even more money through the career break so that I can take care of my family in the future!

Follow "Supa" Victor Montalvo on Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *