Ileana's Story

This photograph captures the visual magnetism of artistic bodily form and movement, which has recently become a central focus in my life.

For a long time during my teenage years I was intent on finding my Œpassion', an activity that would take over my life and give it focus and meaning. Among others I tried judo and boxing, skating and surfing, wing chun, dancing, painting and capoeira but none of them grabbed me and by the time I started breakdancing I had forgotten about this quest.
It wasn¹t until six months down the track that it suddenly dawned on me that I had actually found it, an activity that complemented me perfectly and which I loved to do, constantly.

I have always loved and been good at dancing and being a bit of a tomboy I have also spent a lot of time involved in extreme sports and now this dance form that I had somehow fallen into accidentally combined these two elements and gave me the freedom of unique, personal expression which had been lacking in the other activities.

Breaking is a dance form, which highlights my strengths and pushes me to confront my weaknesses, both physical and mental. Being an inherently shy person, breaking forces me to overcome that shyness since people's fascination with the dance guarantee that there is always an audience wherever you train or perform and it is essential to be able to throw down in a circle if you want to progress and improve on your skill level or even be respected within the breaking scene.

Breaking has also forced me to evaluate and confront who I am as a person and especially as a woman since this self-evaluation is essential when you spend so much time in an environment dominated by males, particularly males with a tonne of attitude. As a result of this breaking has given me pride in my own expression and the courage to be confident in who I am and what I put out to the world.

You could say that breaking has helped to bring me out of my shell and make me feel more complete as a person, and it is this developmental processes which is represented symbolically in this photo where I appear to be rolling out of a safe foetal position, looking steadily out towards the audience, as I gradually gain the courage to unfurl and stand before the world.