French B-boy Dany Dann hopes to spin gold at Paris Olympics

Europe  AFP video
© AFP video

European 2022 breakdance champion Danis Civil, aka Dany Dann, hopes to become one of the first breakdance Olympic medalists in history. The event makes its debut at the Paris Games this summer, but won't be part of the Los Angeles Games in 2028.

Dann, 36, started breakdancing "by chance" when, at the age of 14, he passed a hall in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, a city in the overseas department of French Guiana bordering Brazil, where his cousin was taking part in a training session.

"I fell in love with it," said the double French and 2022 European champion, who came "as a tourist" to attend the French championship in Grande-Synthe in northern France.

After that, he spent "hours and hours" watching videos of his idols, training at the gym to reproduce their moves, followed by his first battles with "local" crews.

At the age of 19, after two years in the army, the B-boy – as breakdancers are known – left his native Guiana to "take a chance" in mainland France. 

To make a living he took on a series of jobs: parks and gardens receptionist, delivery boy, canteen employee, then caregiver in a retirement home.

In 2022, Dann, who now makes a living from breakdancing, joined Insep, the training centre for athletes in Paris.

Battles in Paris Olympics

Dann will be taking part in the Olympics along with three other French breakdancers, including two women, who have yet to qualify.

"I know they Olympics are grandiose, but I'm not stressed because I can't be afraid of something I haven't seen or experienced [before]," Dann said.

Breakdance battles will take place on 9 and 10 August at Place de la Concorde in the centre of Paris

Considered an additional sport in the Paris Olympics, breakdance has not been selected for the Los Angeles Games in 2028.

(with AFP)