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Breakerz Dance Club Broke Nazarene Tradition

One, two, three, four…

In the past, dance was outlawed at Point Loma Nazarene University. Like “Footloose,” the popular 1984 movie, spinning, dancing and grooving of any kind was banned on campus up until just a few years ago, when a dance revolution challenged the university. 

  Since its founding in 1902, PLNU has attempted to maintain its most important values, but with changing times some rules have evolved. Things such as dorm rules, curfews and chapel requirements have been altered since the school opened over a century ago. Also on the list of adjustments that PLNU has undergone, is the start of Breakerz Dance Club.

In 2016, Magdi Cook, a 2019 PLNU alum, and other people passionate about dance rallied together and fought for the right to have a dance club on campus. Because dance is against the Nazarene tradition, getting the club on campus seemed to be a difficult task. 

“I had to get several signatures from different teachers, some of which refused to sign for approval as they did not believe that dancing was appropriate,” said Cook. 

After about 3 months of signatures and adding members, the club was approved, and Cook established a charter board with other students who had a passion for dance and wanted an outlet of creativity on campus. Then, it just took some simple advertisements and soon Breakerz was composed of about fifteen lively and enthusiastic dancers. 

“The initial startup phase of the club was challenging, but once we got all of the approvals and details figured out, the team/club was set up for success,” said Cook.

Like Cook, Victoria Chavez is an original member of Breakerz and a PLNU 2020 alum. Having participated in dance for all of her life, Chavez understands the importance of being able to express oneself. Now in med school, she elaborates on how crucial dance of any kind is for the body. 

“I understand how the body is an integrated system composed of the body, the mind, and the spirit and dance caters to each of those integral facets of ourselves,” Chavez said.

Reflecting back to her days at PLNU and even now as she studies medicine, Chavez  recognizes how things can get busy and stress can rise. In the midst of chaos, having an outlet of inspiration and movement is often the best solution. 

“It allows me to incorporate a creative form of exercise into my busy schedule, spiritually connect to the Lord and [be] in fellowship with other dancers,” said Chavez.

…five, six, seven, eight.

The current co-presidents, third-year marketing major Sophie Kairalla and second-year finance major David Carreos now run Breakerz Dance Club. While the pandemic halted both school and club activities for a year, upon returning, Kairalla felt that there still needed to be an active dance club on campus and was eager to reignite that spark. Having 12 years of competitive dance experience, she wanted to continue doing what she loves. 

“I wanted to create a space to meet others who are passionate about dance too and have a safe environment for all levels of dancers to come and have fun,”  Kairalla said.

PLNU’s dance club is not about being the best dancer, but about forming a community and relieving stress. A general dance club meeting occurs every Monday at 7 p.m., and lasts for about an hour. Co-president Carreos said that before meetings, a poll will go up on the club’s Instagram page where people can vote on which style of dance they prefer for that day. The meeting begins with stretching followed by learning a routine. 

Sitting in a Breakerz club meeting, the atmosphere is welcoming and full of energy. The room was filled with introductions, laughter and music. There were first years all the way to seniors present, everyone with varying levels of experience in dance. 

“I am really looking forward to this semester and year to see what is in store and to get more people movin and groovin,” Kairalla said.

Written By: Madelyn Walthall