Express Studio hopes to expand Anchorage’s break-dancing scene

Ives Viray takes the floor during practice with crew members at Express Studio. Photo credit: Jay Guzman

Express Studio is currently Anchorage’s primary break-dancing studio, located downtown on fourth Ave. The studio opened its doors for the first time last month and has been working to bring in new students since. Ives Viray and Jermine Bulaong are the two owners of Express Studio, and they have a very clear vision of what they want the studio to become.

“We want to attract people who really want to learn about breaking, people that are eager about the sport. As long as they have that drive, we will teach them,” Viray said.

To help bring people into the studio, Viray and Bulaong have begun to host monthly events that they call Room 100. Anchorage’s best breakers battle each other, showcasing their talents. The best breaker wins money and a trophy. Each month’s winner must defend their title at the following battle, and attempts to stay the winner of Room 100. The second round will happen on March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Express Studio.

“Room 100 kind of looks like a big dance party, we had a lot of fun with the first event last month. Around 30 people came and watched the whole thing go down, so we hope that this month we get even more people to come out,” Viray said.

The break-dancing scene in Anchorage is small, and people like Viray and Bulaong are working to help make people interested in the sport. They started a crew, with members of all ages and skill levels who are passionate about hip hop. When open classes aren’t going on, they practice at Express Studio, improving on their breaking skills as well.

“This crew is brand new and we are still trying to work out some things, but every single member cares a lot about breaking and feels passionate about it. We all love working with each other and helping each other improve too, so I think we’re gonna do some cool things in the coming months,” Viray said.

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Express Studio has open doors for anyone who is interested in break-dancing themselves, or even for people who just want to watch. Room 100 is one of the ways to find out about the talent at Express Studio, and the owners hope to hold even more events similar to that in the future as the studio grows.