“A lot of my transitions flow and connect fluidly like I am telling a story,” says Ronnie Abaldonado, one of the judges to this year’s Braun Battle of the Year breakdancing contest. A Filipino living in Las Vegas, Ronnie (28) has secured some of the most respected break titles around (winner of the 2007 Red Bull BC One, first place at Las vegas’ prom Am, first place at Cannes’ Break The Floor), a feat he attributes to sheer hard work, commitment and determination. “Stuff like this doesn’t just happen to you. It’s hard work. I train at least two hours a day, five days a week.’ says the straight-talking breaker, conscious of his influence on emerging dancing talent and his responsibility to tell it how it is. Having gotten serious about breaking at age 10 (he lived in Guam at the time), he first started emulating moves picked up on MTV”s music videos and imitating his older brother Rodolfo. At the time, his ultimate goal in life was to be as good as him. He quickly overtook his brother’s stage prowess, and went on to achieve much more than mere family supremacy. Becoming one of the States’ highest ranking b-boys, his style quickly became synonymous with an intricate attention to detail, sharp execution and a heavy dose of realism. His many variations of freezes, his intricate footwork as well as his power moves are now the stuff of legend, with Ronnie’s name firmly engraved in every self-respecting hip hop fan’s mind. His success has even led to an appearance in b-boy documentary Turn It Loose, endorsements by leading advertisers (Braun) and, today, every kid from Sao Paolo to Seoul name-dropping Ronnie in the same way b-boys from the 1990s’ heydays name-dropped Crazy Legs. Call him a no-nonsense breaker. A ‘blood, sweat and tears’ type dancer who means serious business. And it shows.
Watch a break sequence Ronnie filmed for Braun
Watch a behind-the-scenes video of Ronnie shooting the Braun Body CruZer campaign
This post is the first in a series of sponsored profiles on up-and-coming ‘movers & shakers’.