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The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

The Rubicon

[COFFEE WITH CLARA] Ep. 1 Atari Ernst is tearing up the dance floor

McKoy: Hi, you’re listening to the first episode of Coffee with Clara. I’m your host, Clara McKoy, and today I chatted with sophomore Atari Ernst about his breakdancing journey. What are we drinking? He ordered an iced matcha latte and I ordered an iced vanilla latte. Enjoy the episode.

Ernst: Yeah, so now, I just breakdance but I’m also starting to take hip-hop again because I kind of need to for some of the teams that I’m on. Recently, with dance, and as of last year, I’m on the Timberwolves breakdance team I’ve been more motivated and dance is kinda the one thing I want to do. So now, I really enjoy it, but for, I’d say, a lot of my dance career, I didn’t really want to do it. I felt like it was kind of being forced on [me]. Everybody told me I was pretty good at it. But I didn’t really like it, but I actually really like it and want to get better all the time.

McKoy: That’s awesome. Oh, so tell me about you getting back into hip-hop, that’s super interesting. Why do you think that happened?

Ernst: So Cypher Side is my studio and the team I’m on is a performance team and we had tryouts last weekend. It’s more serious this year, there’s only 10 kids on the team and I think 30 tried out or something. But it’s a mix of hip hoppers and breakdancers and stuff. So me and one other breakdancer are the only two breakers on the team and only two on the boys on the team. And the teacher—do you know the Jabbawockeez? They’re a famous hip hop group or whatever, they do a lot of performances. They do a lot of popping and locking, you know. But her husband used to be on them so it’s a lot of hip-hop base. My friend and I, the breaker, we’re taking hip-hop classes because our instructor wants us to because it will make us more clean. Most of the stuff we’re going to be learning and performing is not gonna be breakdancing this year. So I have to kind of learn it, but it’s actually pretty fun. I like it alot.

But I’d say I’m definitely more choreo based, I’m better at choero. I think that’s just because when I used to dance at these other studios, we would do performances every year. So I think that I’m kind of, from the start, I was better at doing what others have told me to do. But I found that I’m better at … when I learn a choreo, I can practice it. Even I don’t have to practice that much, but I can memorize it way better and hit all the beats harder than anyone else.

…I’m better at choero. I think that’s just because when I used to dance at these other studios, we would do performances every year.

— Atari Ernst

McKoy: How do you see dance playing into your future?

Ernst: I’d hope … one of my instructors is in the Netherlands right now because he dances … they do, kind of, performances and shows with their moves. So they don’t just dance, but they tell a story with it, and get paid. It’s his job, kind of. He teaches also at the U of M for dance. I’d say a lot of breakdancing is more focused on that freestyle part, not much on choreography. But I’ve noticed, even with the Timerwolves, it’s choreography. If you want to get paid it’s more choreography based and I actually enjoy choreography more, so I would say definitely being on a team like a Timberwolves type thing in the future. Where you get paid and it’s kind of your job but you’re still dancing and having fun … I don’t really know I haven’t really thought about it a lot. Just, I know that for now, every time I go to dance, I’m like working really hard to be better.

McKoy: Again, this has been Coffee with Clara featuring Atari Ernst. Thank you for listening, and stay tuned for next month’s episode.

Royalty free music from Pixabay by Coma Media.

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About the Contributor
Clara McKoy
Clara McKoy, Director of The Rubicon Online
My name is Clara McKoy (she/her). I’m the director of The Rubicon Online. At school, I’m involved in Community Action and Service Club and Senior Class Leadership Council. I love to chat about podcasts, music, and food. I can be reached at [email protected].

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