Ana Maria Ortega – a.k.a B-girl Furia – has never forgotten the moment her world fundamentally changed.
“When I was 16 or 17, someone came to my school to show what breaking was,” the Spaniard told Olympics.com on Friday (10 June 2022) at the Madrid Urban Sports event, "It was mind-blowing for me. When I saw someone do a headspin, I realised straight away that I wanted to do that.”
What followed was a journey of discovery. Not only did she learn about the physical demands of a sport that is wrapped up in complex tricks and fancy footwork but also, the unique culture that underpins it.
“Breaking has helped me in a lot of areas of my life,” said the B-girl on how the sport has changed her. “It has also allowed me to travel and given me values such as discipline.
“Breaking gives you a lot of values and principles, and makes you kinder. This is such a small community, so everything is about companionship.”
Since she entered the competitive scene, Ortega has gone from strength-to-strength.
Last year she came second in Madrid Urban Sports, before then going on to place in the top 20 in the 2021 World Championships held in Paris in December.
Now, she is back home in her country’s capital once again to see if she can improve on last year’s podium finish in the breaking gold series taking place on Saturday (11 June).
The interest surrounding breaking is developing at rapid pace after it was announced the sport was to be included in the Olympic programme for Paris 2024.
The decision was made following its successful debut at the 2018 YOG in Buenos Aires.
“It still feels unreal,” B-girl Furia said about breaking getting the nod for the Games. “Obviously it’s an opportunity for all of us. We are still adapting, but it’s amazing that something as niche as breaking is going to be at the Olympics.
As for the breaking scene in Spain, Ortega was sure that when it comes to Paris 2024, her country will be well represented:
“There is a lot of art in Spain and here [in Spain] there is a lot of talent. Obviously, outside of Spain, the level is high, but we are putting up a fight.
“I have no doubt that Spain will be there [at the Olympics]. We have two years left to fight for it and that’s not time at all, because we have been waiting for this since 1973 (when breaking began).”
But while fighting for a first-place position and ranking has its importance, B-girl Furia insists that, off the floor, the breaking community remains tight-knit.
Much like skateboarding, another urban sport which enjoyed the spotlight at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021, supporting your rivals is commonplace:
“Although we battle, we respect each other and we love each other,” explained Ortega on the dynamic that exists within break dancing. “What happens on the stage stays on the stage.”
To watch B-girl Furia and the very best of breaking at Madrid Urban Sports (11-12 June) click here.