Written by Carlos Contreras.
“My son began to break at age 7 and I watched for years. Then one day when he was 9, I decide to try a class with him. (At this time there were no adults classes) I was in a class with 10 and younger. I fell so many times I can’t count and my son encouraged me the whole time. So for his 10th bday, I battled for the first time as a surprise for him,” says Kathleen Perry aka MK, in response to my question about what inspired her to begin breakdancing. Kathleen is a mother to a very well known, young mover and shaker named Nightmare.
“He is our only child and we had a hard time conceiving him. When he was in the womb his dad and I decided whatever dream our baby had we would put it in their path and nurture whatever they chose football, dance or underwater basket weaving, just kidding. But you get the picture,” she said. When you meet MK you realize the passion and purpose, the intention and drive that she and her husband possess and remain true to, in the support of their son. The support of his dream and talent, has unexpectedly connected MK and Nightmare; both now dance, regularly – and battle locally and on the road. Of the journey to the “circle,” she says, “Now, I break and my dream of being in a Crew is fulfilled. I have traveled and battled in many parts of New Mexico, California, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Nevada ,and Pennsylvania. Since the day I began breaking something deep inside me says I must do it. It has made me courageous through my fears. It is more fun than I ever had anticipated. It is one of my favorite types of dance.”
MK has experience in many areas of dance – Baile Folklorico, competitive team dance of various styles and more, she’s been dancing her whole life – so it’s only natural that Nightmare has been blazing a similar trail. We asked about his introduction to dance. He was a dancer right away – On stage and comfortable at 3 and a HUGE Michael Jackson fan. At age 6, I shared my favorite dance movie Breakin’ [with him]. He went crazy and asked if I could teach him how to walk on walls? So I went looking for BBoys and the rest is history,” she said.
The duo is set to team up to continue making history in the realm of engaging youth and community through the vehicle that is Hip-Hop, as they prepare for the Third Annual United in Hip Hop Kids Edition, event and celebration at Warehouse 508 on the 15th of September. This event just so happens to be a going away party for Kathleen and her son. They’re set to move to Nevada soon. The work they’ve done with and for our community stands to be highlighted before they leave though. They’re truly an example of the powr of art in our Albuquerque community. We asked MK about the local Hip-Hop scene.
“ [It’s] the most inviting scene and so wonderfully unique. There is just something about New Mexico spirit. I love the deep roots of the people and the deep love of whatever element or elements they chose to learn. When we first came into this scene, everyone was super inviting and helpful and that is what I love most about New Mexico Hip-Hop,” she said.
It’s nice to hear that our community created a space for a family who has so much to offer, a space of comfort and creative expression. We hope that the inspiration continues in the Sin City for the Perry’s. Of that inspiration, we asked her what drives her.
“My first inspiration is my partner/husband/best friend we have been through thick and thin and keep each other going. He is the hardest working person I know and the best provider and Dad. He always makes sure we are ok. My next biggest inspiration is my kid, and just all other kids especially when they are allowed the freedom to express what is inside them. I love watching the least experienced youngest dancer because I identify with them so much. I love the occasional older person like myself but that is rare and they usually started way before me. I am only 5 years old in this dance,” she said. We love it – young at heart and on foot. Dance young woman dance.