NYC break dancer sets sights on Olympics

NEW YORK – A Queens-based break dancer is looking to win the Red Bull BC World Final Saturday inside the Manhattan Center. Grace Choi, known as “Sunny,” is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, moved to Queens more than a decade ago

“When I was in college, I was walking around and there were some people dancing late at night. I kind of stopped because I was interested,” Choi said. “They were like, ‘Come, we have a free class.’ So I went. ”

Choi said as a child, she was a straight-A student and gymnast.

“I tried a couple things and I realized this is it, this is for me,” Choi said, referencing break dancing.

Choi is in the process of leaving her 9-to-5 job at Estée Lauder to commit to competitive dance full-time, which requires practicing, dieting, building strength, and conditioning nearly daily.

“It’s been a wild ride,” she said. “A lot of my breaking career is breaking the mold of what I was and who I was as a gymnast and finding myself.”

It’s been a wild ride. A lot of my breaking career is breaking the mold of what I was and who I was as a gymnast and finding myself.

Grace Choi a.k.a. “Sunny

On the dance floor, judges are looking for coordination, acrobatics, and swagger. Choi’s style is simple. She wears a bandana and a hat and puts a creative spin on traditional break dance tricks.

“Being a breaker, you kind of carry a lot of history and culture and the lifestyle with you,” Choi said.

Break dancing was born out of the hip-hop movement in the 1970s. It has blossomed into an international community made up of hobbyists and now Olympic hopefuls.

Breaking as an Olympic sport debuts in Paris in 2024. Choi has every intention of representing Team USA.

“I want to show the world who I am,” she said. “Show the world the journey that I’ve been through.”

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