Breaking into the top league of b-boying
In the final round of his battle with b-boy Wildchild at the Red Bull BC ONE Cypher India in Mumbai on April 13, Ramesh Yadav perched himself on the palm of his hand and spun four times. The crowd erupted with one member standing up and putting his hand on his mouth stunned by Yadav's stamina and courage.
The move, known as 2000 in b-boying parlance, is what gave 21-year-old Yadav his breaking moniker - Tornado. (When performed well it has the appearance of a tornado). It was also what sealed his maiden victory at the biggest b-boying, also known as breaking, competition in India.
Yadav will get a shot at Last Chance Cypher battles at the Red Bull BC One World Final to be held in India for the first time. If he makes it, he gets to compete with other leading breakers from around the world.
Yadav's first encounter with breaking began in 2014 when he came across b-boys at a community event held at a slum in Mankhurd where his family stays.
"Looking at them I also wanted to learn," said Yadav. But when he approached them, he says he was shunned. But Yadav persisted and after following the breakers for a month got the tutorials he wanted. After practising in Mankhurd stopped, Yadav moved to Juinagar railway station to continue his passion. It is here that he met bboy Wasim, one of the founding members of Flying Machine crew, who trained him for the competition. Winning the competitions pays off Yadav's decision to quit his studies to pursue dance, a move he says his parents supported.
Currently living on rent in Navi Mumbai with his maternal aunt to be close to his practice group, Yadav installs DishTVs during the day.
It highlights the fraught reality of the street dance scene in India where even after winning a top competition, winners have to toil to make ends meet. "It remains to be seen if my life changes or not," said Jadhav. In November if he steps up with the same aplomb, he could very well change his life for the better.