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Breaking news! The competitive form of breakdancing, known officially as “breaking”, has been confirmed as an official sport for the 2024 Olympics in Paris – and no one could be happier about it than the inspirational local fitness guru Javan Mattei of JV Dance Fitness. Here he chats to Darling about his passion for building healthy lifestyles for young and old through dance fitness – all the way from ballet to hip-hop and that fact that breakdancing at the Olympics will be a reality.

Getting active

As the times have changed, we find ourselves leading increasingly sedentary lives. We’re able to shop, buy, sell and so much more without ever having to leave our homes. The isolation of lockdown is only making it worse. That’s where JV Dance Fitness comes in. Apart from regular workouts that we offer at three convenient venues in the SW London, we’re now we’re offering not only face-to-face sessions, group sessions, one-to-one personal development session but also online sessions available for adults plus children and teenagers. I bring a fitness lifestyle to your very home – with all its amazing mental and physical benefits.

After eighteen years in the dance fitness industry, teaching and building up healthier lifestyles for our communitees and younger generations I aim to gain more out of each individual, building up confidence, coordination, movement, body awareness, achieving more than just a fitter, more defined and stronger body. I strive to build up an all round well-being both mentally and physically.

My own experiences

I have an extensive perfoming arts background ranging from corporate to theartrical performances, touring in some of the top most respected companies in South Africa from street style hip-hop and breakdancing to Latin American through to ballet and African dance styles. My influence and experiences help pave a unique workout fitness style which is easy, fun and a fantastic way to build ones over all wellness.

The routines are a uniquely HIIT style designed bodyweight workouts, either focusing on specific muscle groups or the entire body.

The street style dance classes are available for children and teenagers. These classes primarily focus on teaching breakdancing and hip hop stlyes but involve body conditioning to ensure fitness and strength to carry out the techniques and routines.

Breakdancing is a great way to focus on building body and core control, strength, balance, body movement, agility, flexibility with many more fitness and health benefits.

Breakdancing broken down

Welcome to the new Olympic sport! Breakdancing is now recognised for the great workout and high skill level it requires. Comprising of four primary elements (toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes) breakdancing utilises the whole body to create a performance. Starting with learning basic coordination and advancing to more complex body coordination, fully utilizing inner muscles, arm strength and leg control, really investing into the whole body. Co-ordination between the brain and body are required to transition between the primary four elements. Starting from the beginning with our toprocks (dancing on your feet) we transition into our downrocks or ground works (footwork on the floor). This focuses mainly on the leg muscles, enabling toning and strengthening. Getting deeper into the muscles we move onto power moves, the stereotypical moves for breakdancing involving the tricks, head spins, windmills etc. These moves require strengthening to achieve and therefore focus is on multiple muscle groups throughout the body to ensure this strength is achieved. Breakdancers end off with a freeze which involves balancing your body weight through e.g. arm or hands and maintaining for a minimum of 3 seconds. These freezes require body and muscle control, balance and understanding of body weight. They really works your abs, oblique muscles and lat muscles.

Breakdancing exercises

I’d like to share two basic breakdancing exercises with a quick overview of how each one would benefit you:

1) The breaking kick, this involves a reverse table top position and a kick up. This downrock needs core strength and tones your obliques, abs and lower back. It is great for working the cardiovascular system as well as shoulders, arms and legs. Simply put it’s a fantastic work out for the whole body improving your over-all fitness, health and dance skills.

2) The six steps, another downrock, where you moves your feet in six different positions. You need good leg strength as your weight is distributed mainly on your knees which you swap in and out. You also rely on your forearms, hands and fingertips to support your whole body weight. Again, this move provides a great work out for the whole body, strengthening your core, arms, shoulders, abs, back, and legs.

These are only two examples in a vast range of diverse moves which are not only fun and give you a sense of achievement to perform but also have tremendous amounts of fitness and health benefits.

Hip-hop is also a great way to gain body awareness, coordination, rythym, street dance techniques, incorporated with many styles to give each individual a foundation of creativity and coming up with a personal unique style/s.

Adult workouts

The workouts available to adults are designed to build and strengthen your over all fitness, cardiovascular and respiratory systems included. The benefits of exercise are phenominal and combined with fun these benefits only increase. Each person is unique and so would their training, understanding of movements and getting in shape differ. I have incorporated different styles of dance, body weight exercises, calisthenics, stretching and many more great techniques to help form a foundation towards that aim of a better healthier lifestyle.

HIIT style fitness classes

Fitness classes are a combination of work out techniques ranging from a proper warm up to loosen ones body and prepare an individual for a great workout. We focus on raising the heart rate with specifically designed cardio and fitness routines, allowing the blood to flow and circulate more rapidly allowing the body to function at a much better pace, cleaning out unwanted exess toxins and allowing the flow of oxygen around the body. The routines are a uniquely HIIT style designed bodyweight workouts, either focusing on specific muscle groups or the entire body. As a result of buidling up strength, endurance and stamina I tone, shape and work on muscle definition. Ending each session, “dancefitness” workouts with an incredibly unique fun stretch style flow routine incorporated with yoga, sports, dance and pilates influence.

This intense HIIT style workout will leave you feeling fantastic, ready to face your daily routine or a perfect ending to one’s day. The more you look after your body the greater you will feel. The cycle in achieving goals and accompishing everyday tasks you’ll find is a breeze when you feel stronger both mentally and physically. And although diet is extremely important, fitness and cardio health is just as vital. With proper guidance, motivation and structure achieving a healthier and fitter lifestyle is very possible. The ability lies within each of us. We want to see each individual live a long, prosporus, healthier life.

Join us for a free session and get a taste of what it means to achieve your first steps in gaining control over your over all wellness.

It’s time to get a ‘HIT’ of it!


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