Amy Zhang, our producer and general manager, has created this new series ‘Not Your Average Dancer’, in which she interviews incredible performance artists who have carved out a career path despite not fitting the typical ‘dancer mould’. Today we have our Gold Coast teacher Benny ‘Bucho’ Garcia on all things breaking, growing up and what it means to be a male dancer.
Step into any Australian party scene and more often than not, the music is loud and place is packed out yet the d-floor is complete empty, as if someone just let a nasty one rip. Once Aussies are sufficiently drunk they’ll start to dance. In our sunny country, there’s a weird stigma, particularly for dudes, around dancing. If it’s not a masc pastime, it’s not cool.
Here to prove that ain’t the case, meet the b-boy and your Gold Coast Therapist, Benny ‘Bucho’ Garcia who (we may be biased) is one of the coolest dudes that exists in Australia. If travelling the world and regularly performing and battling with his crews isn’t enough, ask him nicely and he’ll whip out backflips on cue. Need we say more?
Benny found himself in his first breakdance class with his younger bro at eight years old but like many typical Aussie kids, did it alongside every other extra curricular activity. Growing up he also played soccer, gymnastics and even did karate for a bit. “We were really sporty” Ben reminisces without a hint of modesty. Overwhelmed for choice, Benny says he never took dancing too seriously, “we were just good at it” he says dismissively shrugging it off.
Dance took centre stage after a pivotal moment in his childhood where Ben recalls the his soccer coach telling him he was too short to make the team at his high school. “So I started breaking.” he says with a hint of indignation. This was a turning point for Ben that fuelled a new-found motivation to really take dance seriously. This is probably why you’ll now see Benny training pretty much every night of the week. “When I’m at training I just focus. If I lose a battle…I just go back to training.” His mentality is paying off though because Ben makes waves in every battle he enters around the world and the dude has an array of world titles to his name already.
But it’s not all about winning. Take him out of training mode and you’ll also see a completely different side to Bucho. No matter what the class, Ben is all about just having fun. “I want people to feel confident [about] dance so if they go to a party or event they can feel comfortable”. Ben says even the little b-boys and b-girls that he trains sometimes are inspired to take dance out of the classroom. “If there’s a talent contest at school they’ll come back and be like yeah we won it or we were at a disco and we dropped some moves and it was sick! Or, we started a break dance club at school.”
Ben sees how dancing creates community and he’s big on building confidence in his students in the same way dance built a confidence in him. So, when asked about the stigma against boys and dancing Benny shuts this down pretty quickly “Nah, if anything breaking made me cooler” he laughs. He even recalls that his mum put him into breakdance classes because she wanted him to be cool. Mumma Bucho was onto something because we’d say Benny is definitely living proof.
I guess what makes him even cooler is, tricks and flips aside, all the awesome things he does to give back to his community. At the bottom of it all he’s just a down to earth dude who loves to have a few beers, a solid boogie and take the piss like the rest of us.
So Gold Coast, what are you waiting for? If you’re lucky enough to be in the area, learn some moves and earn some cool points with the man himself.
You can take a class on the Gold Coast with Benny every Monday on Palm Beach. No cash at the door, so book here!