“Lima Limón”



Breakdancing Competition Madison

The Marlon Eric Lima, known in the B-Boy community as Lima Limón (Lemon Lime), was born in Chicago on February 26th, 1990. Of Mexican and Guatemalan origin, Eric’s childhood included a soundtrack of Hip Hop and Chicago House music that his father introduced to his life. It wasn’t long before the rhythms had taken the physical form of dance in his life.

During his sophomore year in high school, Eric joined a school dance crew that focused on choreography-based Hip Hop dancing. Once the crew leader taught him a few basics of breakin’, he became interested in improving in that dance style. Next, he began practicing with a local breakin’ crew named the Midnight Angels to make breakin’ his specialty. As he became more active on the Chicago scene, he met other breakers and expanded to the breakin’ circles of a number of other groups.

Although Eric remembers the various nights dedicated to practice alone in his basement, B-boying didn’t dominate his life. He acknowledged other responsibilities and desires, including his studies, writing, and social life, which would bring him to breaks that would last anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months.

Currently (2010), Lima Limón is driven by multiple forces to be an active B-boy. He practices every Monday, 8:00 – 10:00 PM, with his crew (Rhythm Per Second) and typically breaks with the UW-Breakers on Thursdays. He also sacrifices his Fridays from 6 to 8 PM to a dance workshop he takes under First Wave, a scholarship program that encourages his artistic growth and scholastic studies. Additionally, he visits the gym regularly (Three times a week) to exercise his arms, chest, and shoulders, and focus on his core. He also stretches on a regular basis to refine his flexibility.

When he’s back in Chicago, he practices regularly at the University of Hip-hop or in various other spots on the southside including Cicero with Sour Applez Crew, Midway with Juggernautz Crew, or the casual backyard or park sessions that pop off with anyone willing to get down.

Lima Limón follows a personal belief that a person should be measured not by his wealth or potential income, but rather in the multiple ways he or she continues to develop himself or herself. In addition to completing his present university studies, a major goal in his life is to remain healthy, strong, and limber as long as possible. Accordingly, he believes that the discipline of breakin’ is ideally suited to this objective. In addition to breakin’, he carefully watches what he consumes in order to facilitate his future well-being.

Although he doesn’t think being crewless devalues a breaker, it does lessen the breaker’s experience as he views crews as a beneficial and encouraging aspect of B-boyin’. Also, he assesses that it is a useful way to become more easily incorporated into the B-boy community. He believes being active in the B-boy community is vital to being a real B-boy. Other ways of being active include practicing regularly with other breakers and competing in breakin’ jams, which would nonetheless help the breaker improve.

Lima Limón very much enjoys sessioning (practicing) with other b-boys and b-girls not only to demonstrate his own individual development in this expressive art form as they mutually observe each other’s progress, but also to have a good time. He can easily recall some of his fondest memories through funny instances that occurred during these sessions with friends. The moments and their memories often bring a smile to his face. Similarly, he claims that the dance offers a therapeutic means to momentarily disregard personal worries.

Although Lima Limón has great respect for all the great pioneers of the old school era, he did not want to provide a listing here in case he might inadvertently leave out someone important. Nevertheless, among the current b-boys he most admires one finds: B-boy Mijo from Motion Disorderz crew for his smooth style and variety of dope moves; B-boy Waka from Brickheadz crew for his long dedication to breakin’ as reflected in his crazy combos and tricks; and B-boy Flex from Gambler crew for his great flexibility. Moreover, he also admires the styles and skills of many of the B-boys with whom he chills and practices.

With respect to his own strengths and weaknesses, friends have told him that he is more of a “blow-up type” of b-boy than anything else. He, therefore, asserts that his strengths lie in his combos that test his creativity and ability to avoid touching the ground with his head or feet while at the same time demonstrating his flexibility. His weaknesses, he believes, lie in the range of moves he can execute. Since he ties a lot of his moves together for each combo, he uses many movements/ freezes in one set and thus is limited to avoid reusing the same movements and stay original. In order to improve, he therefore needs to add more variety and is currently working a lot more on fundamental elements such as the toprock and bottomrock to fit in more with his own distinct style.

Although Lima Limón does not boast any prizes thus far in his breakin’ career, he has brought much joy to himself and others with his involvement in different types of performances such as University events, block parties, and other celebrations. He believes it’s exhilarating to perform, with a group or solo, before a large audience. In a more serious vain, he has performed twice with his original crew at an art center to raise money for runaway teens and then again for the art center itself. He has also performed for a church fundraiser to raise money for children in the Philippines and also in a “Rock for Haiti” event on UW-Madison’s own campus.

Lima Limón claims Breakin’ has a place for everyone, regardless of size (fat or thin), sex (male or female), or ethnicity (Black, Latino, Caucasian, Asian, Native-American, or Pacific Islander) although any of these factors may influence the style and performance of the breaker. A person’s culture may effect his dancing as well as his personality. For example, when Lima Limon toprocks he occasionally throws in a step that is somewhat like a Hip-hop version of a Cumbia step. Similarly other b-boys throw in steps from dances in their culture but their style, of course, is not limited by their ethnicity. Nevertheless, some countries in the B-Boy World are known for certain styles. For instance, Korea is particularly noted for having powerheads (i.e. b-boys with power moves).

Lima Limón states that although physical size may be an obstacle to some it doesn’t impede others and that, indeed, he has seen some heavier performers do amazing moves that demonstrate either power or flexibility. In basic terms, b-boys come in all shapes and sizes and you’d be surprised by what an unimposing figure can do. There are even handicapped B-boys that excel at breakin’.

With respect to age and gender, he asserts “there are some sick younger b-boys out there that do crazy stuff like grown b-boys” and adds that B-boy Pocket (a 14 year old from Korea) does MAD power moves and combos like someone seven years older then him. Moreover, some of the older b-boys still do crazy moves that seem risky. Given the above, Marlon believes that one’s ability really depends upon the individual rather than the age per se.

With respect to gender, however, he says next to nothing because, not being a female, he feels unsuited to speak on limitations or advantages for a b-girl. Nevertheless, though b-girls take much pride in being limber and flexible, he believes that he (and some other b-boys he knows) can equal or excel them in this regard.

Although Lima Limón realizes that other sports like Capoeira can bring about the type of physical development he seeks, his focus remains on dancing with an emphasis on breakin’. He is aware of the fact that both Capoeira and B-boying are athletic activities that utilize graceful movements to the rhythm of music and that some moves like the Capoeira queda de rins and the B-Boy side freeze are nearly identical. Nevertheless, he is apparently hooked on breakin’.

This does not mean his interests are limited to breakin’; because, in addition to his university studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, he somehow finds time to compose spoken word pieces and verses as an MC, delve deeper into the history and elements of the hip-hop tradition, perform regularly, take part as a member in various student orgs (such as FASO, VSA, LAOS/CSA, and HASA to name a few) and last, but surely not least, flirt with girls.

Breakin’ he adds is just one of the five elements of Hip-hop, the others being MCin’ DJin’ Graffitti Taggin’ and Knowledge. He defines breakin’ as a physical expression of oneself that is manifested naturally by an intertwining of rhythms between a person and a song like a double helix. Hip-hop he asserts is also art, culture, movement, life-style and survival.

Being a b-boy, Lima Limón notes, requires not only physical but also mental astuteness. Physically, a B-boy (or B-girl) must cultivate their strength, flexibility, balance, and breathing; whereas mentally he (or she) must be creative in developing his (or her) unique style composed of moves, sets, transitions, etc. Both the physical and the mental unite through processes such as envisioning a move and performing it as well as focusing on doing a move repeatedly so that it will transfer to body memory.

In conclusion Marlon Eric Lima recommends Hip-hop to everyone because of its value in increasing self-confidence as well as in providing therapeutic relief in confronting the trials and tribulations one encounters daily. Moreover:

“It’s dope to get down to some music and express yourself and what you’ve worked toward in front of a crowd. It can be even more dope to share this experience with your crew or your other breakin’ friends. Moreover, depending upon the audience or the cause, it can raise awareness of the existence of the B-boy community that is commonly underground, as well as inspire youth to embrace this art form.”

Submitted by: Marlon Eric Lima (Lima Limón)
Date: 31 March 2010