(CBS)–In summer of 2018, the Youth Olympic games will introduce a new sport.
This one might surprise you just as much as sports that have been a part of The Games in the past; activities like pigeon shooting, croquet, and tug-of-war.
This time, it’s break dancing – a pursuit that’s more popular than you’d expect.
Working his way towards competing in the event is local Little League baseball player Evan Sletten.
“With this (break dancing) you can do anything you want and with that (baseball) you’re following the rules but they’re both disciplined and really competitive and that’s something I like,” said the ten-year-old.
Evan discovered his passion for ‘breaking’ while on the dance floor at a friend’s bar mitzvah.
“He was just out there, started doing it. My wife and I had no idea he even knew about break dancing, let alone that he could do it,” his father, Mark Sletten, recalled.
The Lab DC, located in Northeast quad of the city, is a break dancer’s sanctuary, drawing all types of people to the re-emerging style of dance. Founder Antonio Castillo, “Tazk” as he’s referred to in break dancing circles, has watched interest grow enormously over recent years.
“Every year the school gets bigger and bigger and bigger. It’s been amazing for me to see it go from nothing with zero dollars, with zero backing, to having over four hundred kids in the DC area alone dancing,” Castillo explained. “There’s probably more kids breaking in this area than anywhere else in the world.”
The patient and welcoming instructor said the way the activity is viewed – as not just a dance, but a sport – has helped it draw such great interest. The family feel of the practice helps retain those who give it a try.
“I’ve seen kids come here and meet their best friends here so it’s much more than just a dance.”
Evan is one that ‘teams’, meaning he dances competitively and with a partner, while others choose to dance only in groups.
“It’s really nice that they have like this bonding relationship. They became friends and they compete and I don’t and I respect that but I don’t compete; I like to break dance with people instead of against them,” said Piney Branch Elementary student, Justus Swan.
Justus is speaking about Evan and his best friend, Isaac Witte – both of whom are expressive, self-confident, and well-spoken. Witte expanded on his instructor’s praise about the way the two balance each other out.
“That’s one of the things that makes us such a great team. I like to kinda get funny when I dance and…he’s really strong,” said Witte.
Both plan to compete for spots on the international stage in Rio De Janeiro a couple summers from now. But whether or not they make it to that prestigious pinnacle, they know they’ve got a friendship and an encompassing break dancing community for life.