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Dosu, Drag Race Fan and Breakdancing Champ, Is Ready to Compete Again

Dosu, Drag Race Fan and Breakdancing Champ, Is Ready to Compete Again

As the world continues to open back up — sort of — IRL events are kicking off again. As was the case this weekend in Boston where Red Bull put on its latest BC One Cypher event, a regional prelim to one of the world's largest breakdancing competitions. In Boston, some 16 B-boy and eight B-girls dusted off their moves and brought it to the floor in a series of one-on-one battles. The winners are set to compete at the national competition in Orlando later this month.

For some, like the Philly-based Dosu, this was the first return to competition since the world shut down. Here, we chat with Dosu about the competition, RuPaul's Drag Race, and hailing from Peru.

So how was today? How was the cypher?

Oh, it was awesome. It’s one of the best events I’ve ever been to. Red Bull BC One Cypher is one of the events that everyone wants to be at. This event today was pretty tough to be honest. It was some really big competition. It was really, really, hard and everybody was on point. Unfortunately I lost in the first round, but it happens.

Somebody has to go home first, right?

Yeah.

So you’re in a crew, right? Tell me about all of that.

I just got down with Renegade Rockers, one of the legendary crews. One of the best crews in the world, period to be honest. It was an honor to join them and represent them today. I think I did really well, actually. 

They’ve been around since 1983 and have won so many world titles. We have about 15 or 20 members. And everybody who joins, you never leave. It’s like a tattoo on your skin — you can never get rid of it. 

What brought you to this crew specifically?

You know, I’m originally from Peru and I moved to the states. I was competing, I was doing well. They just had an eye on me and they asked me if I would be interested in joining them. I was honored. In gay terms, “I was gagged.”

Your name comes from an anime character, right?

Yeah! Dosu uses sound to hit the opponent and attacks directly to their ears. It’s pretty cool and I kind of identify with the character. He’s usually kind of lowkey and doesn’t say much. And then, when he fights, he has all this power. And I’m sort of like that: I’m not really talkative but when it comes to competitions …

So tell me about how you got started breaking?

I started when I was like 15 or 16 years old back in Peru. I won my first big competition when I was 18. I won the Red Bull BC One Cypher Peru, the nationals there. And then I started traveling the world and learning from other B-boys. I moved to the States in 2014.

Was there a big difference between breaking in Peru and the States or elsewhere?

Yeah, of course. The level here is crazy. You have to adapt and grow fast or you’ll be forgotten. 

I only really know of Peru a little bit but I did watchDrag Race Holland and the winner, Envy Peru was talking a bit about the homophobia and femmephobia that happens there. Did you have a similar experience or see any of that?

To me, I never experienced any of that because I was never really feminine acting. But it is something that happens there. And femininity isn’t anything that I see anything wrong with, it just isn’t who I am. But I respect it; Drag Race is my favorite show and I love All Stars 6.

But yeah, there’s a lot of homophobia and femmephobia in Peru. Most people there think that if you're gay you either want to be a woman or you act like one. And that was never me. I was more of the sort of macho guy. I still like men but I couldn’t really find myself in that community. But then when I moved to the  States I learned that there were people like me. So I came out after I moved here. 

Is there a community of queer breakers?

There’s not like a community of gay people. I know one or two of them, but its not like a community. 

Breaking is pretty intense. What’s the training like?

It’s tough. I have to get on a strict diet just to lose weight. During [the pandemic] there was no competitions so I didn’t care about what I ate. So I got really big and then when they invited me to this two and a half months ago, I knew I had to lose it. I was 164, 164 and I wanted to go down to 140. I got to 143. I was doing a lot of running and diet and just working on my moves. I was expected to do well because I won the 2019 cypher. And then this happened.

What's next for you?

I'm just ready to get back out there and compete. 

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Andre Jackson