Skip to main content

Picture This

Seattle Times photographers offer a glimpse into what inspires their best visual reporting.

May 18, 2013 at 9:20 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Northwest Wanderings: Just the right break in the action

This is not monkey business. It's Massive Monkees business.

It's serious B-boying -- break dancing in the hip-hop genre -- that's led the local crew to win the world championships last year in Seoul, Korea. They bested a group from Kazakhstan.


JustB (Brysen Angeles), Massive Monkees member and instructor, teaches a freeze move to Sean Ho, 9, who goes by SeanSteady, in the break-dance troupe's studio in the Chinatown International District. The freeze is the full stop at the end of a routine.

They've appeared on MTV and recently they performed during halftime at an NBA playoff game.

JustB, real name Brysen Angeles, says, "It's more of an art than a sport." But still it takes athleticism, acrobatics and precise choreography, as with any top dance group.

This local crew tries to dispel the notion that break dancing and gangs go together.

They run an after-school program and give lessons at their studio on King Street in the Chinatown International District.


Nine-year-old Sean Ho has been learning hip-hop dance moves in the Massive Monkee's studio and wears a cap with their logo on it.

There's more to it than spinning on your head.

There's the music, recorded and played by the DJ to provide the rhythm, the backdrop.

There's the MC, the master of ceremony, to move the crowd, get everybody involved in the jam.

There's finding your own style.

And there's the freeze. It's like sticking the landing in gymnastics. It says the routine is over.

Ares, real name DeAunte Hall, has the group's name tattooed across his broad back, from shoulder to shoulder.


Ares, real name DeAunte Hall, has made a big commitment to the Massive Monkees, having it tattooed across his back. For more information on the dance crew, see:

He knows the importance of going from footwork to the freeze. Dancers go from full momentum to full stop.

"It has to be crisp, make a statement and be held for 2 to 3 seconds. You can have a run-on sentence but this is the punctuation."

For more photos, visit the gallery.

For more Northwest Wanderings, visit our previous post.

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►