Quite the broad statement… but Jerome Richardson, or “BBoy Young10” as his fans know him, is accurate in his boast.
Jerome is a national champion and rising star among Trinidad and Tobago’s break dancers or ‘bboys’/’bgirls’ as they are more commonly called. He has competed locally and internationally, both individually and as part of a team or ‘mega-crew’.
To date, his accolades include:
- 1st place Dance Against Crime 2010
- 1st place Dance Against crime 2011
- 1st place Battlezone 2012
- 1st place Synergy #1 Bboy Battle 2012 (sponsored by Bmobile)
- Trinidad and Tobago Bboy of the Year 2012
- Trinidad and Tobago Bboy of the Year 2013
- 1st place at Dance Against Crime 2014 – Bboy Battle
“Bboying is an art form and a dance… you can’t really be ‘taught’ how to do it,” says Jerome. “It has to come from inside you; my art is my own.”
Video: “BBoy Young10” represents T&T against Russia’s “Frog” at Hip Hop International’s 2014 World Battles
From Gymnast to Bboy
Athletic ability is innate to the 21-year-old Jerome, whose brother is also a bboy. Their mother is a gymnastics teacher, and their father was well known as a bboy in the 1980s.
From a young age, Jerome as well as his brother competed in gymnastics at the national and international level, until eventually in high school his interests expanded.
“I was in QRC (Queen’s Royal College) and talking about gymnastics, when everyone else was into other sports. It just wasn’t cool for me anymore,” Jerome says, laughing.
What was cool to him, however, was the community of ‘trickers’ — street gymnasts that use outdoor terrain to perform martial arts kicks with flips, twists and other manoeuvres that incorporate dance and choreography. A group of ‘trickers’ shared the same gym where he practiced gymnastics, and one day Jerome ran into a ‘tricker’ who taught him a few moves.
Apart from his ‘tricking’ experience, he also had a helping hand from his father. “I was in the backyard ‘trying a thing’ when my dad saw me and said: ‘What are you doing there, a windmill? Nah, let me show you…’,” he says.
After absorbing his father’s knowledge, Jerome was taken under the wing of Bboy Lu, at which time he started his rigorous one-on-one training, and he took full advantage. He also took to YouTube for further inspiration — and from there, his skills in the art form quickly increased.
Despite his numerous accolades, he does not have a formal coach; however he does have a friend that trains with him about once every two weeks to give him the extra edge for the more physically extreme stunts.
“But I dance almost every day,” he adds. “I just love to dance.”
The Bboy & Hip-Hop Community
Apart from breakdancing, Jerome is also an accomplished dancer in other styles, including hip-hop. He has been a member of the world-renowned group Eclectik, through which he performed for several corporations, events and artistes including Live At The Hyatt, Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC), North West Regional Health Authority, and soca artiste Destra. He also competed with Eclectik as part of an adult crew in Las Vegas in 2014.
He notes that, despite local performers having excelled on an international level in hip-hop and bboy performances, the community is still largely underground, which makes it difficult to gain corporate sponsorship to continue their efforts.
Jerome estimates that the breakdancing community consists of approximately 85 persons in Trinidad, with perhaps only 5 that are internationally classed.
“As a country, we are still heavily into pushing the two major sports: football and cricket; but there is so much more that is happening in the background that also needs that kind of support,” he says. “There is a long way to go, and it is my role to help bring it up to that higher level.”
He admits that chasing his passion has raised some concern among those closest to him, particularly when considering his educational background and other talents.
“But, as I once said to my mom — ‘do you want me to be just another one in this pool of fish, or do you want me to be the unique person to build and create something new?’,” he recounts. “There is so much more I can do as a pioneer in my field than if I had chosen another path.”
While dance dominates Jerome’s time and interests, he balances his first passion with educational pursuits.
He is currently studying to become a lawyer, and intends to blend his legal expertise with his passion for dance by offering legal services to dancers and other performers.
“Apart from subjects such as theatre arts, law is an excellent field to pursue if you are into dance,” explains Jerome.
“There is a business side to being a performer, and if you do not understand your rights, you can fall victim to artistes and companies that abuse your talent. For instance, many dancers perform without a contract, or with a contract that has legal language they do not understand, and as a result they may not get paid on time or at all.”
He is also a budding entrepreneur, and has recently opened a store called Get Aesthetic located in central Chaguanas that sells hip-hop fashion clothes and accessories, and offers corporate and personal t-shirt printing services. Located opposite Centre Pointe Mall, the store is envisioned to become a ‘base’ for those who belong to the hip-hop and bboy culture.
“Not only is it the only hip-hop store in the country; it is also the only hip-hop store run by a dancer,” Jerome emphasises.
“My primary purpose is not just to sell things, but to build a community for those interested in the culture. I want the government, the media and the corporate world to look and see something building here: a community.”
In two years, he plans to represent Trinidad and Tobago on the stage of Red Bull BC One, an annual international B-Boy competition organised by the energy drink company Red Bull for one-on-one individual battles.
“I will make my country proud, and inspire and create avenues for upcoming bboys and bgirls in the Caribbean,” Jerome says.
What You Need to Know
- If you would like to book a dance performance, Jerome can facilitate in gathering a group of choreographed performers. Please contact him directly at 1 (868) 357-5124.
- Jerome also provides coaching for upcoming bboys and bgirls. Please contact him directly at 1 (868) 357-5124.
For more information, Jerome or ‘Bboy Young10’ can be contacted at 1 (868) 357-5124 or . Also be sure to check out his BBoy Young10 Facebook page and Get Aesthetic’s Facebook page, and the YouTube page where some videos of his performances can be found.