Miguel Renteria, Twisp break dancer and trainer, beamed with pride in a proud dad moment when his son, Miguel, 5 years old, came home with a top-ranking trophy earned at a recent battle in Portland, Oregon. Little Renteria repeatedly shouted, “I’m a winner” as he relished the $50 prize and trophy.
Miguel made headlines recently in the Methow Valley News as his break dancing classes have had overwhelming popularity last spring and summer, with over 40 kids in the valley busting moves. The dancing duo participated in Skillfest 5, a Portland-based HipHop dance competition where the young Renteria won his age division and Miguel (senior) made it to the semi-finals in the USA Break’n event that could place him in the national standings.
Referred to as battles or jams, dance-offs will soon be Olympic events in the 2024 Olympics, and while little Renteria will still be too young to wear the Olympic rings and jam in ’24, his dad says he’s totally dedicated and loves it. Renteria himself could have a shot at the Olympics with members from his West Coast crew known as the Floor Vandals.
Renteria began dancing in middle school in Lacey, Washington. He and some friends put together his first troop, called 3-6-0, in sixth grade. At an early age, Renteria was introduced to music through is his dad, who created a very musical home. He played piano, danced and played soccer all through school and the combination of all these elements has shaped his style. His first competition was in Oklahoma and he continues to participate in 2 v 2 (two versus two) dance-offs and 1 v 1.
This past weekend both father and son competed again, this time in the Burien-based Btown Boogey, where little Miguel competed in the 1 v 1 all-ages competition and big Miguel competed in a 2 v 2 jam with a partner.
Last year, when Miguel had the opportunity to purchase a single trailer in Twisp, his own place, he made a lifestyle change to leave the city. He thought his break dancing days were over, having moved to a small rural valley. Little did he know the hunger for art and dance that Twisp craves.
Renteria’s future with dance changed when he went to get his hair cut at Trimline Salon and Devin Barnhardt commented on the bald spot on his head. Bald spots are common when you spin on your head for hours, Renteria explained. Barnhardt encouraged him to not stop dancing and suggested that there might be opportunities to teach in the Methow Valley.
So, last spring Miguel teamed up with Methow Valley Elementary School and offered the first ever break-dancing cub club. It was a hit, and the training carried over into the summer and nearly 40 kids have had the chance to train under him. He notes that the valley has opened up opportunities to expand his dance through teaching in an accelerated way he never would have imagined.
This fall Renteria will be offering more classes through the school, in partnership with LFW Dance in Omak, and privately while working full time at Hank’s Harvest Foods as a cashier. As for little Renteria, he’s just getting started in a sport his dad say he absolutely loves and is totally committed to.