Airmen balance life and work through break dancing

Break dancing

Chaplain Capt. Juan Reyes, 92nd Air Refueling Wing, and Senior Airman Simon Vang, 92nd Maintenance Group analyst, break dance in front of a KC-135 Stratotanker, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Jan. 18, 2018. Both Vang and Reyes started dancing in grade school and have fostered a passion for it, which in turn helps them with job performance and becoming more effective Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Sean Campbell)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
The brain is often described as having two sides, a side that handles creative thinking and a side that handles logical and analytical thinking. It is often believed that individuals favor one side or the other, however, both play a crucial role in thinking and how one handles situations.

“Having a balance between the two sides is important to developing one’s self,” said Chaplain, Capt. Juan Reyes, 92nd Air Refueling Wing.

Senior Airman Simon Vang, 92nd Maintenance Group analyst, works at a desk for the majority of his day tracking maintenance data for Fairchild’s fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers. This data is presented to leadership and helps them with decisions affecting maintenance.

In the Air Force, where there are a lot of jobs that require a heavy amount of analytical and structured work, finding balance can be a challenge.

Chaplain Reyes and Vang use break dancing and being a part of the dance community to keep themselves balanced and find resilience.

“Resiliency… we hear it a lot in the Air Force Comprehensive Airman Fitness training… to the point where we become numb to it, but we still need to manage the four areas it entails,” Chaplain Reyes said. “In break dancing, we get to work with our physical, mental and social areas, and for some, even the spiritual area.”

CAF supports Airmen and families by providing a foundation and on outline to grow resiliently by using a model of four pillars mental, social, physical and spiritual. Break dancing can help Airmen with three, sometimes all of the four pillars of CAF.

Both Vang and Chaplain Reyes started dancing in grade school and have fostered a passion for it, which in turn helps them with job performance and becoming more effective Airmen.

“I have been dancing on and off since I was 14,” Vang said. “I’ve learned that break dancing separates itself from other activities by making you think creatively. It keeps you thinking about that moment and that’s the best perk of dancing, in general, regardless of style. Being an analyst requires me to conduct studies but how we conduct the studies is unregulated, so it requires me to think creatively when approaching the task. Dancing helps practice that way of thinking. ”

Vang added, having a personal outlet to work on can greatly energize you for work.

“I go to work, then school, then I go back home; and even if I’m tired, I still dance,” said Vang. “It’s on the days when I don’t dance, that I dread going to work.”

When practicing break dancing, one can do a single dance move for long periods of time to gain mastery in it. This mentality and process is something that can be applied to a job to become the best that they can be, Chaplain Reyes said.

“I counsel many people and think about how I can improve every time,” Chaplain Reyes added. “With what Airmen do at their jobs, how are they going to make that better? I think that’s one of the good things you take away from dancing: you’ve done something so many times and mastered it. Apply that to your professional life and master it. Master your relationships or whatever you want, to.”

I think it’s important to be able to dance and express yourself with other like-minded people and recharge. You’re able to have a great time with great company, said Chaplain Reyes.

If anyone is interested in learning how to break dance, email Senior Airman Simon Vang at simon.vang@us.af.mil.