How to bonebreak dance

Flexing: the 'bone-breaking' dance craze that bubbled up from Brooklyn | Dance

The reflection in the mirror shows a wiry body tightly tensed, with a tattooed chest and hair tied up in two afro bunches. He lifts his shoulder and starts to twist it almost out of its socket, muscles knobbling and bulging, until it looks like something extraterrestrial.

This is not a freak show, but a dance. Called “bone-breaking”, it’s one of the more wince-inducing moves in the family of flexing, New York’s latest street dance craze, an offshoot of Jamaican dancehall that’s been bubbling up from the streets of Brooklyn over the past decade and is now staking its claim as a stage art.

Bone-breaking, pausing, get low, gliding, connecting, hat tricks and punchline: these are the terms I’m getting to know. I ask Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray, one of the dance’s pioneers, what punchline is. “A really extravagant movement that nobody would ever think of doing,” he says. “I have a friend, Jay, who’ll do really big tricks, like jump off a second-floor building and do a back flip. That ends the show.” That does sound like quite a show-stopper.

Gray is in the UK to spread the flexing love to Manchester, where he’s masterminding a show for the international festival called FlexN Manchester, a coming together of 10 Brooklyn flex dancers and 10 local street dancers performing at the Old Granada Studios.

The dancers are warming up for rehearsals, the morning after a Friday night out. Fuelled by Kit Kats and camaraderie, they start with a gentle groove to a reggae rhythm, get tangled up in some fast footwork, and break off into pairs to work out routines. The style originated from dancehall’s bruk-up (meaning “broken-up”), its rubbery bodies and facial expressions now expanded to something more complex. There might be jolting torsos and thumping steps interrupting the flow, as well as pausing, which looks like an electrical current pulsing through the body, and gliding – think moonwalk 2.0.

Flo during rehearsals for FlexN. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

There’s a sense of family in the room, what with all the laughing, joshing, sharing steps and teaching each other. For Gray, flexing has always been about community. He started dancing at school, battling in the dining hall, and used to go to parties every Saturday at the home of a couple called Rocky and Sandra Cummings, who created a talent show, and later a cable TV show, called Flex N Brooklyn. “They let hundreds of people into their home,” says Gray. “Sandra used to cook for us, spaghetti and Kool-Aid. It’s always been a big circle of people coming together, making a change and doing something for the youth.”

The Brooklynites are keen to emphasise that this is a culture separate to hip-hop. It has its own DJs and music (based on reggae rhythms – or riddims), and label-loving fashion style, as well as its own slang. There’s the word “modd”, meaning something great or over the top (in a good way), and its superlative form, “zodd”.

Performers Bain and Andrew during rehearsals for FlexN. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

For Gray, this all started as somewhere to go and hang out on a Saturday, but it turned into something much more significant. “I was real quiet,” he says. “I was always shy, this nerdy kid. And it brought me out. I was changing from fitting in to standing out.” Nurturing the flexing community has since become his life, bringing him a successful career. As well as running events all over Brooklyn, in March Gray co-created a show with opera maverick Peter Sellars at New York’s Park Avenue Armoury (where MIF boss Alex Poots is also artistic director).

The local dancers taking part in FlexN Manchester were all flown out to the Armoury show for what was their first taste of flexing. “Whoa, I had never seen anything like it before,” says 23-year-old Jack Bain from Sale. They were instantly welcomed into the community. “We’d only seen them for a day and they were, ‘Yo, the UK family!’”

But then it was down to work – and flexing has asked more of the Manchester dancers than they are used to. There are the usual aches and bruises involved in any physical challenge but, at its heart, flex is a dance that’s all about expression and storytelling, creating characters and using mime-like movements to outline specific situations. In rehearsals, I watch a courtroom scene unfold, with only a few chairs for props, but a clear narrative emerges. “It’s about driving the emotion out of them and letting them understand it’s more than just dance,” says Gray. “You gotta tap into a place you’ve never gone before – you gotta go to a place where you’re almost vulnerable.”

Paola “Flo” Nyembo, one of the Manchester crew, laughs and says: “Regg is always screaming at us, ‘More! More!’ I know the emotion I’m trying to give, but Regg will be like, ‘It’s not reading.’ I’ve been thinking I’m giving 100%, but I’m not at all.”

“He scrapes everything from the barrel,” says Dale Coleridge, aka Goodsoul. “He doesn’t want anything left – it’s all out on the floor. Yesterday, doing my solo, I literally had to go outside because I was going to pass out. Regg was screaming at me. I’m like, ‘There’s nothing left!’”

In my solo, I went outside because I was going to pass out. Regg was screaming at me. I’m like, ‘There’s nothing left!’

It sounds brutal but it’s been a revelation for the dancers, the self-expression proving highly cathartic. “Dancers can be the life of the party and all that,” says Bain, “but a lot of us are reclusive, and the things that go on in our head we don’t necessarily vocalise. But we do want to say it, and this is a great way to learn how to get it out.” In fact, if you’ve ever seen a dance show and wondered what the dancers were trying to say, flexing might be your thing. As Bain puts it, you can watch an angst-filled performer but think, “I get it, you’re upset – but about what?”

“I think that’s the beauty of it,” says Nyembo. People think dance is backflips and splits but Gray wants to communicate actual things that are happening in the world and our own understanding of it. “He wants it to be so real that people feel uncomfortable. So he gets a reaction and we can make people question themselves.”

The opportunity to address real-life issues is crucial to the flexors, who tackle racism, injustice, social problems and their own personal experiences. The Armoury show in New York directly responded to the shooting of Michael Brown and the choking of Eric Garner, as well as the tensions and unrest in post-Ferguson America. For the US cohort, flexing represents more than a dance style: it’s a voice for the young and marginalised – and that’s something Gray wants to spread to the UK.

As bodies jerk, judder, surge, spiral and contort across the studio, Gray’s deep voice sends out a rallying cry to his dancers. “Power through our practice!” he shouts. “Freedom and power!”

FlexN Manchester is at the Old Granada Studios, 11-18 July. Flexn will also be performing at the 2015 Brisbane festival, Australia, 23-26 September.

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“The body breaks, apathy and nervousness”: how “omicron” breaks through the defenses of both Sputnik and Johnson - January 24, 2022

Society 240577

74 commentsPhoto:


Thousands of St. Petersburg residents are already being treated for coronavirus at home. "Fashionable" "omicron" infects entire families and teams. Fontanka talked to those who, despite vaccinations and precautions, still fell ill in January 2022.

Children's holidays, corporate parties, gyms, meetings with sick colleagues in offices - everyone gets to know the new version of covid in different ways. But the symptoms are similar: runny nose, weakness, body aches, some apathy and nervousness. But not everyone gets the smell. In general, patients say that nothing terrible is happening to them, and Omicron is even milder than the flu.

Elena Anatolyeva fell ill with her husband

“My husband and I are freshly sick. We live in the Primorsky region. Both are vaccinated. He was in December, I was in March last year. My husband fell ill on January 17th. Was on a business trip in Nizhny. His company did a corporate party there, and now 20 employees are lying.

They called service 122. Less than a day later, a doctor came and took a swab. The test result appeared in Gosuslugakh on Thursday. Unfortunately positive. I fell ill next, and we again called 122.

The symptoms are the same: high temperature, 37-38 C on the first day, plus severe headache and muscle pain. Slight runny nose, weakness. Apathy and slight nervousness are present. In general, according to the doctors, we have a mild form, and we hope to recover quickly. Sick leave for 2 weeks.

Alena Morozova didn't have time for revaccination

“My husband and I were vaccinated back in June, we were just going to get revaccinated, but we didn't make it in time. On Saturday, we went with friends to a children's birthday party at the game center, I suspect that one of us brought the infection there. On Wednesday, it became clear that out of six adults, four have clear symptoms of a cold - covid.

I had a tickle in my throat on Tuesday evening. And on Wednesday morning, the temperature rose, snot appeared. My husband's is more or less the same. The child (1st grade) had a fever once, was brought down with an antipyretic, and that's it, he jumps like a goat for the second day. After that, they stayed at home and called the doctor.

The doctor came the same day. Positive smear results after a little more than a day. They call back from the clinic after the visit. They asked about how I was feeling, they said that the second test would be approximately on January 31st.

At the beginning of the illness it was downright unpleasant: lethargy, weakness. But not as unpleasant as, for example, the flu. The antipyretic did a great job of bringing down the fever. On the third day, she began to feel great, only a cough appeared, and her nose swelled, but it used to be worse. ”

Ekaterina Ivanova (name changed) got infected and now suffers from aches and pains

“At first I didn't even have a runny nose, but a slight stuffy nose. I did not attach any importance to this, I thought that I just had a cold. Especially since I got vaccinated with Sputnik in October. But I took a test and it was positive.

The temperature rose to 37.1 degrees only once. But my arms, legs, body aches hurt - you can’t sit down normally, you can’t lie down. Called the doctor. He did not come - he called from the clinic, asked, offered to pick up the medicines. I sent my son to the clinic. Ten days after the first test, you will have to take it again.

Petr Ivanov fell ill after a lot of vaccinations

“When and how I got infected, I can't understand. Most of the time I sit at home and only go out to the store. Most of my work is remote. But I go to the gym, so I probably got the infection there.

Vaccinated many times. The first time before it went mainstream was October 12, 2020. It was a clinical trial of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine. In May, after the study, I was vaccinated with Sputnik, and a month ago I underwent revaccination.

Among other things, sometime in the winter of 2021, I participated in a clinical trial of a vaccine for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. This virus also belongs to the coronavirus family.

I have been sick for four days now. At first it was a sore throat. Then came runny nose and cough. The doctor could not come to me. She called, asked about her well-being and asked if I could come to the clinic myself, since she had a lot of calls today.

My polyclinic is 30–40 meters away. I decided to go. She listened to me, took a swab, gave me a piece of paper with recommendations for taking medications and a classic set for all diseases. The test came back positive.

By evening I had a fever, my leg muscles ached. I also have a very strange weakness. It feels like I have a temperature, but no temperature. There is a cough, but rarely. It doesn't look like residual, but it's rare enough that I cough."

Svetlana, got infected from her husband in Moscow

“I had covid a year ago, I have Sputnik and Johnson, a million antibodies. But it was impossible not to get infected from her husband, who returned with an "omicron" from Kazakhstan.

Smells and tastes did not disappear. In general, I can say that the first time I was much worse. This time everything passes like a cold - fever, runny nose and a very sore throat, like a sore throat. The first three days were hard, now it's better. We treat in the same way as before: we drink a lot, sleep a lot, and what hurts, we treat.

Everyone around you is sick, take care of yourself! Omicron is not as scary as the coronavirus was in the first wave. Love and vaccinations to all."

According to Fontanka, Omicron sent 50,000 Petersburgers home, twice as many as a week ago. The flow of patients has increased so much that since Monday, Smolny has sent patients with SARS and suspected coronavirus to polyclinics on their own. There are not enough doctors for everyone.

Ilya Kazakov,



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    Petersburg residents share their feedback after being vaccinated against coronavirus on 14.01.21

    Guide Petersburg2 / Materials

    January 14, 2021 10:05 am


    Author: Svetlana Filatova

    Since December, people in St. Petersburg have been vaccinated against coronavirus: at first they were sent for vaccination in an organized manner, now any resident can sign up for an injection. The editors of Peterburg2 found out how the vaccination process goes and what are the reviews among those who have already been vaccinated.

    On December 10, the vaccination of physicians, teachers, military, and social workers began in the northern capital. On the eve of the new year, it became possible for anyone to sign up for a vaccination. Earlier, in a special article, we told where you can get vaccinated against COVID-19 in St. Petersburg, whether it is possible to get vaccinated in private clinics, how to sign up, and whether it is worth getting vaccinated if you have already been ill.

    And now we have collected feedback from St. Petersburg residents who have already been vaccinated against coronavirus and share their impressions.

    “After the test, I laughed out loud”: stories of those who were vaccinated and still fell ill with coronavirus was, but in October 2020, the corresponding symptoms appeared and after recovery, a small amount of antibodies appeared. So, most likely, she was ill in a mild form.

    They were vaccinated from work in an organized manner, the dates and time at which they had to come to the clinic were distributed among those who wished. Since the clinic is private* and the schedule, in general, was respected, there was practically no need to wait for your turn.

    Vaccinated with Sputnik V in two stages: the first at the beginning of December, and the second at the end of December (after 21 days).

    Three days before the first vaccination, we had a PCR test for COVID-19 (to find out if there is an active disease) and quantitative tests for IgM and IgG antibodies (to find out if vaccination is required or if our own antibodies are enough to protect the body ). Prior to vaccination, those with a negative PCR and a low level of antibodies were allowed. We were vaccinated in a private clinic, so we only needed a passport with us. Before the vaccination itself, there was a full examination by the therapist, which included taking an anamnesis, measuring temperature, pressure, examining the throat and phonendoscopy, and also at the appointment, the therapist talked about possible side effects after vaccination (the most common is an increase in temperature to 38-39degrees, weakness, muscle aches and headache). After an appointment with a therapist, if there was a permit, they were immediately taken to the treatment room for vaccination. The clinic also required a mandatory 30-minute stay in the facility after vaccination (to quickly provide assistance if an allergic reaction occurs).

    After the first vaccination, I did not show any side symptoms, even the temperature did not rise above 37, but after 12 hours my husband's temperature rose to 38. 5 degrees, his head hurt and he was very weak. All symptoms (except for a mild headache) disappeared after another 12 hours and did not appear again. After the second shot, about 12 hours later, both of us began to have flu-like muscle aches. This also continued for 12 hours, after which the symptoms disappeared.

    *Editor's note: mass vaccination is not carried out in private clinics at the moment, in this review we are talking about the preliminary agreement of the organization and the place of vaccination.

    Vladimir, 60 years old, journalist

    In early December 2020, before going to the sanatorium, I did an Igm test. The result was negative. After that, however, I had snot and tears, but the scent remained and the taste too, there was no temperature. I had slight doubts about whether to do it. But I decided - there will not be two deaths, and the consequences of vaccination, some good, some not so, are not eternal. Around February 20, I will find out if the game was worth the candle.

    I was signed up for a vaccination through the Union of Journalists of Russia: before the New Year they called for everyone, but only two of our editorial staff expressed a desire to be injected. After the New Year, they clarified the place and time of vaccination: I was vaccinated at polyclinic No. 39 of the Central District on Malaya Konyushennaya. We didn’t have any waiting list for vaccination — there would be a desire.

    I was vaccinated on January 6 with Sputnik: before the injection, they even showed me an ampoule with an inscription on it. The procedure is as follows: first you need to fill out four documents (with general information, a questionnaire, consent to the processing of personal data and a memo). Then, on a first-come, first-served basis, a therapist examines: he measures the temperature (non-contact), saturation level, pressure and pulse, and listens to breathing. He also asks about contraindications, chronic diseases, medications taken, etc. In addition to the listed papers, you need a passport, SNILS and compulsory medical insurance policy - their data is entered into the database.

    As far as tests are concerned, nothing is required. According to the mind, it would be necessary to do a text for IgM antibodies (or a PCR test) before vaccination, but in reality this is not required. However, if quite recently (or now) there were some signs of SARS or other infection, and if, for example, you are going on a long journey tomorrow, they advise you not to do it. In general, the last word is up to the therapist - if you honestly don’t tell him everything yourself or he doesn’t understand that it’s better not to, they will. After the therapist, “fives” are formed and, as the vaccine is ready after defrosting, injections are given. After vaccination, they are asked to wait half an hour in order to assess the patient's condition immediately after vaccination. In general, the whole procedure takes from one to two hours. It is better to sign up for the middle of the day: in the morning, those who want to inject more and longer will have to wait in line, and in the afternoon it may happen that the “five” is not typed.

    I've had one injection so far - on January 27th I'll go for the second one. After the first injection, I did not have any negative ones. The injection site was a little reddened, it ached a little. But no numbness, no burning cheeks, no fever, no flu. In the following days (and on the 13th it was already a week since I injected), nothing has changed - no “side effects” or alarming symptoms.

    Dmitry, 45, teacher at school

    did not have Covid. Inoculated with "Sputnik V" from work in an organized manner: at the end of December (1 dose), in mid-January (2 dose). For vaccination, they were asked to bring the results of two tests (antibodies + PCR) - it was expected that both were negative. I gave it myself. Apparently, it is possible in the clinic, but it would be an extra hassle.

    Examination (temperature + pressure + general examination) was carried out in the polyclinic on the day of vaccination. It all took about two hours in total. While you fill out the paperwork, there is a queue for an examination, vaccination, then they ask you to sit for another 30 minutes - in case of an allergy.

    After vaccination, on the same day, everything was fine. At night, apparently, the temperature rose, but in the morning it was gone, the next day - aching in the bones, weakness (feeling of "boiled"), slight pain at the injection site. On the third day the symptoms were almost gone.

    Fedor, 23 years old, school teacher

    Never had Covid. At work they offered to get vaccinated, I agreed. Vaccination took place on 12/24/2020 and 01/13/2021 with Gam-COVID-Vak.

    The organization in the polyclinic left much to be desired. For the first time, it was necessary to wait 20 minutes near one office, where they checked the lists (of those who came), then stood in line for a therapist for more than an hour, and then waited another half an hour until a fifth person was found. The fact is that the ampoule opens for five, it cannot be stored for a long time, because there are some special conditions there. So, due to the fact that at the very beginning we were counted incorrectly, we had to wait a long time at the end (we were the last to go).

    The second time around, everything was much more organized and there were no long queues.

    There was no preparation for vaccination, the examination is carried out rather formally, on the spot you need to fill out two questionnaires with personal data and health information, as well as sign a consent.

    The next day after the first vaccination, he felt chills, malaise, muscle weakness, headache. I slept almost all day, then it became easier, but for quite a long time there were unpleasant sensations in the injection area. The second one was done today (01/13/2021), so far I can’t say anything.

    Anna, 23 years old, journalist

    I don’t know if I had coronavirus or not, because I didn’t take an antibody test. But, judging by the state of health for the last 10 months, she did not get sick.

    Was vaccinated in an organized manner on January 8, 2021 "Sputnik V" ("Gam-COVID-Vak"). Vaccination was suggested by the health committee.

    In my case, there was no preparation for vaccination. I was asked to bring my passport, SNILS and compulsory medical insurance policy. In the clinic, before vaccination, it was necessary to fill out a consent and a questionnaire. Here are some questions: have I had covid, have I been in contact with infected people in the last 2 weeks, what chronic diseases do I suffer from, etc. I was also given a memo that talked about possible reactions to the vaccine. There was also a reminder of the timing of the introduction of the second component of the vaccine.

    Before the vaccination I was examined by a therapist (listening to the lungs, measuring oxygen saturation, pressure, pulse).

    What surprised me: before vaccination, they do not take an analysis for antibodies and do not ask for results if you have previously done such a study.

    I've only had my first injection so far. At first there was absolutely no reaction, even a surge of strength appeared. After 13 hours, typical flu-like symptoms began: a terrible chill, a temperature of 37. 2, plus the deltoid muscle got sick (the drug is injected into it). The next day, the temperature and chills disappeared, but there was severe weakness, body aches, and a headache. On the third day it was all over. Today is the sixth day after the vaccination: the pain in the deltoid muscle persists, but is less and less noticeable, almost imperceptible.

    Natalia, 30 years old, marketer

    I didn't have coronavirus. I was vaccinated on January 11 myself (Sputnik V): I came to the nearest clinic to attach to it and sign up specifically for a COVID vaccine. There, at the same time, they were urgently looking for one who wanted to, as someone did not come. I decided to go. Therefore, we can say that I was lucky, the vaccination was done on the day of treatment. The rest are put on a waiting list and they wait their turn. In order to be vaccinated, you must be attached to the clinic. I was not attached, for this I took a standard set of documents - a passport, a policy, SNILS. You don't need anything for the appointment.

    There is an examination by a general practitioner before vaccination. They measure temperature, pressure, check saturation, listen to the heartbeat. They ask about chronic diseases, taking medications, allergies, whether or not they were ill with covid / whether they had previously taken a PCR test or antibodies. No tests were required before the vaccine in the hospital. The doctor told me how the procedure would go, what side effects might be and what medications, in case of them, to take. Gave recommendations.

    I signed a standard package of documents: a questionnaire describing whether there were contacts with sick people, the presence of a cough, sore throat, etc., as well as consent to medical intervention. When vaccinated, a memo is issued with recommendations and possible side effects, and the date of the next dose, as well as a certificate that the first dose of the vaccine was administered.

    You are asked to stay at the clinic for 30 minutes after vaccination to monitor for possible allergic reactions. I had nothing, the nurse was constantly interested in how I felt. In the evening after the vaccination, a mild flu-like condition began: bones began to break, chills, the temperature rose slightly. I drank a paracetamol tablet, and in the morning everything was gone. There were no other sensations except for these yet, everything was as usual.

    Victoria, aged 45, soldier

    I had coronavirus 4 months ago with more than 50% lung damage. Doctors said that for six months I could not be afraid of anything. But when I passed the tests for antibodies in the clinic: they were not found at all, so I decided to get vaccinated.

    Signed up myself. The first vaccination was on December 26 (Sputnik V). The second time will be vaccinated on January 15th.

    You do not take anything with you for vaccination. You come, the doctor starts a card, completely examines, describes everything.

    There were absolutely no problems after vaccination. The doctor picked up the phone, for the first three days he called and asked about how he was feeling. I also keep a special diary for public services. I get reminders on the days when I need to fill out. There are given questions in the form of a test (yes / no). I'm waiting for antibodies.

    Husband also signed up for vaccination on December 30, while waiting for a call.

    Previously, Peterburg2 told where you can get tested for COVID-19 in St. Petersburg for free, how much the service costs in private clinics, how to take the test at home or without leaving your car, and whether it is worth doing tests if there are no symptoms.

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