You might not know the name Moy Rivas but, chances are, you’ve seen his moves. He’s danced in dozen of national ad campaigns and feature films, and even traveled the world as a performer and motivational speaker. What Rivas does is technically called b-boying, but you probably know it as breakdancing. Popularized in the mid 1970s, breakdancing traditionally combines four base movement types known as top rock, down rock, power moves, and freezes. While it might sound easy enough, Rivas combines these moves with his own signature style to create a performance that is truly one of a kind, and that has made him one of the most famous breakdancers in history.
And like so many great heroes, Moy Rivas comes from humble beginnings in Houston.
“I first grew up in an area called Manchester,” he explains. “Manchester is a dying neighborhood. I mean, there’s nobody there. It’s surrounded by railroad tracks. It’s hard to get in and out of, mentally and physically. And then around 93’ or 94’, my family and I, we moved to another side, which is kind of the east side of Houston, Texas. It’s another area called Magnolia, which is also a very rough neighborhood. At that time it was just so bad that you could literally walk outside and get shot at for no reason.”