Crazy Legs: A B-Boy Life. Part Two

This is the second part of the interview. You can read the previous one here.

First memory of breaking?
Afrika Islam and my brother Robert Colon in 1976 as they were comparing moves on the concrete sidewalk in front of where we lived. I didn’t know what it was that they were doing and wondered, why was my brother doing this and humiliating our family. I put my head down in shame.

What’s your first memory with RSC?
Meeting Jimmy Dee at a jam in The Bronx.

What’s the best memory with RSC?
Battling Jimmy Dee and Jimmy Lee with my cousin Lenny Len, in order to become members. We lost the battle, but we showed that we had potential.

Your biggest triumph?
Helping kids who are less fortunate and need some sort of outside help. I’ve used Hip Hop as a tool to reach out to them and try to inspire them to become great and fight for their futures.

Your biggest regrets?
Not finishing college and not stretching enough.

When did it start taking off for RSC and how did you keep it going?
RSC had its first big opportunities in 1981. We owe it to Henry Chalfant and Antonio Lopez for getting us our first shows. I keep RSC going by not allowing it to only be about the older people in RSC. We have to rejuvenate by bringing in more youth and passing the torch and responsibilities on to them.

New York scene then and now, what has changed?
Back then, Hip Hop was one of very few options for us. Now, kids have more options and opportunities.

Why did you choose B-Boying?
There was nothing else that my family could afford. And if I did play any organized sports, I was lucky if I had the right footwear. Playing baseball required proper footwear and money for every season. Boxing also required membership dues and equipment as well. As a B-Boy, all I needed was some sneakers, my friends and some break beats.

Did you have other plans before or did you always know that you wanted to be a B-Boy?
I was 10 years old. My biggest plans were nothing more than getting a bag of candy and collecting baseball cards.

Which place does B-Boying have in your life?
It’s strange, because B-Boying at times can simply be viewed as, just a dance, but on the other hand, we have to recognize when it was the world to some and how much it has had an impact on the world. It has served as a bridge to many people who otherwise would have never had the opportunity to meet, talk and break bread. I guess we just have to know how to look at it at different times.

Did B-Boying change the direction of your life?
B-Boying doesn’t change my life. My decisions do. If I don’t make the choice to practice and be the best that I can, breaking won’t do anything for me. It’s the choice we make to put in the work that makes the difference.

What were the most important battles in your career?
Crazy Legs and Lenny Len VS Jimmy Dee and Jimmy Lee
Rock Steady Crew vs Dynamic Rockers for Style Wars and at Lincoln Center
“Battle Of The Gods” Crazy Legs vs. Storm, because it was about more than winning. It was about using the dance to inspire and help others. 30 days before the battle, Storm and I had already won. Hip Hop won at a time that it needed something to be proud about.

Do you prefer to practice with others or alone?
With my crew.

Any other dance styles you are practicing?
I like to Hustle from time to time, but I don’t consider myself a Hustler.

Are you living healthy?
I try. I love my M&M’s (Peanuts)

Do you think you are a role model? And if so, what does that mean to you?
I think people pick others to be a role model more than we set out to being one. I think choosing to be a role model is extremely difficult. But I also think, when you have an opportunity to use your name, brand or power to do something that is for more than just you, you should do it. Do it because it’s necessary. Sometimes, it takes a long time for people to realize how to use what they have to help others. We don’t always know the power that we have and how it can be used for good and it can also hurt people if used recklessly.

You have many fans around the world. Any funny stories?
I get all kinds of people hitting me up. The oddest ones are, “Yo, Legs, It’s me from 30 years ago. We met once. Do you remember me?”. It’s hard when I get one of those, because so much time has passed and I don’t want to shatter someone who is proud of me. Sometimes I’ll wait until I’m in the perfect mood to respond and entertain the conversation. But it will be sincere and not forced.

What are your plans for the future?
My goal is to take Puerto Rock Steady to the next level and create a tutoring program for kids in Puerto Rico.

How would you describe your style?
My style is meant for others to interpret. I don’t stand in a mirror and assess my style. Mr. Wiggles always tells me how dope my footwork style is. I’ve never understood it and I don’t see it, but having him tell me, reinforces in my mind, that I have that B-Boy Style!

How often and for how many hours do you practice?
I’ll let you know after I get the cyst removed in the fall.

Who inspired you back in the day and who inspires you now?
My greatest inspiration was B-Boy Spy for being that ghetto super hero and my cousin Lenny Len for introducing me to all of the elements.

Fashion/style – how important is that for a B-Boy? What do you like to wear?
Being Fresh is part of Hip Hop. It became that, because we had nothing and we would always try to make the best out of what we had. It gave us a sense of pride while we had very little in life. Being told that you looked “Fresh” or your moves were “Fresh” was an ego boost for many of us.

Your best/funniest/weirdest experience through B-Boying.
My first crew battle in 1979. When I got down, I choked and completely blew my set. I was not allowed back on the floor during that battle. But I understood why and I learned how to run a battle, because of it.

Please share with us one secret/trick/tip simple or sophisticated that might help improve a B-Boy
I don’t teach over the Internet or in interviews. Sorry, but it’s my number one rule.

One tip for a good life
Travel, listen to and understand the perspectives. It’s a game changer for humanity. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be a tight ass and make every conversation something that has to be deep. Learn to find that balance. And most of all, life isn’t one big episode of Beat Street.

If you had one wish granted, what would you wish for? (apart from world peace)
An injury-free body that would be ready for any battle that comes my way.

Photos by Nika Kramer