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Tuesday 1st June 2004
Banana Jam Breakdancing
By Linda Serck
Oliver and Simon doing a two-handed invert
Breakdancing in the grounds of Caversham Park

There is a thriving breakdancing scene in Reading thanks to the Children of the Monkey Basket crew.
We speak to four members Paul, Simon, Oliver and Tim and snap them in action within the grounds of BBC Berkshire at Caversham Park.


Breakdancing moves gallery




Banana Jam 2.5
Break Dance Battle

Saturday 12th June 2004
Club 360
Reading University
Off Shinfield Road
12 noon - 7pm
Entry £4

Email Monkey Basket

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To you and I, being able to do the 'caterpillar' breakdance move would amaze friends and family.

But the Children of the Monkey Basket crew refuse to be photographed doing this club classic when they visit BBC Berkshire.

Come and watch: Breakdance Battle
Saturday 12th June
Reading University

Details below

It's so 'old style' they say, or 'naff' in layman's terms.

But, as you can see in our photo gallery, they happily demonstrate a few other break dances in the sumptuous surroundings of Caversham Park.

You can see a whole day of these gravity-defying moves in the breakdance battle the crew have organised at Reading University on Saturday 12th June. See below for details.

"It's martial arts for people who don't want to get in a fight" grins 27-year-old Oliver Shuttle, who along with members Tim Butt and Simon Barker got into breakdancing after watching Run DMC videos.

He adds: "It takes about ten minutes to learn the basics but you'll never master it."

"We are trying to give people in the UK a chance to compete against world class people."

Breakdancing is traditionally associated with hip hop music, but, the lads stress, "there are so many different styles of breaking".

There's the rigid old skool style that sticks to prescribed dance moves. But the new skool allows dancers to invent their own moves and also dance to any kind of music, even indie and gothic rock.

"There are 14 in our crew but each person does a completely different style to everyone else, we don't subscribe to the old skool," explains Paul Martin.

In the crew they have those that do the power moves and spinning while others do the seventies-style popping and locking, and eighties-style robotics.

The upcoming 'battle', called Banana Jam 2.5, will see its eight quarter-finalists represent the UK against America in a future contest.

"It's martial arts for people who don't want to get in a fight."

Says Simon: "We are trying to give people in the UK a chance to compete against world class people."

The previous contest the crew organised had three of the world's best breakdancers (all from America) exhibit their moves.

Monkey Basket themselves are doing pretty well in the breakdancing world, having won every major competition in the UK for the last four years.

You can also learn how to breakdance if there is enough local interest as the crew are willing to set up a club.

Email them at

See them and other crews at the breakdance battle in Reading. Details below:

What Children of the Monkey Basket present: Banana Jam 2.5
When Saturday 12th June 2004

Club 360
Reading University
Off Shinfield Road

Time 12 noon - 7pm
Price £4


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