One: deep breaths.
American B-girl (a female breaker, or “breakdancer”) Logan Edra does the same two-step warm-up routine every time she steps on stage for a dance battle or performance.
Step one involves walking away from all the noise backstage, from the everyday bright lights and deafening cheers that sound like home to her, and spending time alone getting in tune with her emotions. Dance is intimate and personal, and breathing allows for the sort of self-awareness required to portray it through movement. Logan learned this technique early on in her dance career, at a Movement Lifestyle class taught by Toogie Barcelo in North Hollywood.
“I always felt like I was going through a portal,” she says, eyes gleaming as she transports herself back to the class. ”That was the first time I was presented to dance in a more spiritual and internal way.”
Logan recalls the cold air travelling through the studio during the walking meditation to kick off the hour, the smell of burning Palo Santo carrying around the room. Barcelo would play music with different hertz and vibrations, allowing the different sounds and textures to unlock patterns in Logan’s movement that she had never felt before.
“It was like magic, and it was very intimate,” she says, adding that she had never felt so in touch with herself through dance.
Step two means rejoining her friends and soaking up their energy, because breaking is just as much about connecting with others as it is with oneself. This helps her get into the right groove and energy to get onstage and, more often than not, sweep the category.
Logan would never say that about herself, however. She’s too humble. The 18-year-old dancer interviews like she’s catching up with an old friend over coffee, friendly and down-to-earth, radiating a quiet confidence that contrasts the fierce powerhouse presence she gives off when she’s breaking.
Logan, who goes by “Logistx” in the breaking world, has watched the sport grow into popular culture and mainstream entertainment over the years. And in turn, the dance community has watched her grow up in the middle of it all.
How it started
Logan discovered her passion for breaking three years into her dance journey, at 11 years old. She had been taking classes at a studio for other styles of dance, like ballet and jazz, since she was eight, but the day she stumbled into a youth breaking class taught by a B-girl, she was hooked.
“I didn't know it at the time, but seeing a girl teach the breaking class was really empowering for me as a young girl,” Logan says. “I had been wanting to try that style of dance for awhile, but after seeing her, I fell in love with it immediately.”
It wasn’t long before she had enrolled herself in breaking and was picking up techniques that came naturally to her. Training amongst other B-boys and B-girls, Logan began participating in local cyphers (which is the term for one-on-one breaking battles), where she was able to meet and connect with California's dance community.
If Logan closes her eyes, she can feel the San Diego sunshine beaming down on her at a local dance jam years ago. She’s surrounded by fellow artists who she grew up breaking with, from mentors and younger students. They’re all either cyphering or catching up with one another, voices raised slightly to be heard over the music blasting from the portable speakers, bass thumping so loud it shook the ground underneath them. And yet somehow the noise felt muffled to Logan, who was too focused on the beauty and the energy in the space to notice anything else.
“I remember feeling so warm in my heart because I was so happy to be in a space where everyone was so present with each other,” she says, the corners of her mouth tugging upwards as she visualizes the moment. Then, her nose wrinkles and she opens her eyes, letting out a laugh. “It smelled like sweat.” [bf_image id="6cm64wx8fgkj27xmjgmc5"]
Growing her name
As her name gained recognition across the country, Logan was invited to more and more overseas battles, competing and cultivating a bigger platform for herself in breaking.
In 2018, Logan competed and won NBC’s World of Dance dancing with The Lab, a youth hip-hop group from California who won over the hearts of not just JLo, but millions of fans all over the world watching on TV. Then, later that year, Logan placed first at the UDEF Pro Breaking Tour's Silverback Open in Philadelphia, and went on to take the Taipei B-Boy City B-girl battle in 2019 as well.
The B-girl has also guest-starred on The Ellen Show, where she performed a collaborated piece between her and fellow American dance sensation D-Trix called “Who You Are.”
“Who You Are” illustrates the negative impacts that social media can have on youth, which is an important message to Logan, and remains her favourite personal piece to date.
“In the end, I love dance and this art form, but it’s brought me a platform where I can choose to speak about things that are important to me,” she says, noting a recent Instagram dance video she posted advocating against anti-asian hate.
“I dance now not just for myself, but also for everyone who watches me, and I’ve been very fortunate to reach as many people as I have through dance,” she says.
‘Breaking’ into the Olympics
Today, Logan is one of America’s top breakers. Having won national and international titles over the past few years, she’s also a sponsored Red Bull BC One All-Star, one of the most prestigious titles in breaking.
So last December, when the IOC announced that breaking would become an official Olympic sport and that it would debut in the 2024 Paris Games, Logan’s immediate reaction was excitement.
“I think it’s great for the community to gain more recognition, it’s what we deserve,” she says, holding her breath for a moment before finishing her sentence, “I just hope we’re ready for commercialization.”
Logan goes on to explain that despite its widespread acceptance, the word “breakdancing” is actually an improper term. She says it originated when two B-boys accidentally referred to breaking as “breakdancing” on national television in the 1970s, and it’s carried on to this day.
“I want breaking to be portrayed in a way that’s authentic and real, and we’re not just a sport. We’re also an art form and a culture, so that’s where there’s a lot of adapting to do,” she says.
Logan elaborates that it isn’t just breaking that should be respected, but the dancers within the sport as well.
“Dancers should be compensated and supported for their work,” she adds, “because eventually I’d like to see the highest level breakers being looked at as highly as athletes like Kobe or Simone Biles.”
The future is female
And as if being an athlete in a sport that is just now starting to get the credit it’s been due in mainstream media isn’t enough of an outlier, Logan is a woman in a male-dominated industry.
“I’ve faced misogyny in the past, where I’ve had to deal with being paid less as a female dancer compared to the male dancers. There are little microaggressions too where people will be like ‘All the B-boys get ready!’ but it’s like, what about the B-girls?” she says.
Still, Logan believes right now is a good time to be a woman at the forefront of a growing sport, and that the future of breaking looks bright.
“In five to ten years, I see breaking at a level where we’re starting to be valued and taken care of as competitive Olympic athletes with more sponsors and bigger platforms,” she says.
As for her own future and whether or not there’s an Olympic medal with her name on it involved, Logan laughs and shakes her head.
“I can’t answer that yet! I’m leaning towards it, and it would be one of the biggest decisions of my life,” she says, followed with a playful but unshakably confident. “But if I do decide to go for it, then I’m going to go to win.”
For now though, the B-girl’s focus is simply to grow — both in dance and in who she is as a person. Her first goal is to get her driver’s license. The second is breaking-related.
“I’m very young in the game, so in five years I see myself being more experienced and having a firmer grip on my identity in life and in dance,” she says. “In 10 years, I may or may not be breaking, but definitely choreographing, travelling and giving back to communities.”
She’s taking things one deep breath at a time, and finding her groove as she goes.