This Young Breakdancer Found Healing in Hip Hop

Breakdancing is more than a hobby for Nimoy Vaidya. It’s a way for him to be fully himself, a path toward healing, and a source of joy. Born in Kathmandu, Nepal, Nimoy moved to the U.S. for school in 2015. While struggling through his parents’ divorce and being bullied at school, he found an outlet in the “b-boy” culture.

“Yeah, I have tough days, but usually, a little bit of music and a little bit of dancing fixes that,” he shares. “That’s why I do it — because it just brings me joy immediately.”

Video Transcript

Meet Nimoy: b-boy

b-boy /bee-boi/ n. : a male who engages in the pursuit of hip-hop culture

Nimoy Vaidya: If anybody were to ask me, who are you? Who is Nimoy? I can’t really put that into words. My stuttering has gotten a lot better, but I’m probably going to start stuttering all over again if I had to describe who I was. But when I’m dancing, that’s just like, I’m taking inspiration from people that are my heroes. But at the same time, I’m putting my own spin on it. (Nimoy breakdances outside.) The moves that I have, they’re mine. I was picked on, I was bullied. My parents had a completely dysfunctional marriage.

Music courtesy: Tutu au Mic’

It was just hard to cope with anything growing up. So my life was just home and school, home and school, home and school. I had no social life. I had nothing. And once I found b-boying, it was like, this is something I can do in my room, just play music and forget about the world. I can just be myself.

People see breaking and some people like it, some people don’t. And the people that like it, at least the kids that liked it in South Bend, I would like to help all the kids. But realistically, what I know is breaking. And so, I can at least help the kids that know how to dance or that would like to dance. I’m trying to do the best that I can.

Nimoy volunteers with Mike to teach breakdancing to at-risk teens.

Mike Jacob: When I saw him dance and I was like, “A real b-boy in South Bend!” I was like, “No, you’re from where? Nepal.” He has a gift for making those hard breaking moves and stuff easier and having patience. He was the help that had the heart.

Nimoy: I blamed myself for everything, absolutely everything. It was all my fault. Parents divorce — my fault. Getting bullied — my fault. I learned to love myself.

(Nimoy leads breakdancing class) I see these kids, 10, 12 years old. And, yeah, we dance. And again, I don’t talk to them about issues all the time, but I know some of their struggles. Looking at these kids just helped me forgive myself. Because I always thought I was really pathetic. But it’s just life’s hard. Like me, these kids are already figuring that out at a very early age. And if I can make that process of them understanding that pain any less painful and miserable and less lonely, why not?

Yeah, I have tough days too, but usually, a little bit of music and a little bit of dancing fixes that. And again, that’s why I do it because it just brings me joy immediately. And again, that’s my thing. Everybody has their thing.

(Nimoy breakdances outside) Producer: That’s awesome! Nice.

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