In this video
Pioneering b-girl Ana "Rokafella" Garcia defied what was thought to be a male-only art when she fell in love with breaking and started dancing with crews around New York City. Today, Rokafella is not only a respected dancer within the hip hop community, but also a teacher who empowers young people through hip hop.
Amazed by the breakdancing b-boys she saw as a young girl in New York City, Ana “Rokafella” Garcia knew she wanted to break. Despite the gender barriers she had to cross along the way, Rokafella--the name she earned dancing with crews in New York City--not only became one of the b-dancers she saw growing up but a breaking legend, pioneer, and mentor to emerging b-girls.
With fellow breaker and husband Kwikstep, Rokafella founded and performs with the non-profit hip-hop dance company Full Circle Productions to empower young dancers through the positive power of hip-hop.
More From Ana "Rokafella"
Hip Hop and Ballet
Rokafella recalls the seventh grade talent show duet that brought her into the world of dance.
Rokafella talks about her hardworking Puerto Rican immigrant parents and how their efforts still inspire her to push harder.
Rokafella shares the history of how her dancing alias came to be.
Wait Till I'm Finished
Fed up with the men who would interrupt her dancing with sexual or lewd behavior, Rokafella finally had a breakthrough moment and kicked things into her hands.
Girls Are People
As a female dance teacher, Rokafella tries to impart in her male students that they can treat girls as people, not always as a potential girlfriend or wife.
Freedom in NYC
Rokafella shares her mother's experience moving from Puerto Rico to New York City and the freedoms as woman she suddenly had as a woman.
Head On the Floor
Rokafella talks about her parents' reactions to her dancing dreams and what it took for them to realize that she had a real career in dancing.
Push for Strength
Rokafella's mother used to warn her about working out too much fearing that it would make Rokafella look too masculine. For Rokafella, however, building strength was at the heart of her aspirations.
When I Dance...
Rokafella expresses where her mind goes while she's dancing, and what it means to be a woman showing other women what's possible.
Break Dance Mom
Rokafella talks about her decision to forgo having children, and how she and Kwikstep wound up being parents in their community in their own way.