Anchorage breakers hope to represent and inspire Alaska by reaching the Olympics

Anchorage’s Jeremy Ives Viray got his first taste of breakdancing when he was a kid, when others at a hip-hop party encouraged him to try a few moves.

“I was only 5 years old and they were, ‘Hey Ives, try this out,’” he said. “It was kind of sparked at that age, but it wasn’t until 2007 and I was like 11 or 12 and I witnessed individuals slightly older than me at the rec center in the game room.”

Now the 28-year-old dancer, known as Icey Ives, is one of the best breakers in the state. His journey has led him to this weekend’s National Finals in Austin, Texas, where he’ll have a chance to position himself to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team.

Breakdancing will be featured in the Olympic Games for the first time in 2024, in Paris.

Icey Ives has his heart set on earning a chance to represent Alaska, as well as the nation, on the world’s biggest stage.

“It’s a unique experience just thinking about the Olympics in general because it’s such a prestigious thing to say,” he said. “For me, what has helped me was to just stay grounded and to just live my life as if, if I were to do the Olympics, or if I wasn’t going to do the Olympics, I’m gonna go about my life regardless.”

He won’t be the only Alaska break dancer competing in Austin with Olympic aspirations.


Brianna Pritchard, who goes by the name Snap1 and is already a member of the Team USA breaking team, will also be there.

The 31-year-old from Anchorage is the only professional b-girl from Alaska. She used to be teammates with Icey Ives as part of the Elements of Rhythm crew when she last lived in the state, before joining the renowned all-girl breaking crew known as the Flooristas.

“It’s always great when him and I are both repping outside of the hometown,” said Snap1, who now lives in Arizona. “Going into nationals this year feels like it’s a bigger deal than it was last year.”

‘I Create Every Year’

While some might assume that the first half of Icey Ives’ b-boy name is an homage to the Last Frontier, where he was born and raised, it has a deeper meaning.

“Each letter stands for something,” Icey Ives said. “It’s ‘I Create Every Year,’ and now it is a brand that I am growing to this day.”

As an endorsed b-boy, he’s been able to travel, compete and enjoy other cultures from different countries around the world.

“Japan is just amazing, the people are amazing, the food is amazing, and the whole society there is built off trust,” Icey Ives said. “I think we can definitely learn from a lot of places around the world.”

After winning the West Coast regional qualifier in March, he’ll compete Saturday in the National Finals, where he’ll have a chance to further position himself to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team.

If he finishes in first or second place this weekend, he’ll have enough points to qualify as a Team USA representative at the Summer Olympics.

“Breaking is growing now, and I believe that if I’m going to be put on Team USA, I think it would not only mean a lot for the U.S. in general, but for Alaska,” Icey Ives said. “There’s not a lot of breakdancer representatives in Alaska, so it would mean a lot to just carry that and just represent for the country, and hopefully spark a whole new generation here in Anchorage.”

No matter where he goes, Icey Ives always views Alaska as his home base where he can be around loved ones.

He describes himself as a “very low-key” person and believes that Alaska is the “perfect spot” for him to thrive and standout despite the geographical separation from the Lower 48.

“If I was in a big city, it may be hard for me to stay as laser focused as I am right now,” Icey Ives said.

‘Oh snap’

Icey Ives says that b-boy and b-girl names are often given or earned and can be derived from particular moves or a characterization of a breaker’s unique style.

In Snap1’s case, her b-girl name came from her signature move.

“I’m double jointed and used to be able to have my hands behind my back and flip them over my head while holding them together the entire time,” she said. “The crowd would always go, ‘oh snap,’ for me because of my moves.”

She says the numeral “1″ at the end of her b-girl name stems from her being the only b-girl in Alaska while she lived here.


When Snap1 was notified that she had been named to the first Team USA breaking team in August 2022, she said she could’ve “died happy” because it was a “dream come true.”

“Making it to the Olympics would be the cherry on top, but I already have a lot to be proud of,” she said. “Those of us that are on the team right now will always go down as the first breakers on the first Team USA.”

She moved from Alaska to Florence, Arizona, in the past year to have easier access to more regular competitions and warmer weather, and help further her goal of reaching the Olympics.

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Inspiring the next generation

For both Icey Ives and Snap1, being a shining example for young and aspiring b-boys and b-girls in Alaska is just as important as having a chance to go for gold at the Olympics.

“I’m always proud to represent Alaska even though I live in Arizona,” Snap1 said. “It’s a small town and it’s always a big deal when someone can make it, not just on a national but an international stage.”

Giving back and making sure that the Anchorage breaking community is in good hands is another big reason why Icey Ives has opted to stay in his home state.

“One of my goals here is to not let go of this art until I know there’s somebody else to pass the torch to,” he said. “There is a legacy to leave, and it would make me happy inside to know that I could pass it on to somebody that is as carrying as I am for the community.”


He’s the co-owner of the Flow Zone Dance Studio in Anchorage, formerly the Underground Dance Company. There, he teaches students as young as 4 and as old as 28.

“It keeps me grounded to know that I’m working on myself while I’m actually giving back,” Icey Ives said. “To see the smiles on these kids’ faces means everything to me.”

Living in Alaska has given both Icey Ives and Snap1 a unique niche, and perspective, that not many professional breakdancers can claim. Icey Ives uses what is widely perceived as a disadvantage to his benefit.

“There’s not a lot of representation with breakdancing here,” he said. “I’m very prideful about representing some of the few dancers that are here in Anchorage making it at the top level.”

Snap1 believes that Alaska breakdancers have a deeper appreciation for the art since they have to work harder to be part of the hip-hop and breaking community at large.

“It’s not just there,” she said. “We have to go find it, so it means more to us when we’re around it.”

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.