For him, dance is an art that he creates under inspiration. Bartosz Kuźniarek, Software Engineer at Sii Poland, talks about his passion for breakdance. Working at Sii Kraków on a daily basis, he is one of the best dancers in Poland. Every year during the summer holidays he returns to his hometown Wągrowiec to organize the legendary international Show & Prove competition. This year, as part of Sii Passion Sponsorship Program, Sii Poland became the main sponsor of the event.
You work for Sii Poland and are a beneficiary of the Passion Sponsorship Program. What do you do on a daily basis?
Bartosz Kuźniarek, BI Developer: Professionally, since 2018, I have been working at Sii Poland as a BI Developer / Data Analyst for one of our largest banking clients. I prepare data visualization reports based on QlikView, Qlik Sense and Tableau technologies. It is a very interesting work, which develops the analytical sense. There are often thought-provoking cases to be solved, while you can also meet many inspiring people while working on projects. More and more often I meet people with different passions. I worked on one project with a drummer, did another with a hunter and a salsa dancer. I think it is interesting that IT, or more precisely BI, can connect people with such different passions.
After hours I do breakdance. I was about 7 years old when for the first time in my life I saw someone doing breakdance on VIVA TV music show. I remember him doing a windmill trick (aka the windmill – it’s a very popular move: the dancer is on his back and spins with his legs up, trying to keep them in a V-shape). I really liked it. However, it was difficult to find someone with a similar passion in such a small town as my native Wągrowiec. For a while, my classmate and I tried to learn on our own, but without someone who could show us the basics, it was a tedious job. It was then that I became interested in basketball – probably because basketball also has a lot of room for spectacular moves and ball dancing.
Once, when together with my brother we were playing basketball at the Sports and Recreation Center, two guys came to the next pitch to play footbag. We invited them to play basketball together, and after the game, it turned out that they are brothers (Artur and Dawid Heckert) and – more importantly – b-boys (breakdance dancers). They told us that their dance group was falling apart, because each of them had to leave Wągrowiec for personal reasons, and they wanted breakdancing, despite their absence, to “stay” in Wągrowiec. Therefore, they wanted to teach younger people the basics of this art, so that they can further develop themselves.
It was June 2003 – I came to the gym for the first time. 17 years have passed, I am a breakdancer, with my heart in Wągrowiec, and my life goals are still largely connected with dancing. Each of my decisions is motivated by this passion.
How much time do you devote to your passion? How do you approach this activity?
B.K.: I practice for 2 hours 7 times a week, but there are also weeks when I work out twice. In dance, precision and technique of making moves are important, but also finesse and expression. I create dance. I dance under inspiration. I treat it as art, not sport.
Breakdance is set to become an Olympic discipline in 2024. Technique will be of utmost importance there. But I still admire dancers, who sometimes lack this technique, but have the gift of being one with the music, and their emotions are shared with the audience during the show, creating a free flow between the artist and the spectators. I strive to be such a dancer.
Formally, in 2015, together with my friends, we founded the Crate Of Wax group ( i.e. vinyl records). We regularly go to competitions together. In 2008, we also took part in the TV show “Mam Talent”, where we managed to reach the semi-finals.
You speak convincingly and with passion about the art of dance. What does your job have to do with it – data analysis?
. I suspect that if breakdancing was my job, I would go to Sii to take a break from the constant workout by doing data reports. This is how our body works, that when we work physically, we rest better with a book, and when we make data reports – it is best to move around a bit.
As part of Passion Sponsorship Program, you received funding to organize an international competition.
B.K.: It was the third edition of the Show & Prove event. The competition is always held in my hometown. The initiator of the action was the director of the Municipal Cultural Center, who asked us – people associated with breakdance, whether we would like to organize this type of event. Sure thing! The competitions are always held on the market square in Wągrowiec. After the success of the first edition, we got the green light for the next one, already with a larger budget. And then, as a Sii collaborator, I became interested in Passion Sponsorship Program. I applied and it worked! I knew that, for example, a running group was funded, but it turned out that less popular passions can also count on support!
Tell me about the competition itself.
Anyone can take part in the competition, regardless of age, gender, seniority and skill level. The competition is open to both competitors and the public.
To make our event stand out from the crowd, we invited leading DJs and dancers from Poland and abroad. Behind the turntables were DJ Plash and DJ Lazy1, who are well known in the community. The following took on the jury bench: Bboy Huher from the Azizi Hustlaz team, Bboy Remo from the Misjonarze Rytmu team and Bboy ChuChu from the Polskee Flavor team. Besides, to raise the level of the competition itself, we invited a team from Belgium to participate: Style Invaders, who have won tournaments all over the world in recent years, and a close-knit German team, The Saxonz.
As the organizer, I believe that this edition was the greatest success so far. We had many participants and fierce competition of dancers from many countries.
Your passion is demanding. How do you manage to combine it with work and other activities?
B.K.: I treat my passion as a gymnastics necessary in everyone’s life. After so many hours of sitting in front of the computer, our body requires physical activity. In my case, the answer to this need is breakdancing. This type of dance helps you stay fit, encourages you to keep a healthy diet and is a great way to express yourself through movement. Of all the arts, I suspect that dance is physically one of the most demanding ones.
What predispositions do you need to practice this type of sport?
B.K.: Predispositions are not as important as willingness and commitment. Everyone can try their hand at this dance. I train in the gym with Rafał, who started training when his son started to dance. It was maybe 6 years ago. Rafał is now 50 years old and has already won more than one dance battle! Sure, stretching, strength and a sense of rhythm will help rather than hurt, but nothing difficult for those who want it.
What are your future plans?
B.K.: We will try to organize the next edition with even more power next year. This year, we managed to put up an analogue record exchange marketplace and organize a concert of the rapper Emce during the event. Next year, we would like to invite a funk band to play a concert after the event or hip-hop scene celebrity. We would also want to see a graffiti jam during the event. Breakdance is part of the hip-hop culture with 4 elements. They are DJing, rap, breakdance and graffiti art. Fewer and fewer events bring all these elements together in one place. We hope that the development of the Show & Prove event in the future will allow enthusiasts of all 4 pillars of this art to meet in one place.
Breakdance and hip-hop are not the only forms of music supported by Sii as part of Passion Sponsorship Program! There are also pop and heavy metal bands. The key is not the popularity of the field, but commitment and ambition of employees and their diversity, which the company is willing to promote and support. Join the company and develop your passion under our Passion Sponsorship Program.