LOS ANGELES — Some breakers train their whole lives to be part of The Red Bull BC One, a breaking competition attracting dancers from all over the world.

For the first time, Melissa Adao, also known as bgirl MEL, will take center stage at the event. 

What You Need To Know

  • Red Bull BC One Cypher will be held Jan. 31 at the Avalon Hollywood

  • Melissa Adao, also known as bgirl MEL, will compete in the event for the first time

  • She started breaking at the age of 37

  • She's hoping to make it to the Olympics in 2024

Once you see her break, it is hard to believe she has only been breaking for five years.

She admits that when she started, she never thought she would make it to this level in five years.

“I would never, I feel like what? Like how did that happen?” said Adao.

Her breaking journey started when she was 37, but she is definitely not new to dance.

Adao is classically trained in ballet, jazz and modern dance. She is also a choreographer and professor at two community colleges in San Diego. However, breaking was a completely new challenge for Adao both physically and mentally.

“Getting into this journey really late in my age has been not only a healing process but a learning process if me being a better me, so physically I’m doing OK. I think the more challenging or interesting part is the mental process,” she said.  

Through her journey, she is also inspiring others. 

“You’re never too old and it’s never too late to pursue anything. It’s nice to see that people are fired up about it and having them just take action for things they want to do,” said Adao.

While she is getting ready for BC One, she also has her sights set on the Olympics in 2024 and vows to not only to keep preparing physically but also mentally.

“I’m always a student, always here to learn about myself,” she said.

In the process of learning about herself, Adao is becoming a better person and a better role model for future bboys and bgirls.