A FLINTSHIRE breakdancing teacher believes the sport’s inclusion in the Olympic Games could be a breakthrough moment for a pastime most people associate with spinning on their head on a dancefloor.

Breakdancing has been confirmed as one of four sports, along with surfing, climbing and skateboarding, which will be put forward to the International Olympic Committee for inclusion in the Paris 2024 Games. It follows the successful introduction of breakdancing at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last year, where Russia’s Sergei Chernyshev, competing under the nickname Bumblebee, won the first breakdancing - known as ‘breaking’ - gold medal for boys, while Japan’s Ramu Kawai won the girls’ title.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will consider the proposal and must reach a decision by December 2020.

“When I first got into breakdancing it felt like there was no one to look up to,” said Rich Allen, 33, from Holywell. “There were people like Justin Timberlake and Usher but then fortunately after Britain’s Got Talent we got Diversity, who helped make dance cooler and more accepted, especially for boys.

“The fact it is now being considered for the Olympics hopefully means people will view it more and research it and I’d like to think there’s be a spike in popularity, and it would help more boys especially to get more active in dance.”

Rich, a firefighter and former Dream Boy, who teaches breakdancing at Urban Fusion Dance Studio, in Mold, said there was no reason to disagree with ‘breaking’ being regarded a sport when you consider the physicality involved.

“For anyone who challenges it I would say give it a go,” he said. “I know people who have dedicated their lives to dance - training one hour, two hours or even five hours is not substantial enough to get to the top level.

“It is literally a full-time job and you’re combining gymnastics with dance, so it’s more than one element. The ability that some of these guys have is crazy. Watch some of the Koreans who take part - it is unbelievable.”

Squash campaigned unsuccessfully for inclusion in the Paris Games, as did billiard sports and chess, with Tony Estanguet, a three-time canoeing Olympic champion and head of the Paris 2024 organising committee, saying the inclusion of the new sports would make the Olympics “more urban” and “more artistic”.

The selection of the four sports by the Paris organising committee also brought bad news for karate, which will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo next year.

A statement from World Karate Federation president Antonio Espinos read: “Our sport has grown exponentially over the last years and we still haven’t had the chance to prove our value as an Olympic sport since we will be making our debut as an Olympic discipline in Tokyo 2020.

“Over the last months we have worked relentlessly, together with the French Federation, to achieve our goal of being included in Paris 2024. We believed that we had met all the requirements and that we had the perfect conditions to be added to the sports programme. However, we have learned today that our dream will not be coming true.”

In a joint statement, the World Squash Federation and PSA World Tour said: “The proposed list of four sports only, of which three sports are already confirmed by the IOC on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic programme, leads to a belief that Paris 2024 and the IOC favoured sports already in the Olympic programme, leaving practically no opportunity for other sports.

“The unity that our sport enjoys globally is exceptional and is getting stronger by the day. WSF and PSA are supported by the entire squash community and, with our athletes at the forefront, have run a strong campaign that respected the timeline and the criteria set by Paris 2024 and the IOC.

“During the campaign, we showed that squash has a vibrant and real forward-looking programme rooted in constant innovation, which strives for more inclusiveness and sustainability, youth engagement and equality across all of our activities in and outside of the court.”

When it comes to breakdancing, Team GB did not compete in last year’s event, but the UK is home to a number of world-class talents who could help lead the way to Olympic glory.

The British Olympic Association said: “We look forward to welcoming all new sports into the Olympic Games and will work with the relevant bodies to develop our relationships at the appropriate time.”

“As a country I would say the UK is still developing with breakdancing,” said Rich. “There are a few years which gives us time to develop but we are slightly behind at the minute.

“For me - more than anything - it is an opportunity for boys to get involved with dance. We still have this stigma that dancing is just for girls and boys shouldn’t do it. Boys get stick for it and I can relate because when I got into it I had all that myself.

“The other thing is that you can make a career out of dance: I still get people saying ‘when are you going to get a proper job?’ when in actual fact I’m having a good life in this industry.”

Last year, Rich made the final 25 recruits in the fourth series of Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, where he was part of a group tasked with taking on the Andes mountains of Chile.

With just two hours sleep a day, and facing extreme weather conditions and high altitudes, the men and women trekked across icy slopes and plunged into freezing water as they were put through the gruelling course by former soldier Ant Middleton.

The former stripper, who also featured in Netflix’s American gameshow the Ultimate Beastmaster last year, was kicked off the show on week four, after admitting he didn’t feel comfortable jumping back into freezing water after almost drowning minutes earlier and still feels he could have gone further in the competition.

“It’s been one of the best experiences of my life and one I will look back on in years with positive thoughts,” he said. “I’m still gutted I didn’t win or get to the interrogation stage because my mindset was so focused.

“Unfortunately when a TV show is only an hour long you don’t get to see the full story and the comradery was unbelievable between a group of strangers who all had each other’s back, so I’ll have a lot of good memories.

“I’ve had about 70 messages in my inbox saying it didn’t make sense that I was cut. I had swum a few lengths and then Ant said to one of the contestants to get back in and when Sam started drowning Ant told me to jump back back in and save him, so I had to go back in and he started dunking me. Then Vikki started drowning and they told me to jump in and save her with a couple of others. I was so gassed out after doing all the additional work that I needed five minutes to get my breath back.

“It’s opened up a lot of opportunities for me and I made some good memories, but looking back now, I do think it was the right time for me to go.”