Lithuanian teenager Dominika Banevič qualified for next year’s Paris Olympics after winning the World Breaking Championship on September 24 in Leuven, Belgium. The 16-year-old Nicka, known as B-girl Nicka, was the youngest in her category at the event. In the final, she beat Ayumi Fukushima of Japan. This year, Nicka already won a bronze medal at the European Games in Poland, which did not secure her a place at the Olympic Games.
The 2023 world and European champion from Lithuania discovered breaking at five years old and now lives the sport even during her time off. Today she stands on the top podium and is still one of the youngest in the field. “In breaking, it doesn’t matter how old are you because you can be 15, you can be 20 or 30. What really matters is your level of breaking, how you dance,” Nicka told Olympics.com.
“Some people think that it’s hard to battle athletes that are much more experienced than you, but when you battle, you don’t think that that dancer [has danced for] 20 years and you seven years. You’re in the present moment and it’s just you and your opponent.” Staying in the present moment is a motto by which B-Girl Nicka lives and wins.
At the age of five she first saw a video of breaking, and it left her spellbound. At eight years old, she started her training. She had already tried her moves at home, but once she got to the gym, breaking became much more than a hobby. Nicka trains six hours every day, aside from her lessons for her last year of school.
Even her time off is packed with thoughts about her beloved sport. “Breaking is my life because all my thoughts and everything is connected to breaking. My friends, everything comes from breaking,” she said. “I sacrificed everything for breaking so that’s why I always say that it’s my life”. While resting, she watches competitions and analyzes them to get better as an athlete. Outside of training sessions, Nicka searches for information about nutrition and works with a sports psychologist to overcome overthinking and stress. “The key is to be in the present moment.”
What sets her apart from the others, Nicka said, is the combination of complex moves and deep understanding of music that she brings to the competitions.
Nicka’s goal is to go to Paris 2024, where breaking will make its Olympic debut, and win a medal there.
See her in action on YouTube: