Break On 2…

Background on informant: Informant is a senior at USC, studying international relations. She is involved in many student organizations, including Break On 2, a dance troupe.

Informant: At the end of every Break On 2 Practice or before a show, we’ll always do our cheer and count to three and do whatever. But since it’s on two, we’ll break on two. I don’t know how long we’ve been doing it but it’s definitely been a five or ten year thing. I think it started a long time ago. They teach it to you when they first join the team. The president of the org. teaches it to the new members when you are allowed onto the team.

Analysis: I found this folklore interesting because it serves as both a custom and a form of initiation. It’s how, this informant says, new members are brought into the group when they are “allowed onto the team.” At the same time, it is also something they do at the end of practice or before a show, presumably as good luck and to show community, that they are in it together, which is perhaps why it is important that the folklore is linked to initiation. The folklore, in this way, provides a space to express community and to belong in the group. It was also interesting that the informant did not know how it originated except that it had been going on for several years, suggesting that it is something passed down again and again.