Anthony San

Anthony is thankful for his teachers and is busy teaching Breakdancing to Metro Kids in Des Moines.

Tell us what your childhood home was like. My childhood home was in several places from what I remember. Under the roof consisted 4 boys and 1 girl. I am the youngest child and one of two kids whom were born in the USA. My other siblings and my parents are refugees from Cambodia. I remember living in apartments and homes growing up. We moved several times and it was always busy. My siblings helped take care of me as my mom worked after my parents divorced. We did our best to stick together no matter how hard times got. 

Who was your favorite teacher in grade school? My favorite teacher in grade school was... ALL OF THEM! Actually I want to say Mrs. Clark, my music teacher back at Hillis Elementary. She really believed in me and helped build my courage up when she told me I was a good singer. Also, Mrs. Marek my art teacher at Hillis. She was also very encouraging and helped me out when I was slacking. I really had some amazing teachers from Hillis Elementary to Merrill Middle School to Roosevelt High School. 

"I felt like I learned a lot, but I was allowed to really be myself by my teachers." 

What was your favorite subject in high school and why? My favorite subject in High School is a bit tough... I would say a tie between English class/Math class/Spanish because I felt like I learned a lot, but I was allowed to really be myself by my teachers. 

What was your first job? My first Job was at Thai Flavors as a middle man/host. I was a subborn and hard headed teen that didn't know the meaning of work. 

If you could write the Des Moines area a mission statement what would it be? If I could write the Des Moines area a mission statement it would be to build each other up and better ourselves daily. We must must all grow upward and get after our goals one step at a time. There are people wanting to better our little city and we must help back them up. 

"There are people wanting to better our little city and we must help back them up." 

What’s currently keeping you busy? Metro Kids and teaching Breakdancing is keeping me very busy. I work at Hillis and Perkins before and after school except on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.I also work at Hiatt and help be a caregiver at the ESL/ELL program and even teach the youth there Breakdancing during gym time. I teach breakdancing for my Harding Breakerz at Harding Middle School, (which I am proud to say that I was lucky enough to perform with at The White House this past May and we were one of the few schools that were invited to perform for the FLOTUS Michelle Obama) and BU Dance Co. on Wednesdays and Breakdancing For Kids level 1 and Breakdancing For Kids Level 2 on Des Moines Social Club on Thursdays. I teach Movement 515 Breakdancing Workshop at Des Moines Social Club as well for half a semester for middle school and high school kids for free.

What’s been the biggest challenge and reward from working with Metro Kids? Working at Metro Kids means we are the first to interract with the kids before school and after school, so we must lead by example and set a good tone for them to start school with a great attitude and willingness to learn and leave home with a positive attitude as well. These kids are wonderful to work with and there is not much time to myself because as soon as they see me they are jumping and climbing all over me with excitement ready to play games like tag outside and then board games or gym time inside. Tiring working with 20-30 kids in the morning and 60-80 kids after school.

If you could identify your number one strength and weakness what would they be? My strength would be being very passionate to my craft and to the kids I work with. I love my jobs and I love the kids I work with and teach. They really bring out the best in me. My weakness is organization and losing or forgetting things very, very, very easily. 

"I never know when I might have to dance when I am not on the clock."

What is one thing you can't leave home without other than your phone? One thing I can't leave home without other than my phone would be my backpack with extra clothes and a pair of shoes because I never know when I might have to dance when I am not on the clock... If I don't forget it at home.  

Walk us through your typical weekend. My typical weekend now is working at Hiatt Middle School in the morning to afternoon and then go practice dancing. Sunday I am at Des Moines Social Club with my students practicing and training up for upcoming competitions. Saturdays I can be out of town at a nearby states Breakdancing battle or even in Iowa CIty when my boys there have events.

You are busy! How do you manage your time? It's hard managing time, but I got great friends and family helping me with my schedule.

If you could grant the Des Moines area one wish what would it be? If I could grant the Des Moines area one wish what would it be? More events and opportunities for upcoming artists to pursue their goals and dreams. Also, I'd wish for Shenron from Dragon Ball Z... for even more wishes after collecting the Dragon Balls of course.

Derek Jensen