Born to Dance: The Breakdancing Kid

Twelve-year-old Jalen Testerman balances school and practice before a big breakdancing competition.
6:01 | 04/18/14

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Transcript for Born to Dance: The Breakdancing Kid
You are about to meet a child prodigy with the attitude, energy and moves. This preteen has been tearing up dance floors since he was a toddler. Will raw talent be enough to take on competitors three times his age. Here is ABC's Neil Karlinsky. Reporter: This ain't no party, this ain't no disco. If you thought as we did that break dancing done alongside parachute pants in the 1980s you are in for a eyepopping awakening. The dancers call themselves b-boys, most are grown men. Except one the little guy who schools them all when he is not in school. Jalen is a 12-year-old head spinning phenomenon who was 5 when he became hooked on the dance scenes he had seen in the movie "You got served." ♪ ♪ he danced his way straight out of diapers and got so good so fast he was soon on "Ellen." Oh, I performed for "The Oprah Winfrey show," before "Maury." Who is the coolest, between Oprah, maury and Ellen. Ellen. Yeah. Jalen goes by g-styles, and as 12-year-olds go he has plenty. "Nightline" spent three days with him and his family shuttling between school and practice, leading up to a big competition. We wanted to find out what turns a Normal kid into an unstoppable acrobat. Who has won competitions and traveled the world from France to Korea. Is there anything that makes you nervous? Anything that scares you? Worries you? Actually I have never been nervous in my life. Who does he take after? Pretty much cut down the middle. More energy. Reporter: The family's small home south of Seattle is devoted to dance and discipline. There is where you need to catch your breath. Reporter: To our surprise not because the family believes Jalen will be able to make a living as a break dance champ. Jalen's father and full time coach says it is all about putting his kids on the right path, something he missed growing up on the rough streets of L.A. If you don't have respect, if you don't have manners, no one is going to look you. And the reason I know that because I grew up that way and no one liked me. The after school routine is all way the same. Jalen, his little brother and sister get home and quickly fuel up on pbjs. I'm pretty good at making the sandwich if you ask me. Reporter: Then straight to work. Burpees, jump rope, everything to music. You have been going nonstop. Aren't you wiped out? Not for me. I'm like, I'm look a little machine. So I just keep going and going. I would rather you lose than you. And try to win dance. Early on. His father says he was worried about one thing. Injuries. Because I think what he does at such a young age is so strenuous on his body that I wanted to make sure that -- he was -- physically ready. Just a Normal kid, you know. I want to kid myself a superstar or famous. I kid myself like, well-known. How do you feel? Good. All right. Let's do it. On this night the entire family is headed into Seattle for a competition called the sweet 16. A huge dance-off where 16 of the region's top b-boys have been invited to compete. The scene is wild. But there is no alcohol, no smoking, just hundreds of kids dancing, with moves so creative, our team couldn't get over the fact that we had never heard of this before. Backstage, Jalen readies himself. Is it weird being up against grown men? You are the only one here sitting on his mom's lap before he goes to compete? It really doesn't matter who I am battling. Kids, adults. I am actually pretty used to battling adults. Ever since I was a kid I battled adults. Reporter: A quick prayer. A powwow with dad. And then -- he is in it. Youngest competitor to be in the sweet 16. One-on-one. Dead center. Before a wild crowd. They trade short routines before a panel of judges. Jalen wins his first battle. But as the field narrows and the competition heats up. The night ultimately doesn't go his way. We need to go to the judges. Three, two, one. Oh, we got unleashed. I try to beat everybody, but it seemed look tonight wasn't my day. So -- I'm just going to go home like it was a Normal, just a there mall D Normal day, work harder so next time I win. I thought you were awesome. Thank you. His father is frustrated by the loss, but focused on bigger things for his son. Maybe a career in choreography or acting. Definitely a dance called college. I still get a little choked up every time he performs. Tore battles. Just like watching all his dreams come true. He has the the confidence. I just look at him and I can't believe that's my son. I'm Neil Karlinsky for "Nightline" in Seattle.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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