Filipino American world champion Logan Edra is on a mission to show how the dance can transform lives physically, mentally and spiritually.
In 2019, Ellen DeGeneres asked Logan Edra on her show whether the then-16- year-old feels pressure from social media. “I think for me and honestly anyone my age, especially girls my age, it’s easy for us to feel like once we get on social media, we feel like we need to compare ourselves to the people that we’re seeing, whether it’s pictures of other girls or videos of people who have skill sets that we may not have,” the soft-spoken Filipino American B-Girl responded. “And so for me, I always try to remind myself to fully accept myself for who I am and know that I don’t need to change to feel like I need to be accepted and loved; and know that I can love myself for who I am and that I have people who really love me around me.”
This merited a round of applause from both DeGeneres and the audience, prompting DeGeneres to react, “Let me tell you something. There are a lot of adults who haven’t gotten that message yet.”
Now 20 years old and wise beyond her years, the Red Bull BC One All Star, who was the youngest woman at the time to have won the prestigious 2021 Red Bull BC One title, has been continuously using her platforms—both as herself, Logan, and as the artist-athlete Logistx—to inspire and amplify the uplifting and healing powers of her craft.
Edra was born in Chula Vista, California, a second generation Filipino American. She was introduced to hip hop at the age of eight, by her father, who “tricked” her into attending a Hip Hop dance class when she thought she was going to an after-school art class. As she began immersing herself into the athletic street dance, she shifted to homeschooling and would do gymnastics, breaking or choreography every day after class. Her father, who was also the mastermind of her name Logistx—“because I’ve always been so ‘logistical’”—eventually moved them to Los Angeles when she was 13, as they were traveling back and forth for events so frequently.
Today, home for Edra is in South Florida, a move that she made in 2020 just before the Covid pandemic broke out to be with her mom, who lives in Fort Lauderdale. “It also happened to be a really good place for me to disconnect from certain things and kind of shift into a new chapter of my life,” shares Edra, “to becoming a woman and learning about what I want, and not just what other people want from me.” She admits that there was a lot of toxicity she had to detach from back in California.
“I’ve been through certain traumas and traumatic situations and I think one of the biggest ones was psychological trauma. I’ve had to work with people throughout my early life and be around people that were very controlling, and being so young and being Filipino, you’re like, ‘I don’t want to disappoint you.’”
She says that part of herself always felt like it needed love. “As a young kid, my way of getting that love wasn’t really self-fulfilled, it was all through external validation,” Edra continues. “I think external validation is a normal part of life—not one that is the living fuel—but that was the only thing that kept me waking up and getting up to go about the day, and I got stuck in that.”
Still, it was a blessing in disguise because it pushed her to accomplish what she did. It’s a very extreme duality and I’ve had to accept both sides of the same coin. The only way I was able to get through it was to accept that it happened, accept that there were good parts. And to forgive everyone in the process. Forgive myself, and forgive life, too.” Moving past it also involved finding her new “why” that was stronger than her fear of not being accepted. “I had to remind myself of how love and God exist in everything—which is a greater “why” than the need to be accepted by others, or external validation.”
Her new life in South Florida is where her healing began, as she started meeting new people and forming a new circle. “It’s an ongoing journey but I’m in a better place,” she says. In line with this new chapter, Edra has recently moved to her own place in Miami, the first time she will be living on her own.
Her days here start around 9AM, after a full eight hours of sleep, which she says is essential for her recovery. She meditates before calling her mentor or “spirit guide,” to work on her energy. After breakfast, she heads out for her daytime training, mostly with weights, and fuels up with a good meal afterwards. “I used to be fully vegan for seven years, but I eat salmon now, and started doing more supplements.” Afternoons are spent answering emails, attending meetings and getting some breathing time, before heading to what she refers to as her “crew, team and family,” the BreakinMIA studio in Miami’s Hialeah neighborhood founded by professional athlete Sergio “Zeku” Garcia. Apart from training there, Edra is also an instructor. “I’ll just chill for like 30-40 minutes and then I’ll train from 8 to around 11PM and then I just wind down after that.”
Breaking, also known as break-dancing, was created in the Bronx neighborhood in New York City in the 1970s. The improvisational and highly competitive street dance began as a mode of self-expression that reflected the social, economic and political conditions of the youth at the time.
“What I love most about breaking is that it’s an endless path of learning and discovering new things,” Edra says. “Because breaking is an element of hip hop and hip hop is a never-ending culture of so much knowledge, so much gold. That’s my gold medal—the gold from the knowledge and the culture itself. I love that there’s always another step, it’s very difficult, but it means that’s something I can do for the rest of my life that I won’t get bored with.”
While it is often seen as a masculine sport and artform, Edra is able to show her feminine side and style in her choice of clothing—the color purple, which to her “represents royalty and enlightenment,” hoop earrings—“the one accessory that I can wear that won’t really fall off unless something crazy happens,” gold accents, crop tops, and baggy pants to protect her knees.
For each competition, including the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics, Edra trains physically, mentally and spiritually. “I like to do practice jams or battles where I’ll either do rounds with people or I’ll go to another event before the actual event to battle, and just apply my rounds there. Mentally, I have a therapist, and she’s also like my sports psychologist. I’m learning how to use my trauma as a superpower for what I’m doing, like battling. I think anger and aggression are very natural emotions and so I just learned how to channel them into the into the battle.” She has also enlisted more specialists to help for her Breakin training and style development.
There’s also compartmentalizing herself as a person, and herself as an artist-athlete. “Learning how to handle the moments where I’m not Logistx, I’m just Logan—and distinguishing those different parts of myself have been very effective for me. It’s basically like self-control and self-mastery—mastery of emotions and thoughts. I can’t be Logistx all the time and there’s nothing wrong with not being Logistx all the time.”
She credits her Filipino American upbringing to helping to get her where she is. “I think my discipline definitely comes from my family,” she shares, “Like, school was always a priority. So alongside leveling up in dance and gymnastics and the other stuff I was doing, I had to be good in school first.” She adds, “The work ethic was always was always my edge when I was younger—working harder than everyone else in the room.”
What’s most important to Edra, however, is giving back through her craft and platforms. She founded S.E.L.F, in partnership with BreakinMIA, which stands for Self, Expressing Life Fearlessly, and also for Style, Evolution, Light/ Love, Foundation. “When I first moved [to South Florida], I felt there was something missing from the community,” she explains. “Like the Latin dance industry is very heavy over here, but there were also a lot of solo artists who were on their own around Florida that didn’t have a home.” She conducts the program at the studio where she works with artists on the evolution of their style and dance while focusing on foundation and community.
Her social media is also a platform where she shares and inspires, with honest, and sometimes vulnerable captions on what she may be going through at the time. “I’m seeing how I [can] use every single opportunity with each interaction I have throughout the day to just share my light with someone. My career wouldn’t feel like it has any meaning without the purpose behind it, which for me is has always been to share and spread light.” And as she moves towards the 2024 Paris Olympics, Edra is guided by two words: message and impact. “What helps and motivates me to win is a deeper meaning, a deeper purpose and mission. I just want to share my light through my dance, and I want to represent hip hop and breaking in their authentic forms onstage.”
Stylist: Danasia Sutton. Photographer’s Assistant: Joseph Cavallini.