Laura Biondo has bagged 15 Guinness World Records, performed in Cirque du Soleil, and made her way to the finals of the 2023 Red Bull Street Style Global Championships. But earlier today, she had the greatest challenge of her career — teaching an uncoordinated journalist how to do her trademark trick — ‘The Flicker’.
Having pioneered a wave of female freestylers, the Venezuelan icon has undeniably cemented her place as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. With a combination of flare and athleticism, the 34-year-old has an innate ability to make the most complicated of moves look relatively easy, creating the illusion that I’d actually have a chance of pulling one of her trademark skills off. Alas, as most would’ve guessed, that was somewhat wishful thinking.
In an opportunity that most would kill for, I joined Biondo for an exclusive one-to-one class. Luckily, the decorated freestyler put me at ease with the warm personality and charisma that has seen her become a hero to her adoring fans from every corner of the world.
To kick things off, Biondo showed off her remarkable trick, mesmerising me with her slick footwork and overall nonchalance of nailing a move that most wouldn’t dare even try.
Laura Biondo is a magnificent teacher as well as a fantastic freestyle footballer
In an exclusive interview with Sporf, she explained the requirements necessary to replicate her flawless example. She explained: “The very important thing is that you learn how to cushion the ball. So, for that, you place the ball on your foot, and you go up and down.”
Feeling confident and keen to impress my teacher, I placed the ball on my foot, simultaneously balancing my hand on her shoulder, and tried to lift the ball up and down. Luckily, this actually went according to plan, with Biondo ready to take things up a notch, saying: “That’s what you want to do. Awesome. Now, next step, let the ball bounce next to you and put your foot underneath.”
On my first try, I caught the ball, however, on the second, things went awry when it went flying away from my foot, showcasing just how much practice it takes to make it in such a gruelling sport.
Laura Biondo knows ‘The Flicker’ inside out
Fortunately for me, Biondo made for a very encouraging coach, pointing out the fatal error that was preventing me from mastering the skill. She asserted: “You don’t want to grab with the sole of your foot; it’s the inside.”
Trying to take her words of wisdom on board, I made my last attempt, determined to prove to Biondo that taking the time to train me would be worthwhile. Alas, I failed, making the same error that I’d made throughout the rest of the session.
In a testament to her character, the gifted athlete chuckled, knowing that in order to make any sort of splash in the sport, it takes more than a few minutes, with the top-level performers dedicating their lives to honing their craft.
Regardless, I’m determined to bounce back better than ever, returning to the Red Bull Street Style Global Championships next year, having learned The Flicker to a standard worthy of impressing Biondo.
Laura Biondo dazzled at the 2023 Red Bull Style Global Championships Qualifier
Following likely screaming inside after watching me butcher her beloved Flicker, Biondo had the opportunity to show me how the best in the business really do it.
The inspirational sportswoman jumped on stage at the 2023 Red Bull Style Global Championships Qualifier and showcased her awe-inspiring ability, rendering the crowd speechless with her remarkable God-given gift, while simultaneously oozing the swagger and stage presence required to pump up the cheering spectators.
Biondo’s epic showing rightfully earned her a place in the final, which will go down on Thursday evening at the Docks Dome in Brussels, Belgium. And having already achieved so much in her life, the legend would love to go one step further and add the cherry on top of her already sensational legacy by winning the whole thing.
To follow Laura’s progress and for more information on the Red Bull Street Style event, which takes place on Thursday 7th of December, visit www.redbullstreetstyle.com/.
Featured Image Credit: James Sweetnam / Laura Biondo