Willy was in England the last few days to “a character in a movie”. This evening, about twenty children from Colombier-le-Vieux, 661 inhabitants, are waiting for their young 27-year-old teacher. From filming to the Ardèche plateau. “We have to finish this year’s show!”, Willy smiles. In the meantime, he is going to Montpellier to qualify for the Paris Olympics in 2024. There, his discipline, breakdance, will emerge. This morning, the internationally acclaimed athlete is taking a break … without dancing on a terrace in Valence (Drôme). His wife, Sarah, and him, as well as Gabrielle, their little newborn angel, are waiting for him on the other side of the Rhône, on the Ardèche side, where they have recently settled down.
Ardèche, base and home port for the boy and his parents, immigrants from Cambodia. “I like the mentality of people here”, he explains easily. Willy grew up in Annonay, in the northern part of the department. A childhood of “great freedom” For better or worse. It could have gone wrong. The school? Not his thing. He will leave her without regrets, except for his mother, in ninth grade. “I liked to do anything”recognizes today the young father of the family, also evokes “neighborhood atmosphere” where he develops and the visiting rooms Friday night, where he visits members of his imprisoned family … In these wanderings, Willy discovers breakdance, this way of dancing, imported from the United States and born in the gangs Bronx. The young boy, fed on kung-fu movies, popularized by Bruce Lee, is seduced by this acrobatic dance, where one challenges the other during fights. Dance instead of punch.
He pushes the investigation to Lyon, where the groups, known as crews, are several. “I started reproducing other people’s characters b-boys [autre nom pour les danseurs de breakdance, Ndlr]. I developed quickly ”, says Willy. He is seen by Mazir, leader of the Tekken group. Besides breakdance, this dancer has another passion: Jesus! “Jesus, Jesus … He only had his name in his mouth. But I did not care!”explains Willy, who grew up in a family where one is either a Buddhist or a Muslim, but certainly not a Christian. “For me, being a believer meant having hatred for others, for society …” And he certainly knows nothing about this Jesus, except that he reminds him of his history lessons and the battle dates in “200 BC”… “At the time, I was wondering about the meaning of life. I felt too small to face it “confesses the boy today.
So to Mazir, who continues to serine him with his Jesus and his gospels, Willy ends up asking for a bible. “I devoured the Book of Proverbs.” During an evening of prayer in an evangelical church in Lyon, to which he accompanied the head of Tekken, Willy “accept Jesus in your life”. “After the evening, when I took myself home in the subway, I felt that something had changed: I felt love for everyone! », laughs Willy. Her dance is transformed. It seems to him less important to win than to share, to give joy. Willy was baptized in June 2015. Sauvé, Willy. Even a Catholic, his future wife, Sarah, will lead him, from evening in the Lyon-Center church to Lourdes, to join her in the Roman church. They united there before God last June. Always with her, Willy wants to serve the youngest. “We pray that our life plan will be revealed to us.”
Willy Hem will testify at the festival “Au mont Dieu!” Which takes place in Pélussin (Loire) on July 9 and 10.
The passage of the gospel that inspires him
” “Do everything with love.” This sentence from First letter to the Corinthians touches me because it resonates in my childhood where violence was often present. By trying to do everything with love, Christ, who has already calmed me and transformed my mentality in depth, allows me to overcome my traumas. The power of love is a daily rediscovery for me. »