Breakdance or b-boying/b-Girling is an athletic style of street dance from the United States, which is now the only dance being introduced in the Olympics. While diverse in the amount of variation available in the dance, breakdancing mainly consists of four kinds of movement: top-rock, down-rock, power moves and freezes. Breakdancing is typically set to songs containing drum breaks, especially in hip-hop, funk, soul music and breakbeat music, although modern trends allow for much wider varieties of music along with certain ranges of tempo and beat patterns.
Breaking was created by the African American and Puerto Rican youth in the early 1970s. The earliest 1st Generation breakdancers of Bboys known as Trixie (Lauree Myers), Dancing Doug (Douglas Colon), A1 Bboy Sasa, The Legendary Smith Twins and Clark Kent. The groups included Zulu Kings, Star Child La Rock, Salsoul and Crazy Commandos. By the late seventies, the dance had begun to spread to other communities and was gaining wider popularity; at the same time, the dance had peaked in popularity among African Americans and Puerto Ricans.
A practitioner of this dance is called a b-boy, b-girl, or breaker. Although the term “breakdance” is frequently used to refer to the dance in popular culture and in the mainstream entertainment industry, “b-boying” and “breaking” are the original terms and are preferred by the majority of the pioneers and most notable practitioners.
Break dancing gets Olympic status to debut at Paris Games in 2024— Habari Entertainment (@Habarient) December 8, 2020
International Olympic Committee's pursuit of urban events to lure a younger audience#breakdance #BreakingNews #Olympics pic.twitter.com/SLjlKJAEIu
Here are some of the main facts about Breakdancing:
- Break dancing originated in New York City during the late 1960s and early ’70s, incorporating moves from a variety of sources, including martial arts and gymnastics.
- The term break refers to the particular rhythms and sounds produced by DJs by mixing sounds from records to produce a continuous dancing beat. The technique was pioneered by DJ Kool Herc (Clive Campbell), a Jamaican deejay in New York who mixed the percussion breaks from two identical records.
- During his live performances at New York dance clubs, Kool Herc would shout, “B-boys go down!”—the signal for dancers to perform the gymnastic moves that are the hallmark of break dancing.
- Break dancing is largely improvisational, without “standard” moves or steps.The emphasis is on energy, movement, creativity, humour, and an element of danger.
- It is meant to convey the rough world of the city streets from which it is said to have sprung. It is also associated with a particular style of dress that includes baggy pants or sweat suits, baseball caps worn sideways or backward, and sneakers (required because of the dangerous nature of many of the moves).
- There are four categories in breakdance. They are power moves (windmill, tomas, airtrax and so on), style moves, toprock, downrock (footwork), and freezes (chair, airchair and so on). Many of moves come from gymnastics and kung-fu.
- In the 1980s breaking reached a greater audience when it was adopted by mainstream artists such as Michael Jackson.
- Breaking had gone from a street phenomenon to one that was embraced by the wider culture. It is around this time that the term break dancing was invented by the media, which often conflated the repertoire of New York breakers with such concurrent West Coast moves as “popping” and “locking.” Those routines were popularized in the early 1970s by artists on television, including Charlie Robot, who appeared on the popular TV series Soul Train.
- The mainstreaming of the genre was never more clearly demonstrated than in 2004, when break-dancers were invited to perform in the Vatican before Pope John Paul II.
- Break dancing cemented its place in popular culture when, in 2020, the International Olympic Committee approved breaking as a sport at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.