What is Breakdancing?

Breakdancing is a hip-hop dance style that first gained popularity in the 1970s. This style, also known as b-boying, b-girling, or breaking, was popularized African American and Latin American teenagers who saw it as a positive alternative to the dangerous influences of street gangs.

Successful breakdancing requires coordination, style, flexibility, and rhythm. It’s one of the most improvisational dance styles, allowing each dancer to personalize their routine using athleticism and imagination. Upper body strength is often considered a necessity in dance because many dancers have created moves that borrow from gymnastics and martial arts.

Breakdancing is heavily reliant on music. A DJ usually assembles short samples from various songs into a unique composition that suits this fast-paced dance style. Rap, disco, jazz, funk, soul, electro, and R&B are frequently featured in the music. Some dancers, on the other hand, have tried incorporating snippets of opera songs into their dance music.

Breakdancing, like other types of dance, has its own costuming style. Baggy pants, bandannas, wristbands, nylon tracksuits, and low-weight, good-grip sneakers are all common fashion elements. Although some small groups of breakdancers have adopted a goth rock style to set themselves apart from their peers, Puma and Tribal remain the most popular clothing brands in the breakdancing community.

Breakdancing has a very informal culture. Many dancers are largely self-taught, and moves are often passed down word of mouth. However, there are clubs and organizations in some larger cities that offer a more structured approach to mastering this unique dance style.

Dancers have created numerous opportunities to showcase their talents because breakdancing is a skill that requires a significant amount of time to learn. Battles are competitions in which dancers compete in head-to-head duels or as part of a larger competition between opposing crews to perform fast-paced routines. The technical proficiency of the competitors and the complexity of the routine are used to determine the winners. A cipher is similar to a breakdancing competition, but without the competitive aspect.

Breakdancing is a big part of pop culture nowadays, with movies and TV shows like South Park, Zoolander, Save the Last Dance, and You Got Served featuring it. Video games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Smash Bros. Melee feature it as well. Even professional wrestlers like Booker T use the moves frequently in their performances.