Breakdancing, b-boying, breaking… they are all the same ! It is a form of hip hop, that consists of four primary moves : top or up rock, footwork, spinning moves and freeze. It was born among African Americans in New-York City, more specifically in the Bronx. Later, it became also popular on Latino youth in New-York. Breakdancing is usually danced of hip-hop music, but it is not restrictive as long as the tempo and beat pattern conditions are met.
Breakdancing was born in the late 60’s and was first called “Good Foot” after the James Brown’s record, and was the first free style dance that incorporated moves never seen before. More generally, b-boys and b-girls were called that way so it would be easier to describe the dancers. Street corner DJs would take the rhythmic breakdown sections of dance records that would allow dancers to display their skills during the break. But different music genres can be used with the aid of remixing, and as a matter of fact, the most popular breakdancing songs were borrowed from genres like jazz, soul, funk, electro and disco, but with a tempo that ranges between 110 and 135 beats per minute.
Breakdancing was not only popular in New-York City and in the US but it also became extremely popular in Japan, and Crazy-A was the most influential Japanese breaker before becoming the leader of the Tokyo chapter of Rock Steady Crew.
Even though some girls have been practicing breakdancing, males are generally the predominant gender withing the discipline. There are actually a lot of girls involved in breakdancing, but because of the lack of promotion, there are not enough female-only battles, and is seen as discrimination. Since there are no female divisions in breakdancing, girls have to compete with men or equal terms.
In the 80’s, breakdancing was very popular and was part of several films like Wild Style or Flashdance. In the last ten years, a couple of movies have shown characters breakdancing, but this dance does not have the same popularity than it had twenty or thirty years ago.
Even the conservative set is starting to accept the concept of breakdancing – in the strangest forms. We recently saw a Youtube music video with a line of big rigs and 18 wheeler truck injury lawyers on their trailer tops carrying on with an amazing display of drops, spins, flares, freezes, floats, swipes and airtracks. I simply couldn’t believe my eyes. I mean really…lawyers?
And hedge funds are not left out either. Ryan Long has a piece in the Wall Street Journal about breakdancing inspired promotions aimed at a much more hip young investment audience. Got money to invest? Even the coolest millionaires need good investment advice, and breakdancing is the way to show off the goods!