Break dancing has captivated the hearts and minds of people all over the world. From the first time youthful dancers hit windmills in the streets of the inner city, loudly blasting a hip hop hit from the street corner, to the climactic and dramatically staged performances of professional break dancers performing in front of millions of fans, break dancing has been a way of communicating across cultures. Break dancing is an almost universal language communicated through the agile and synchronized dance movements that characterize its style.
Jalen Testerman – 5 Year old Break Dancing Phenom
Nowhere is this more evident than in the blockbuster movies that have been released in recent years featuring high stakes dance competitions in which professional break dancing crews showcase their talents for the world to see. Although many of these movie roles are not lead or even supporting roles, movie producers have come to rely upon the notoriety of some professional break dancing crews to draw in viewing audiences. Additionally, the rising popularity of televised dancing competition can also be attributed to the break dancing crews whose performances tend to carry the shows.
Breakdancing, also often referred to as B-boying, made its grand debut in popular culture when African-American and Latino youth in the streets on New York developed a way of dancing to remixed popular music. The music was often remixed in order to prolong the breaks, thus the term “break dancing.” Although most songs tend to originate from hip hop or rap songs, it is not a prerequisite that songs be from this genre of music. As long as the tempo and rhythm is appropriate to the syncopated dance movements, any song can be remixed or used as a break dancing song.
Watch Break Dancing at the Rock The Bells concert in Los Angeles or Smokeout Music Festival in Los Angeles
Although it is popularly thought that break dancing originated in the Bronx during the late 70s and early eighties, there are actually elements of break dancing found throughout many cultures internationally. Brazilian capoeira is a popular dancing style that originated as a form of self-defense that masqueraded as a dance. Descendants of the African diaspora used it as a way of practicing ways of defending themselves while appearing to be doing something other than that.
Break dancing continues to spread in popularity throughout the world and as dance crews internationally add their own style to the ever changing art form.
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