Home » Society and Culture

History Of Break Dancing

Feb 28, 2008
In the early 1970s, a unique style of dance evolved among youth on the streets of the Bronx. Street corner DJ's began stringing together the "breaks" off of dance records. A break is the part of a track void of vocals or baselines; it's the part where nothing is heard except for percussion. These "breaks" are the ideal medium for expressive, freestyle dancing that is now known as "break dancing" or "breaking".

Initially, breaking was an eccentric response to sections of music that lacked melodic normality. Eventually the style gained acceptance. Usually the break in a single track is too brief for extensive dancing, which is why the earliest organized break dancing was set to an engineered compilation of break beats.

Break dancing was initially used as a medium through which rival gangs could settle territorial disputes. The gang whose designated "b-boy" or "b-girl" displayed the most creative and challenging moves was decided as the winner. This decision was not always amicably accepted by each side. While the dancing in and of itself served as a non violent way to settle disputes, determining a winner often led to disagreements, shouting, and violence.

Michael Jackson's performance of the "robot dance" in the mid-70s helped breaking seep into popular culture. By the 1980s, this form of expression enjoyed an intense worldwide popularity thanks to other dances created by Jackson which were broadcast on MTV. Although modern break dancing is often characterized by elements inspired by kung-fu, the most famous break dances were Jackson's "Moonwalk" and MC Hammer's moves in his song "U Can't Touch This".

During its peak in the 80s, break dancing transformed from gang ritual to a pop-culture phenomenon. Some responsible for this transformation was a group called the Rock Steady Crew. Established in the Bronx in 1977, Rock Steady Crew brought legitimacy to this unique style of dance by separating itself from gangland warfare. The group performed in Manhattan nightclubs and eventually appeared in the 1983 movie Flashdance. After disbanding for seven years, the group reorganized in 1991. To this very day, they are considered the foremost break dancing group in the world.

An element of danger exists in break dancing due to the environment in which the dance is most commonly performed. Many dancers have suffered broken necks as a result of moves gone wrong. At least one dancer died during performance.

Today, break dancing is saturated in society. In the early 2000s, boy bands such as N'Sync and Backstreet Boys as well as pop divas like Brittany Spears and Christina Aguilera used elements of this type of dance in their music videos and concert performances. Breaking has appeared in mainstream Hollywood blockbusters such as Zoolander, which featured two white, male models dancing on a cat walk to settle a rivalry. The movie You Got Served featured some of the world's top break dancing artists in unaccredited appearances.

Some modern day "old school" dancers boycott the term "break dancing" citing that the dance was originally referred to as "breaking" or "b-boying" and that "break dancing" is a term developed by corporations as a marketing tool. In addition to being depicted in several movies and video games, break dancing was featured in a recent Volkswagen commercial through which the company promoted their "Golf" vehicle.

Break dancing has all the elements of a phenomenon that will not soon disappear. With many of its elements rooted in an America's most authentic artistic innovation, jazz music, it is safe to suggest that the worldwide popularity of this form of dance, which has now sustained itself for more than twenty years, will likely be around much longer.
About the Author
The other is a fan of break dancingand is a student of break dance history.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 363
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources