The Break through of Breakdance


Since the 1960’s breakdancing has been used as a way to demonstrate an individuals  physical ability  but also a platform to display artistic expression. Breakdancing is much more than just a style of dance, instead I want you to consider it to be a type of culture. Because breakdancing, just like a culture, contains communities of various types of people, joining together to create, collaborate, and make memories.

What is Breakdancing

Breakdancing is a form of street dancing–   

Which is an umbrella term used to categorize numerous forms of dancing such  as: breakdancing, popping, locking, and house dance. Breakdancing itself is a combination of different dance moves, although there are many moves/ elements of the style that are the basis of break dancing. Such as: Free style, Top rock, Go Downs, Downrock – footwork, Power Moves, and Flips and Tricks






Based upon improvisation of the moves of a dancer. So there is no coordination or rehearsal beforehand. Its based upon a dancers intuition, which is extremely important for breakdance. 

Moves that occurs in an upright position. It can include other aspects such as power  stepping, step hops, and side steps. 

A combination of abrupt changes from dancing on their feet to performing movements on the floor. These moves are known drops or go downs. Down Rocks or  footwork is the coordinated movements of a dancer’s feet while standing. Their footwork can range anywhere from 2 to 12 steps. 


When a dancer propels their body into motion, whether it be spinning or a rotational movement. Or balancing on one’s hands, head back, etc. 

Origin / History

Break dancing emerged in New York City in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining routines from many sources. Break dancing is mostly improvised, with variations on “classic” motions or steps such as freezes, powermoves, downrock, and toprock.

What influenced breakdancing?

Breakdancing is said to have been influenced by James Brown’s performances. Street corner DJs would string together dance record breaks to give dancers a chance to show off their talents.


According to others, breaking began as a tactic for opposing street gangs to resolve disagreements. Each gang’s dancers would show off their routines, and the one with the most original and intricate dances would be declared the champion.

Most Famous breakdancers

DJ Kool Herc- Kool Herc, a native of Jamaica who immigrated to the Bronx neighborhood of New York City when he was 12 years old,  is widely credited as the originator of Hip Hop.Herc (real name Clive Campbell) gained notoriety when he started hosting dance parties in the living room of his family’s South Bronx apartment building, which at the time was a run-down, violent neighborhood. Herc developed the method of lengthening the break by playing two copies of the same record on dual turntables after noticing an increase in crowd enthusiasm during the instrumental breaks on the Funk and Soul records he spun. He turned a portion of a record into an extended loop by cueing the second record back to the start of the break when one record approached the end of the break.His method, which he originally referred to as “the Merry-Go-Round,” eventually took the name “breakbeat” deejaying, and the sound it produced helped to create a completely new culture.

Afrika Bambaataa

Grandmaster Flash

He is notable for releasing a series of genre-defining electro tracks in the 1980s that influenced the development of hip hop culture. Afrika Bambaataa is one of the originators of breakbeat DJing.

The Quick Mix Theory, which Grandmaster Flash created, contained tricks like the double-back, back-door, back-spin, and phasing. As a result, a DJ may create his own beat and music by placing his fingertips on the record and counting the number of rotations.



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