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Break Dancing

A major component of the budding hip-hop culture of the early 80s, break dancing was a physically demanding youth-oriented dance activity involving complex, improvisational manoeuvres like bizarre gymnastic floor exercises.

It evolved from the street corners of urban areas in the USA (like New York City) and was ideally a creative expression that allowed gangs to let off some steam and avoid fisticuffs – as depicted in Michael Jackson‘s Beat It video – which doesn’t mean that fights didn’t occur. . .

All that was required was a smooth floor, or a large piece of cardboard or linoleum, a pair of sneakers, some sweat pants, a few bandanas tied around your leg and preferably not too much honkiness in your blood.

From ‘popping’ to ‘locking’ (as demonstrated by Fred Berry as Rerun on What’s Happening!) to moonwalks and backspins, break dancing had all the moves. Some greedy opportunists ultimately made some poor films like Breakin’ (aka Breakdance: The Movie and Electric Boogaloo and break dancing disappeared off TV, though it still exists on the street in different forms today.

The Moves

  • Floor Rock
  • Flow
  • Backspin
  • Headspin
  • Windmill
  • Suicide
  • Freeze
  • Lofting
  • Uprock
  • Electric Boogie
  • The Heartbeat
  • The Wave
  • The Tick
  • Mannequin
  • King Tut
  • Popping
  • Locking
  • The Floats
  • Bicycle
  • Smurf Walk
  • The Collapse
  • Freestyle