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From the Streets to the Olympics: The Journey of Breakdancing

Written by on May 28, 2024

(ReggaeVibeMedia.com) – Breakdancing, also known as breaking, has come a long way since its beginnings in the Bronx during the early 1970s. Initially, DJ Kool Herc extended instrumental breaks in songs to keep people dancing longer at block parties, giving rise to a new dance style that combined elements from gymnastics, martial arts, and other disciplines. This energetic style, known as “b-boying” or “b-girling,” became a central element of hip-hop culture alongside graffiti, DJing, and rapping.

The popularity of breaking soared in the 1980s, thanks in part to films like “Beat Street” and “Flashdance.” Despite experiencing periods of lesser visibility, breaking has made a significant resurgence, culminating in its inclusion in major international competitions. This journey from the streets of New York to the global stage highlights breaking’s enduring appeal and cultural impact.

The most notable milestone in breaking’s history is its inclusion in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, marking it as the first dance sport to be part of the Games. The competition will feature 16 B-Boys and 16 B-Girls from around the world, who will compete in solo battles to music chosen by a DJ. These battles will take place at Place de la Concorde on August 9 and 10, 2024.

Olympic breaking will be judged using a system that evaluates performances based on five categories: Musicality, Vocabulary, Originality, Technique, and Execution. This ensures that breakers are assessed not only on their physical skills but also on their creativity and musical interpretation. The new judging system, developed specifically for the Olympics, reflects the sport’s blend of artistry and athleticism.

Some of the prominent athletes expected to compete include Victor Montalvo from the USA, French B-Boy Dany, and Japanese B-Boy Shigekix. On the women’s side, B-Girls like Ami from Japan and B-Girl 671 from China are among the top contenders. These dancers represent the pinnacle of breaking talent, having proven themselves in numerous international competitions.

Breaking will be one of the highlights of the Paris 2024 Olympics, which runs from July 26 to August 11, 2024. Fans can watch the breaking competitions on August 9 and 10 at Place de la Concorde. The events will also be broadcasted on various Olympic streaming platforms and networks worldwide, providing an opportunity for viewers to experience the dynamic and expressive art form of breaking on a global stage.

The inclusion of breaking in the Olympics is a recognition of its cultural significance and its ability to engage younger audiences. Breaking’s Olympic debut is expected to draw new fans and inspire future generations of dancers, bridging the gap between a grassroots movement and mainstream recognition.

In conclusion, the journey of breakdancing from the ghettos of America to the grand stage of the Olympics is a testament to its cultural resilience and universal appeal. As it prepares to captivate a global audience at the Paris 2024 Olympics, breaking continues to celebrate its roots while embracing its future as a respected and competitive sport.


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