08 November. 2010
These are the Breaks
Walking down the streets of New York City in the early 70s you hear loud hip-hop music and see a crowd gathered at a street corner. As you get closer you realize it is a couple of dancers, but nothing you have ever seen before. They flip, spin, and stand on their hands; you look in amazement as you wonder what this new phenomenon is. Breakdancing has been around for more than 40 years and has evolved from street corners to international competitions. Where did this phenomenon come from, what is it exactly, and what does it involve? Those may be some of the questions that come to mind when thought about breakdancing. The music is what started it all and the moves have evolved at the same rate the music has.
“Yet when I think of hip-hop… I think of people all over the world popping and locking in Manhattan’s Union Square as the sun sets on a warm summer evening. I think of Zulu Nation founder Afrika Bambaataa wandering around a jam, happily taking pictures of random strangers-including me-as if we were his nieces and nephews” (Schloss 3). Many people have their own perspective on the founders of hip-hop music and the breakdancers themselves. Many also feel it is just a fad, “for most people ‘breakdancing’ belongs somewhere between parachute pants and Rubik’s cubes…” (Schloss 4). Some may not realize that it is a spectacular display of dance and is as elaborate as ballet, it is art and the human body is the brush used to produce it. It takes many years of dedication and pushing the human body to the limit in order to perfect this art. Dancers must exceed the strength, flexibility, and balance of normal person almost to a superhuman degree. Ask a b-boy or b-girl what they think about breaking and they will most likely respond like this, “’ultimately, in so many ways, I just feel like b-boying is…a metaphor for life,’ says MiRi Park, also know as b-girl Seoulsonyk, a dancer and writer...