Why Breakdancing is not just a dance it is a DanceSport
If you’re like most people, the phrase ‘dance sport’ is probably unfamiliar to you. But breaking, B-Boying or breakdancing — is now considered by many a dance sport, with an international focus and competition circuit. It’s also one of the fastest-growing youth activities in the world today. This dynamic hybrid of dance and gymnastics has even been featured on popular TV shows such as World of Dance and Breaking Pointe. So why breakdance — a dance that has been around for decades — only now considered a “sport?”
B-Boying and Breakdancing: What’s the Difference?
The terms “breakdancing” and “b-boying” are sometimes used interchangeably, though they actually refer to different aspects of the same cultural dance movement. Breakdancing refers to the dance itself, while b-boy refers to the dancers themselves. Breakdancing involves acrobatic moves and is performed to music often using a DJ or live band as the soundtrack. Breakdancing developed in the 1970s and 1980s as a fusion of various styles of street dance, including African, Latin and Asian dances. It was often performed in a competitive atmosphere at parties and school functions, with dancers “breaking” — or competing — against each other. Many use the term B-Boy or Break-Boy as somebody that live the lifestyle and a Breaker as some one that just does the dance.
Why is BREAKING a Sport?
The quick answer is that it’s challenging, athletic and artistic. B-boying have grown in popularity for decades, with millions of people around the world participating in this creative outlet. But it wasn’t until 2013, when it became an official sport at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Buenos Aires, that breaking was recognized as a sport. That’s because breaking is athletic and challenging, with both men’s and women’s competitive categories. It also has the cultural significance and creative element required to be considered a sport.
Breaking Becomes a Sport: An Evolutionary Journey
First, it’s important to note that breaking isn’t new — it’s just now being recognized as a sport. It’s been evolving since its start in the 1970s, when b-boying was simply a type of street dance. It was also heavily associated with hip hop culture, as one of the 4 elements that make up Hip Hop. B-boying and breakdancing have been featured in movies and TV shows. They’ve also been included in dance competitions, with b-boying being one of the events at the International Cheerleading and Dance Festival. But the real push towards breaking being recognized as a sport came in 2010 when a group of B-Boys launched The World B-Boy Championship. This competition is now an annual event and has helped B-Boys to push for their art to be included in the Olympics.
One of the most unique aspects of breakdancing is that it’s a fusion of dance and acrobatics. The dancers not only have to be skilled in rhythm and footwork, but they also have to be gymnasts — able to perform complex moves on their hands and feet. This is because breakers — or b-boys — are judges on five criteria: rhythm, skill, creativity, power and technique. Each of these elements must be present in a routine, which often includes complex acrobatic moves. There’s no doubt that breaking dancers are skilled athletes, capable of flipping, tumbling and leaping into the air with ease. So, why not just call it gymnastics? The difference is that dancers competing in gymnastics are judged on how well they perform on a single apparatus — such as the vault or bars. B-Boys must be able to perform a variety of dynamic moves using their entire bodies — using both feet, hands and even their heads!
B-Boy Rhythm - San Antonio,TX
What You Can Expect to See from Breaking in the Future
Like most sports, breaking has had its fair share of scandals. In 2017, there was a lot of negative press surrounding the sport when Russian b-boys were banned from competing at the World B-Boy Championship in Taiwan. This was due to the fact that the Russian B-Boy Union was under investigation for corruption. The International B-Boy Federation (IBB) is a non-profit organization that governs b-boying and breaking. They formed in 2016 to provide a governing body for the sport, giving breaking the legitimacy it needed to finally be recognized as a sport. The next challenge for the IBB is to bring breaking into the Olympics. Their goal is to have breaking included as an exhibition sport at the Paris Olympics in 2024. However, there is a lot of work to do: The IBB has been working with the IOC since 2013 to get breaking recognized as a sport. If the IBB and IOC agree that breaking meets the criteria to be included in the Olympics, the next step would be to pass the proposal through the general session of the Olympic Congress.
One of the most popular misconceptions about breaking is that it’s just a dance — which it isn’t. Breaking is a dance sport that combines elements of gymnastics, acrobatics and creative dance. If you’ve ever seen a b-boy perform, you’ve seen someone who is skilled at manipulating their entire bodies — using their feet, hands and even their heads to execute complex and daring moves. It’s this fusion of dance and acrobatics that has helped breakers to earn their place as an official and recognized sport. But Not everyone agrees as there is a large part of the scene that will argue that Breakdancing is a dance and not a sport. After the Olympics in 2024 Breaking will be changed forever.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.