Origin of Breakin'

B-boying at its inception borrowed from other performance styles, as many elements of b-boying may be seen in other antecedent cultures prior to the 1970s. Concerning martial arts, b-boying looks very similar to the movement found in the Brazilian martial art capoeira which came about in the 1500’s, however, b-boy pioneers Richard "Crazy Legs" Colon and Kenneth "Ken Swift" Gabbert, both of Rock Steady Crew (2nd Generation), deny they ever witnessed capoeira when they were young;  they cite James Brown and Kung-Fu films as influences instead. Many of b-boying's more acrobatic moves, such as the flare, show clear connections to gymnastics. An Arab street dancer performing acrobatic headspins was recorded by Thomas Edison in 1892. However, it was not until the 1970s that b-boying developed as a defined dance style.

Beginning with DJ Kool Herc (Clive Campbell), Bronx-based DJs would take the rhythmic breakdown sections (also known as the "breaks") of dance records and prolong them by looping them successively. The breakbeat provided a rhythmic base that allowed dancers to display their improvisational skills during the duration of the break.

1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Bronx , NY,  is known around the world as the birth place of Hip Hop, and led to the first battles – turn-based dance competitions between two individuals or dance crews judged with respect to creativity, skill, and musicality. These battles occurred in cyphers – circles of people gathered around the breakers. Though at its inception the earliest b-boys were "close to 90 percent African-American", dance crews such as "SalSoul" and "Rockwell Association" were populated almost entirely by Latino American. Historian Joseph Glenn Schloss described it as such:

"In other words, there were three basic stages to the development of the dance: the early rock dance of the '60s, which was Latino and citywide; Brooklyn rocking or uprocking which was Latino and Brooklyn-based; and b-boying, which is Black and Latino and Bronx-based. Within this basic framework, it is not difficult to see how three constituencies-Brooklyn Latinos, Bronx Latinos, and African Americans-could have three totally different perspectives on the history".

Joseph Glenn Schloss

Here is a homeage to the old skool Bboys, Poppers, Lockers and of course Hip Hop (Also some rare original Uprocking footage)


 

Here's one of my favourite Bboys of all time Bboy Float (Incredible Breakers, NYC). His moves are as fresh now as they looked back in the day. A Legend in his own right.

 

To understand the true power of Breakin', the message of Hip Hop and what it can bring to a community, simply watch this:

 

 

Check out some of the old cats doing their thing Ken Swift, Legs, and Easy Roc

 

 

And they say Bboying does have a history pre 1970's, check these mad moves (and yes that mad guy does a head drill on the pavement without a beanie 1:10)