Forum: General / Hip Hop / Breaking

History of B-Boying
By yuuyaa
On Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:24 PM

I saw the documentary Freshest Kids and thought it was excellent and full of detailed information. But I was also wondering if there are any history books about B-Boying? I want to research in depth the history of B-Boy culture and would like to find the best books on how breaking culture developed. Any suggestions?

3 Replies to History of B-Boying

re: History of B-Boying
By iH0p
On Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:30 PM
There was a lot of bboy history in "Yes Yes Y'all" by Jim Ricke, Charlie Ahearn, (introduction by Nelson George)

coppelia
re: History of B-Boying
By yuuyaa
On Fri Jul 29, 2005 03:20 AM
Thanks for the tip! Thats a good source.

Although i dont think there is any book out there that focusses specifically on b-boying/breaking, popping or locking yet is there? All the hip hop history books I found are all about MCs and rapping, with few words on the dance aspect. But as far as I know theres not yet any specific dance focus book that I know of..

But if any one know of a book focussing on the dance history of breaking, etc.. please let me know because I would very much like to read it.
re: History of B-Boying
By DavidCTaylor
On Tue Sep 06, 2005 03:03 PM
the rocksteady crew has lots if you serch them on the net. and the zulu nation for hip hop culture.Breakdancing started in 1969. That was the year that James Brown recorded "Get on the Good Foot," a song that inspired an acrobatic dance based on the high energy moves that Brown performed on stage. Soon, kids in New York were doing the Good Foot -better known as B-Boy(short for Break Boy)- which was the direct precursor to the sort of breakdancing we know today.

1969 was also the year that Afrika Bambaataa started organizing ghetto youth into one of the first breakdance crews: The Zulu Kings. The Zulu Kings won contests and talent shows. They performed their moves at dance clubs. Bambaataa recognized the potential for acrobatic dancing, and he encouraged young people to stick with it. But most people thought the Zulu Kings were just another gang.

When the Zulu Kings were challenged by a rival street gang, Bambaataa, they called for a break in the usual street warfare and suggested that the two groups fight with steps rather than weapons. Sure enough, the rival gang was just as ready to square off with dance steps as they were with knives and chains. Afrika Bambaataa's followers grew into the Zulu Nation which was 5000 strong. The kids in the Zulu Nation would rather dance than fight, and breakdancing (a term invented by Afrika Bambaataa) became an integral part of hip-hop.

These dance battles gradually evolved into a highly stylized form of mock combat called "Uprock". In an uprock battle, a dancer would lose if he actually touched his opponent. A B-Boy named Rubberband is credited with developing Uprock. Breakin' was originally known as "Rocking". "Old Style" breakin' and B-Boy'n consisted only of floor work ("Floor Rock" or "down rock") and "top rock" (dancing on two feet, like the Moonwalk). Acrobatic moves such as the headspin had yet to emerge. Floor Rock involved complicated leg moves. Athletic young men found it was a good way to win dance contests. B-Boy'n was especially popular in the South Bronx, where rival gangs would battle over turf, or just to gain each others' respect.

Breakin' remained popular until 1977, when a dance called the Freak took over.
Meanwhile, another dance was catching on...one which would lead to the development of the Electric Boogie. This dance was called the Robot. People started doing the Robot as early as 1969, but the dance really took off after Michael Jackson danced the Robot while singing "Dancin' Machine" on national TV.

In 1979, a new breakdance crew was organized called Rock Steady Crew. These dancers were very talented, but breakin' wasn't as popular anymore. People said that Rock Steady were old fashioned. One person who encouraged Rock Steady Crew was Afrika Bambaataa. The kids in Rock Steady Crew were all original members of Bambaataa's Zulu Nation. Bambaataa told them to stick with it. Rock Steady Crew invented many of the "power moves" that made breakdancing famous. Crazy Legs and Frosty Freeze (who specialized in "freeze" moves) practiced in Central Park, New York and on the streets until they had perfected their routine. They added a lot of acrobatic moves such as the headspin, handglides, backspins, and "The Continuous Backspin" (better known as the Windmill).

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