Break Dance

Break Dance

This extremely fun dance was created in the Bronx, NY, in the 1970s. The break dance style includes such basic moves as the 6-step, the toprock, freezes, dropdowns, power moves, and several other dance elements. Have you ever seen it or, probably, would you like to try it?


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      Break dancing, also known as B-boying or breaking, is a very energetic dance form created and popularized by African Americans and the Latino hip hop diaspora. Its stylized footwork and athletic moves attract the attention of many fans.

      “Hips Don’t Lie” cannot remain indifferent to it, so we offer many fascinating entertainment acts for hire, and they include break dancing and elements from many other dance styles. Our shows are truly breathtaking. We can also offer you dance classes from the most professional teachers. We are the best of many prominent Canadian dance companies that care about their clients. Our special offer also involves a performance of 5 different styles at one price, so you can make your festive event or special occasion unforgettable.

      Break Dancing As a Part of Hip Hop Culture

      Break dance is a part of the overall hip hop culture and, as the most picturesque element of it, it is characterized by many unique features. This traditional New York style makes the dance form borrow significantly from hip hop. The break dance definition sounds like an extremely athletic style of street dance that originated in the African American communities of the USA. A breaking community is a separate world with its own rules and principles. The variations take elements from diverse styles, though there are only four types of movements in break dancing - toprock, downrock, freezes, and power moves. You can perform it with hip-hop music, breakbeat, funk, soul music, and others. Sometimes rap music and funk music are used for these performances.

      Every break dancer must be physically fit because all the moves are quite demanding. It is referred to as the birth of hip hop when DJs invented rhythmic beats for hip hop dancers.

      Break dancing is a broad style expanding globally, and many clubs, organizations, and competitions exist worldwide. Break dancing sports are very popular, and this dance will even be featured as an Olympic sport and will debut in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

      The style has its dance vocabulary. A break dancer is called a b-boy, b-girl, or breaker. Initially, a break dance girl was a rare phenomenon in this style, while these days, more and more female dancers enjoy it and participate in competitions that are called battles.

      break dance style

      Break dancing originates from hip hop, but it has incorporated a variety of styles and sports, including gymnastics and martial arts. Break dancers combine elements of many dance forms to make their presentations even more specific. Break dancing is mostly improvisational. It is very energetic, humorous, and creative. Elements of danger are also present here. The rough street life originally determined them. In addition, break dancing is often associated with particular clothes, such as sweat suits, baggy pants, baseball caps, and sneakers.

      The influence of break dancing on other dance forms is immense. You can see break dancing elements in live concerts by famous artists like Britney Spears. In 2004, New York City breakers were invited to perform before Pope John Paul II in the Vatican.

      History of Break Dances Related to Hip Hop

      Though it is widely accepted that the break dance history is not as long as that of many other dance forms, the first signs of it appeared in the 19th century. In 1877, John MacGregor described the moves practiced by a young man that strongly remind us of break dance. That dance was called the Giesse Harad Polska or “salmon district dance.” Thomas Edison filmed the first break dance teams in 1894 and 1898. A similar style was performed in Kaduna, Nigeria, in 1959.

      However, the true history of this defined dance style started in the USA in the 1970s when DJs, namely DJ Kool Herc, experimented with instrumental records and break beats. The rhythmic breakdown was received by the simultaneous switching between the two copies of one record. That created “breaks” that gave the style its name.

      Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon and Kenneth “Ken Swift” Gabbert became the pioneers of this beak dancing. They performed many acrobatic moves related to gymnastics and Kung Fu films with Bruce Lee.

      break dancing

      The further development of break dancing led to dance battles (competitions between the break dance groups and lengthy dance sessions called ciphers. This term originates from the hip-hop culture and stands for the circular dance spaces arranged for battles. The popularity of such gatherings and battles rose, so they often featured titles, prizes, and bragging rights, this time not only for black and Latino kids but for everybody who likes this way of self-expression.

      The popularity of break dancing increased in the 1980s when the style reached wider audiences. That happened due to the style adoption by prominent mainstream artists, such as Michael Jackson. His moonwalk was especially popular and appreciated by teens. When these dances gained notice of record producers, they started thinking about dragging the dance from the streets to a hip hop dance studio. At that time, the term break dancing appeared to contrast this style to popping or locking, which were popularized in the early 1970s by Charlie Robot, who was featured in the popular TV series “Soul Train.”

      “Hips Don’t Lie,” an outstanding Canadian break dance company, continues the traditions of the style, and our professional dancers will be happy to introduce the world of break dancing to you.

      Elements and Routines of Break Dancing

      Every break dance performance contains the main elements of the hip hop style - toprock, downrock, freezes, and power moves.

      Break dancers do strings of steps in toprock, and various upper body moves in a standing position. It is an initial step of every hip hop choreography, though dancers perform frequent transitions from other positions to toprock and back. To succeed, a dancer maintains cleanliness, form, and attitude via this element. If the transition is from toprock to downrock, it is called a drop.

      Downrock, usually known as footwork or floorwork, is another essential element of the break dance routine. It includes any element performed on the floor. It also includes the foundational 6-step, which is often replaced by the 3-step. The basic form of this element is performed with feet and supporting hands, though more complex modifications involve knees and other limbs.

      The break dance description would be incomplete without acrobatic power moves that demand flexibility, momentum, strength, endurance, and control. Examples of these moves involve swipe, head spin, backspin, and windmill. Many movements were borrowed from martial arts and gymnastics, for example, Thomas Flair.

      If you have ever seen the performance of any break dance group near me, you might have been impressed with their freezes. These are stylish poses of suspension when a dancer does not move in a complex position like the pike for a moment. These moves are meant to emphasize strong music beats of different music genres or the end of one set. Freezes can go in chains called stacks, and breakers move from freeze to freeze in a row to demonstrate their musicality and strength.

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      Present Day of Break Dances and Their Popularity Worldwide

      The break dance origin is referred to the poor areas of New York City and other big American conglomerates. However, you can see the best break dance performance in any corner of the world nowadays. So this traditional New York dancing is more and more considered an international style. Such countries as Brazil, Cambodia, France, Japan, South Korea, and China have become the centers of new variation development and are now famous for their professional break dance groups and the most talented performers of break dancing and hip hop. For example, hip hop and break dancing have become mainstream in South Korea and enjoy great popularity alongside Korean culture.

      Of course, Canada is a country where break dancing is immensely popular. The dance arrived here in the late 1970s- early 1980s with such movies as “Beat Street” and “Breakin’.” The immigrants from New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, and Seattle also added a lot to the development of our unique and impressive break dance style you can observe in every Canadian local break dance group. Such urban dance teams as Canadian Floormasters and New Energy took over the scene in the 1980s. Many others appeared in the 1990s. Supernaturals, Bag of Trix, Boogie Brats, Red Power Squad, Rakunz, Contents Under Pleasure, and others have been leading the scene for the last two or three decades.

      As a well-appreciated dance company in Toronto and GTA, “Hips Don’t Lie” follows all the trends, and break dancing has become an essential part of our stunning performances and dance education programs.

      You can see and order impressive dance acts for hire to create an unforgettable atmosphere for your family celebration or friendly gathering.

      Come to us for dance classes and new impressions, too. As a recognized break dance company, we will help you learn more about this breathtaking dance form and many others practiced here.

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      What does break dance mean?

      The term “break” means the particular music sounds and rhythms performed by DJs with the help of mixing sounds from different dance records to create a continuous beat. Break dancing, also known as breaking or b-boying, is an energetic style popularized by African Americans and Latinos in the 1970s.

      Why is it called break dancing?

      The term break dancing refers to the specific musical rhythms created with the help of percussions and other drum beats. As DJ Kool Herc explained, “breaking’ was also a slang word from the 1970s that meant “getting excited” or “causing a disturbance.” Due to this DJ, breakbeats appeared and possibly, gave the name to this dancing form.

      Why is break dance famous?

      After its appearance in the 1970s, break dancing, a part of hip-hop culture, started spreading worldwide and became mainstream. It was featured in many TV shows, movies, online videos, and games. Many famous artists included it in their live performances and shows. It also had a great impact on many other dance styles.

      What is a female break dancer called?

      Breakers were mostly men. Though females have also enjoyed break dancing since its appearance. Women have even started to play a more substantial role in breakdancing scenes. So the term ‘b-girl” appeared to call a female break dancer, or a girl has just been named “a breaker,” like a boy dancer.

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