Paris 2024 is gearing up for an electrifying injection of energy as the world’s finest B-Boys and B-Girls prepare to take center stage in the debut of breaking at the Olympics. But what exactly is breaking, you might wonder? And how exactly will breaking scores judged at Paris 2024? Well, fear not, because we’re here to break it all down for you.

As the excitement builds for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, breaking emerges as a fresh addition to the lineup of events. While other sports undergo revisions in their formats and disciplines, breaking steps into the spotlight, promising to infuse the Games with its unique blend of athleticism, creativity, and style.

La Concorde, a vibrant arena pulsating with energy, plays host to 16 talented B-Boys and 16 dynamic B-Girls, all vying for glory in this exhilarating dance form. This addition follows in the footsteps of Tokyo 2020, where urban sports like sport climbing, skateboarding, BMX freestyle, and 3×3 basketball made their mark on the Olympic program, captivating audiences worldwide.

What is breaking?

Definition

Breaking, an electrifying urban dance form, traces its roots back to the vibrant streets of the Bronx in New York City during the culturally explosive era of the 1970s. Embedded within the fabric of hip-hop culture, breaking emerged as a dynamic expression of movement, rhythm, and creativity.

At its core, breaking is a mesmerizing fusion of athleticism and artistry, captivating audiences with its gravity-defying spins, flips, and a plethora of intricate body movements.

Central to the breaking community are its esteemed athletes, affectionately known as B-Boys and B-Girls. The “B” in their moniker pays homage to the very essence of the dance form – the break. This pivotal term refers to the brief instrumental interludes within music, characterized by pulsating beats and infectious rhythms, which serve as the backdrop for these dancers to showcase their unparalleled skills.

Breaking at Paris 2024

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires 2018 made history by being the first Olympic event to spotlight breaking, inviting 12 B-Boys and 12 B-Girls to showcase their skills and passion. Fast forward to Paris 2024, breaking is set to shine once again, this time at the iconic La Concorde on August 9 and 10, 2024.

  • Imagine the excitement as 16 talented B-Boys and 16 dynamic B-Girls take to the stage for intense 1v1 battles, all set to music pumped out by a DJ.
  • The beats will be randomly selected, adding an extra layer of challenge and spontaneity to the electrifying showdowns.

So mark your calendars and get ready to witness the magic of breaking unfold at the grand stage of the Olympics in Paris 2024!

Breaking athletes to watch at Paris 2024

B-Boys

There will be 1v1 battles for B-Boys at Paris 2024
There will be 1v1 battles for B-Boys at Paris 2024

French B-Boy Dany, also known as Danis Civil, kicked off the year on a high note by snagging the gold medal at the 2023 Breaking for Gold (BfG) World Series held in Rio de Janeiro. He secured victory by defeating the reigning world champion, B-Boy Phil Wizard, hailing from Canada.

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Meanwhile, B-Boy Phil Wizard faced challenges in the competitive circuit. Despite his initial setback in failing to advance to the top eight round at the first BfG event in Kitakyushu, Japan, he bounced back and clinched the silver medal at the subsequent competition. His journey underscores the fierce competition and the difficulty of consistently achieving podium finishes.

Japanese B-Boy Shigekix, the 2018 Youth Olympic bronze medalist and runner-up in the 2022 world championship, showcased his consistency by securing bronze medals at both BfG World Series events this year, demonstrating his ability to maintain high standards.

Among the contenders at La Concorde, B-Boy Victor, a two-time world champion in 2019 and 2021, along with his teammate B-Boy Jeffro from Team USA, are poised as strong medal contenders.

Additionally, 2023 European champion B-Boy Menno from the Netherlands, Kazakhstan’s B-Boy Amir, and the emerging talents from Korea, B-Boy Hong 10 and B-Boy Wing, have proven themselves as formidable contenders with their impressive track records of winning multiple global titles.

B-Girls

There will be 1v1 battles for B-Girls
There will be 1v1 battles for B-Girls at Paris 2024

In the world of women’s breaking, B-Girl Ami and B-Girl Ayumi have been dominating the competition. Ami snagged gold medals at both the 2019 and 2022 World Championships, while Ayumi claimed the title at the 2021 edition.

However, a newcomer, B-Girl 671 from the People’s Republic of China, burst onto the scene in 2022 and quickly proved herself as a contender against the Japanese B-Girls. Despite being just 16 years old, she won the silver medal at the 2022 Worlds and clinched the top spot at the first Breaking for Gold (BfG) World Series this year by defeating Ami. However, Ami bounced back and reclaimed her victory over 671 at the second BfG World Series in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Apart from these three talented dancers, there are other rising stars to watch out for. Italy’s B-Girl Anti, Netherlands’ B-Girl India, the USA’s B-Girl Sunny, and France’s B-Girl Senorita Carlota are among the names to keep an eye on as they showcase their skills and vie for the top spot on the podium.

How are breaking scores judged at Paris 2024?

Curious about how judges evaluate the performances of B-Boys and B-Girls at the Olympic Games? Let me break it down for you.

Traditional judging system

In a nutshell, judges use something called the Trivium Value System to assess the competitors’ performances. This system relies on three key aspects: Physicality Quality, Artistic Quality, and Interpretive Quality. Each of these aspects represents different dimensions of the performance, like the body, the mind, and the soul.

Now, each of these aspects is further broken down into six cross-faders, which help provide a more detailed evaluation. Let’s break down what each of these cross-faders means:

For Physicality Quality

  • Technique (20.0% of the score): This evaluates the precision and skill with which the dancer executes their moves, ensuring they’re performed with mastery and control.
  • Variety (13.333% of the score): This looks at the diversity of movements showcased by the dancer, rewarding creativity and innovation in choreography.

For Artistic Quality

  • Creativity (20.0% of the score): This measures the originality and imagination displayed by the dancer in their performance, rewarding fresh and inventive approaches to breaking.
  • Personality (13.333% of the score): This assesses the unique style and character expressed by the dancer, emphasizing the importance of individuality and flair.
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For Interpretive Quality

  • Performance (20.0% of the score): This evaluates the overall stage presence and charisma of the dancer, considering factors like confidence, engagement with the audience, and command of the space.
  • Musicality (13.333% of the score): This focuses on how well the dancer synchronizes their movements with the rhythm and beats of the music, ensuring a harmonious and expressive performance.

However, a new judging system has been introduced for Olympic Breaking

New judging system

B-Boy Skim aka Kim Heon-jun
B-Boy Skim aka Kim Heon-jun

Korean B-Boy Skim, also known as Kim Heon-jun, renowned in the breaking community and serving as the WDSF Breaking Competition System Specialist, shed light on the intricacies of the judging system used in breaking competitions. With his expertise, he provided valuable information on how judges evaluate performances, offering viewers a deeper understanding of what to look for during competitions.

What is the new judging system? According to B-Boy Skim, the new judging system is an expanded set of criteria, now including five faders: Musicality, Vocabulary, Originality, Technique, and Execution. These categories, building upon the Trivium foundation, provide a more comprehensive framework for evaluating breaking performances.

In addition to these criteria, judges will also have a penalty button at their disposal, allowing them to address instances of misbehavior or rule violations during the competition.

To truly savor the experience of breaking at the Olympics, here’s how you can maximize your enjoyment:

  • Explore the Five Categories: Dive into the intricacies of breaking by considering each of the five categories – Musicality, Vocabulary, Originality, Technique, and Execution. By focusing on these aspects, you can appreciate the depth and complexity of each performance.
  • Embrace Evaluation: As the Paris 2024 Games draw near, familiarize yourself with the judging criteria. Feel confident in evaluating breaking performances based on all five categories, allowing you to engage more deeply with the sport and its athletes.
  • Discover Your Favorite Style: While every fan hopes for their National Olympic Committee (NOC) to triumph, take the opportunity to explore and discover your preferred dance style. Each battle offers a glimpse into the diverse world of breaking, allowing you to find connections and favorites along the way.

By keeping these pointers in mind, you can elevate your enjoyment of Olympic breaking, immersing yourself in the excitement and artistry of this captivating dance form.

Schedule of breaking at Paris 2024

On friday 9 August

  • 16:00-18:00: B-Girls’ qualification
  • 20:00-22:00: B-Girls’ final

On saturday 10 August

  • 16:00-18:00: B-Boys’ qualification
  • 20:00-22:00: B-Boys’ final

If you’re inspired by the news of breaking coming to the Olympics and want to know more about world of cool breaking techniques, please check out the this YouTube video below!

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