Guess what? The Olympics just got a whole lot cooler because breakdancing is joining the lineup! Yep, you heard it right. The International Olympic Committee has given its stamp of approval, officially calling it “breaking”. And get ready because it’s set to make its big debut at the 2024 Summer Games happening in Paris.

Now, if you haven’t really been paying attention to breakdancing before, no worries! This dance sport has been happening for quite some time now.

What is breaking? Breaking is an urban dance style started way back in the 1970s, right in the heart of the Bronx borough of New York. It’s not just any dance; it’s a sport that fuses together urban dance with jaw-dropping athleticism. Born from the vibrant hip hop culture, breaking is all about those gravity-defying moves and acrobatic stunts that will leave you in awe. Whether you’re spinning on your head or defying gravity with your flips, breaking is all about pushing the limits and showing off your skills in the most stylish way possible.

Since the 1990s, people all over the globe have been busting moves in breaking competitions. It’s not just a thing in hip-hop communities anymore. Nope, breaking has spread its wings and captivated audiences from all walks of life, becoming a favorite among both dancers and spectators alike.

From the bustling streets of New York City to the grandest platform in the world of sports, breaking (also known as breakdancing) has made quite the journey. So get ready to witness some epic performances as breaking takes center stage at the Olympics!

General information

Who invented breaking?

History of breaking
History of breaking

Back in the day, it was the cool Black and Puerto Rican youngsters who first got into breaking. They teamed up and formed crews, kind of like squads, and they’d go head-to-head in dance battles right there on the streets.

These breaking stars aren’t just any dancers; they’re called “B-Boys,” “B-Girls,” or simply “breakers.”

What that “B” stands for? That “B”  stands for “break” – about the break in the music. When there’s a cool instrumental part in a song, that’s their cue to bust out their most epic dance moves. It’s like they’re painting the rhythm with their moves, making every beat count.

From its humble beginnings on the streets, breaking has grown and become something big, reaching folks all around the world. It’s not just a dance anymore; it’s like a whole culture that mixes together music, dance, and being super athletic.

And guess what? In the world of the Olympics, breaking is considered a serious thing. It’s part of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), which has been around since way back in 1957. They’re all about promoting and organizing dance competitions on a global scale.

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The first time breaking got major recognition from the WDSF was back in 2013 when they held their very first World DanceSport Games over in Chinese Taipei. So you see, breaking isn’t just a passing fad – it’s here to stay, and it’s making waves all over the world!

What are the basic moves in Breaking?

Top Rock and Go Down

First up, we’ve got Top Rock. This move sets the stage for the whole breaking battle. It’s when the breaker struts their stuff while standing up, getting ready to transition to the next move, which is called Go Down. Yep, you guessed it – that’s when they gracefully drop down to the floor.

Footwork

Now, let’s talk about Footwork. This isn’t just any old trick – it’s the bread and butter of breaking. Footwork is all about styling it out with fancy foot movements. It’s like the DNA of breaking; when you see someone doing those intricate steps with their feet, you just know it’s breaking in action. So, next time you see a breaking battle, keep your eyes peeled for these signature moves – they’re what make breaking so unique and exciting!

Freeze

Imagine hitting pause on a video – that’s what a freeze is all about. It’s when a breaker holds their body in one position for a few seconds, usually off the ground and supported only by their hands. When they freeze, they’re like statues, completely still. And you know what’s really impressive? Most freezes are done while upside-down, like doing a handstand or balancing on their elbow or head.

Power Move

Now, let’s move on to Power Move. These are the show-stoppers of any breaking battle. Power Moves are all about big, dynamic tricks that make your jaw drop. B-boys and B-girls twist and turn their bodies in all sorts of ways, using every part of themselves for support.

Sometimes these moves even end with a freeze, adding an extra wow factor to the performance. So, whether it’s freezing mid-air or unleashing a jaw-dropping Power Move, breaking is all about pushing the limits and leaving the audience in awe!

Breaking and the Olympics

Breaking’s journey to the Olympics

From 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires

Breaking hit the Olympic stage for the first time ever at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires back in 2018. It was a big moment with three events on the lineup:

  • Two just for individuals ( Male and Female)
  • One where teams mixed it up.

And guess who stole the show? Russia’s Bumblebee snagged the boys’ title with his incredible moves.

Sergei Chernyshev (aka Russia's Bumblebee)
Sergei Chernyshev (aka Russia’s Bumblebee)

Who is Russia’s Bumblebee? Russia’s Bumblebee, is a Russian competitive breakdancer whose real name is Sergei Chernyshev. Chernyshev, competing under the nickname ‘Bumblebee’, won the individual B-Boys gold medal at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics, where breakdancing made its debut as a part of the Youth Olympics.

He showed off his incredible skills. So yeah, Bumblebee is definitely someone you want to keep an eye on when it comes to breaking! But that’s not all! Japan’s Ram wowed everyone and took home the girls’ title.

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Ramu Kawai (aka Japan's Ram)
Ramu Kawai (aka Japan’s Ram)

Who is Japan’s Ram? Japan’s Ram is Ramu Kawai, a talented breakdancer from Japan who made waves at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics by beating Canada’s Emma Misak in the girls’ final of the street dance event. Ramu, known by her nickname, is a real powerhouse in the world of Olympic breakdancing. She showcased her amazing skills in the dancesport competition, where she not only participated but also clinched the gold medal in the B-Girls’ event.

She also took part in the breaking mixed event, teaming up with her teammate, Lê Minh Hiếu. And guess what? They totally nailed it and were awarded the gold medal together. Ramu Kawai is truly a force to be reckoned with, showing the world her incredible talent and winning spirit on the Olympic stage.

To 2024 Olympics in Paris

After seeing how much everyone loved breaking at the Buenos Aires 2018 event, the folks planning the Paris 2024 Olympics thought, “Hey, let’s bring this awesome sport to the big stage!” So, they suggested adding it to the lineup for the games happening in the beautiful city of Paris.

And you know what? The big decision-makers at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said, “Sure thing!” and officially gave breaking the green light to join the Paris 2024 program back in 2020. Now, let’s fast forward to Paris 2024. Get ready for some serious excitement because breaking is about to take center stage!

  • There will be not one, but two events for breaking: one for the guys and one for the girls.
  • Each event will feature 16 talented B-Boys and 16 fierce B-Girls battling it out in epic solo competitions.

It’s going to be a showdown like no other, with these incredible dancers showing off their skills and bringing the heat to the Olympic stage. So mark your calendars and get ready to witness history in the making at Paris 2024!

What is the pictogram for Breaking in the Olympics?

Pictogram for Breaking in the Olympics
Pictogram for Breaking in the Olympics

This logo perfectly captures the essence of what the Olympics aim to achieve by including breaking (also known as break dancing) as a sport. It’s designed to be very up-to-date, but with a cool vintage vibe, which is really trendy at the moment. The logo has a fresh, modern feel to it, and it cleverly incorporates elements like spinning and records, which are key components of breaking, right into the design.

Breaking competition rules at Paris 2024

Breaking competition rules at Paris 2024
Breaking competition rules at Paris 2024

Let’s break down how breaking competitions work.

  • Two breakers facing off against each other, ready to bring their A-game. It’s like a dance battle where one breaker goes first, showing off their best moves.
  • Then, it’s their opponent’s turn to respond with their own impressive routine.

But here’s where it gets interesting. There are five judges sitting on the sidelines, carefully watching every move. They’re not just looking for fancy footwork; they’re scoring the breakers on six different things:

  • Creativity
  • Personality
  • Technique
  • Variety
  • Performativity (which is basically how well they perform)
  • Musicality (how they groove to the beat).

Now, here’s the cool part: each judge has a tablet with sliders. As they watch the breakers, they move these sliders to give scores for each element. It’s like they’re painting a picture of the performance, capturing every detail to determine who’s the ultimate winner. So, whether it’s a slick move or an electrifying performance, every aspect counts in the world of breaking competitions!

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If you’re inspired by the news of breaking coming to the Olympics and dream of becoming a breakdancer to compete one day, the best way to start your journey is by checking out the step-by-step guide shared in this YouTube video below now!

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