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Breakin Community
 Photography by Monica Chang
What is Breakin?

What is Hip Hop? As American as Jazz or apple pie, it is the cultural movement that evolved from the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. From the same slang term embraced by the “hippies” of a generation previous, “hip” means to know, to be conscious or highly aware, while hop is a movement, both literally and metaphorically in terms of socio-political change. And so, Hip Hop was a cultural movement that gave inner city youth from underprivileged communities an outlet to express frustration and focus their energy on something positive. It provided a street culture for youth to embrace as an alternative to the gangs and crime that were, and are, prevalent in their neighborhoods. 

Breakin derives from the “break.” A Bboy is a Break Boy, a Bgirl a Break Girl or a boy or girl who dances to the “break.” However, Breakin has other important meanings. To “break” also signified the desire to break loose from the hardships of day to day, to break loose from struggles of growing up in underserved neighborhoods, to break down barriers between gangs and inner-city rivals. Breakin was an energetic release of the tension felt by urban youth and physical movement that showed off physical prowess and discipline.

Fast forward 46 years to today. Breakin has gone through many ups and downs. During the early 80’s, Rock Steady Crew were featured in the blockbuster hit “Flashdance” and toured the globe. Breakin was in the 1984 Olympic opening ceremonies in Los Angeles. The dance and Hip Hop culture took root internationally. However, by the early 90’s Breakin had gone underground. Much of America considered the dance nothing more than a fad from the 80’s. Breakin became a tiny microcosm of youth counter culture in America. But during this time period, several large events such as Bboy Summit, Bboy Pro Am and Freestyle Sessions were formed and the annual events kept a small group of dancers motivated to keep evolving the dance.

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Breakin Committee

The USA Breakin Committee was created to establish the framework within the United States for Breakin as a competitive sport, professional development and develop studio dancers. 

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Photography by Monica Chang

USA Dance is the governing body recognized by WDSF and USOC for DanceSport (all styles of dance). Breakin is on its way to becoming an official Olympic Sport in Paris 2024. 

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Photography on Home Page

Hero 1 - Mike & Rose-Ann Lynch - Nationals 2018 Photography by Lisa Dubinsky

Hero 2 - USA Dance Los Angeles Chapter Dance - Photography by Jerry Hernandez

Hero 3 - Nationals 2016 - Photography by Carson Zullinger

Hero 4 - Team USA - WDSF World Sr. IV Standard, Nagano, Japan Courtesy of Winston Chow

Carousel 1 - Adult Latin Nationals 2018 - Photography by Lisa Dubinksy

Carousel 2 - Nationals 2018 - Photography by Lisa Dubinsky

Carousel 3 - NCDC 2018 - Photography by Lisa Dubinsky

Carousel 4 - CFC 2018 - Photography by Calvin Long

Carousel 5 - Minnesota Chapter Flash Mob - Photography by David Chin