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Breakdancing - The History, The Creation and Origin

Updated on June 5, 2011

Typical Breakdancers



Breakdancing is one of the most popular upcoming dance styles. It has been accepted by the street and starting to gain acceptance from much higher class dance schools as well. Starting from its creation in the late 60’s to the present day I will explain how breakdancing came around. I will break up the paragraphs into each decade, and explain in each of these paragraphs what significant events happened and how breakdancing was treated, how the popularity changed, and how it became accepted in society.

Creation - Late 60s

Breakdancing was thought to be created in the late 60s, except there isn't a specific time that it was founded. There are an unknown amount of reasons of why it was made, and differnet people have different ideas. A few of the most popular ideas of why it was created is the thought that it was what came of gang fights in New York, most likely african american communities, like the Bronx etc. This relates to how the body is effected during breakdancing, the same muscles that are used for fighting, are used for breakdancing. Therefore the better someone is at fighting, the better they are at breakdancing. So often the best breakdancer was the best fighter in the gang.

Most people think that because the dance substituted the gang fights means it isn’t dangerous anymore. Except breakdancing has a reputation of being the most dangerous dance of all. Breakdancing was about pushing yourself to your limits and beating the opposition, therefore B-Boys were known to try dangerous moves when in a battle with a risk of losing.

(Research source is from websites:,

The Lindy Hop


Breakdancing started out on the streets of New York. It originated within the African American community and eventually spread throughout all communities. Nobody knows for certain what the dance’s predecessor/s was but it is thought that it could’ve come from the “Lindy Hop” and the “Charleston”

Lindy Hop- The lindy hop actually came from the “Charleston”. It was named for Charles Lindbergh’s Atlantic crossing in 1927. Although the dance is a mix of many that came before it or was popular during its creation, it mainly has elements of Jazz, Tap, Breakaway, and Charleston. It is often described of as a Jazz dance, and is part of the Swing family.

Charleston-Named after the city of Charleston, South Carolina the Charleston came about by the creation of the 1923 tune “the Charleston” which originated on the Broadway stage in a production of “Runnin’ Wild”. This dance also developed itself in African American communities but quickly became popularised throughout international communities in that decade. However since it predominantly came around it has gained traces of many other dances and martial arts.

James Brown Dancing


James Brown’s music has affected the evolution of breakdancing epically. His music first started getting used for breakdancing when his smash hit “Get on the Good Foot” in 1969 became popular with the African American community and is still used in dances today, I know I have danced to his songs a lot since I started in 2004. This song “Get on the Good Foot” started off the style of dance “Good Foot” which later became known as “B-Boyin”. B-Boyin is one of the many terms for breakdancing, there is also Breakin’, B-Girlin’ (when a girl is breakdancing). There are also terms for the dancers themselves, for example the male and females are called “B-Boys” and “B-Girls” and the term “Breakers” is gender neutral. For each style of breakdancing breakers can get named after that, so B-Boys who specialise in Top Rock get called TopRockers etc.

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