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Put on your fresh dogs, baggies, and gold chains. Then "break it down!"

Are you ready to return to fresh Adidas gear, Pumas, jumbo laces, and '80s appreciation? What about freestyle rap and the history of the hip Hop culture?

Yo, yo. B-boyin' is ba-ack y'all.

B-boyz and b-girlz all over the world are getting together to work on some floor moves, freestyle some lyrics, and be cold-chill'n. They're sweatin' to the new and old school flava, learning new moves, and getting trained in the early stages of the boogaloo, breakin' and popping.

What was once considered a fad of the 1980s has proven that it's in for the long haul. With athletic moves like the worm, the wave and the headspin, breakdancing has become a staple of the ever-burgeoning hip hop culture, and continues to thrive in urban centers.

For many, it's more than just a recreational activity -- it's a way of life.

Today's breakdancers have stayed true to the ideal of finding good vibes through fitness, music, and wherever else it can be found.

B-boying started in the Bronx in New York City in the early '70s. The "b" in b-boy and b-girl stands for "break" (some use it also for boogie). Dancers are called this because they would get down on the floor and bust moves during compounded break sections of records.

B-boying -- also known as breaking or breakdance (the latter term was created by the media) -- should not be confused with popping (electric boogaloo) and locking. These dance styles have their own terms, histories and pioneers.

The origin of breaking goes back to James Brown's Good Foot, which is a dance he created around 1969. Over the years, b-boying has developed more and more, and the top- and floor-rocks were combined with spins and power moves.

The main goal of breaking is to beat the "opponent" in a battle by being more creative with steps and freezes, and by doing better moves.

In 1987, most people thought breakdance was played out. Only a few dancers around the world kept on practicing and dancing seriously.

However, with the '70s and '80s making a comeback and a burgeoning hip hop scene, breakdancing is back. Today's b-boys and b-girls are bustin' moves in clubs, community centers, and basements around the world.

Getting Started

The best (and cheapest) way to start is by checking out some local b-boy crews. The best places to do this are your local hip hop clubs and parties.

The best place to break is on hardwood floors. If you don't have access to any, get a large piece of cardboard and spread it out on the floor. Make sure you're wearing comfy clothes, including sneakers and knee and elbow pads.

B-boying is very physically challenging, so make sure you're prepared to fall without hurting yourself (too much!)

Put on some dope music (anything from James Brown to the Beastie Boys will do) and warm up a bit before you start busting some moves. Just dance or stretch to get the blood moving.

If you're having trouble copying moves from other b-boys (either live or on video), your next best resource is the Net. There are tons of sites that give you tips on how to get started and step-by-step instructions on all the moves.

Some even have photos or animated graphics so you can see how the move is supposed to look.

If you're still lost, you can always check out some lessons. Call your local dance company or community center to see what they have to offer. Lessons can run anywhere from $5 to $20 per lesson.

Word up -- breaking is not for couch potatoes. This is more than a full-body workout. Be prepared to sweat and to be sore the next day. Drink lots of water while you're representin' and don't overdo it when you first start.

As b-boy fLaPjAk of the South American Superstarz says: "For all those who want to learn how to break, keep practicing. I've seen people go from zero to hero just by continuously practicing."


James Madison University Breakdancing Club


Steelo Magazine
E-mail :


True B-Girls of the Hip Hop Nation
Check out the b-girl philosophy on how to keep it real
Step-by-step instructions for all moves, as well as audio and video links
Information on moves and breakdancing

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