In depth: Breakdancing your way into Olympics
You may think those twists and turns in the air and on the floor may just be for fun, but if you’re a fan of breakdancing, you may think about winning an Olympics medal soon. Yes, breakdancing has been officially deemed a sport and would be inaugurated in Paris Olympic 2024.
On the list
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed to add breakdancing in the Olympics in order to get more younger people watching.
In 2018, after the suggestion by the World Dance Sport Federation (WDSF) that Breakdancing be included in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), the Olympic Committee (IOC) held it in Buenos Aires. The audience, no doubt, was smitten. The popularity helped it to be included in the 2024 Paris Olympics. The likely format at Paris will see 32 breakers (16 B-Boys and 16 B-Girls) compete over two days of 1vs1 competitive duels in hip-hop freestyle called ‘Battles’.
Twists and Flips
Breakdancing — or breaking as it is called — is famous for its frenetic footwork and
athletic moves. It borrows moves from other dances and sports such as gymnastics and martial arts. The breakers (or dancers, also called b-boys and b-girls) will perform using top rocks, footwork, freezes and power moves.
Top rocks are moves performed while standing on your feet. Footwork is when you perform moves on the floor using your hands to support you. Freezes are when a dancer holds themself off the floor and poses for a few seconds without moving. Power moves are when a breaker uses strength and speed to spin or rotate their whole body.
On the turf
The 32 breakers who qualified for the World Urban Games last September, came from 21 different countries, including Venezuela, Egypt and Bulgaria.
For the Olympics, there are six criteria for breaking: technique, variety, performativity, musicality, creativity and personality. In duels, two breakers face-off and are judged directly against each other. Dancers do not choose their music and are expected to react and adapt to bears in real-time. There would be DJs, emcees and of course the dance floor. As breaking does not amount to gymnastics or figure skating, it would be interesting to see how judges rank ‘players’ as winners.