What Is a Bboy?

David Le Date 3/20/13 Dr. Hasell ENGL 1301 – 38107 Word Count: 1,159 What is a Bboy? (final) Bboying is not just a movement. It is a passion, a language, a form of art and expression. The terms bboy (be-boy) and breaker come from the words beat boy and break boy. Bboy refers to someone who dances to the beat of the music and breaker refers to someone who dances to the break section of a song. The part of a song where there is no singing, just pure instrumental music. Essentially bboys and breakers are the same.

Breaking is very different and unique when you compare it to other styles of dance. Ballet revolves around graceful movements while bboying can be whatever the dancer feels like doing during a song. All that matters is the beat of the music and the passion of the dancer. The most important thing about bboying is having the opportunity to express yourself, that brief moment when you can be true to yourself. Bboying is a unique form of art. You may have heard that painters need inspiration before they can create art.

For a bboy, the music is the inspiration, from the instant you feel the beat moving through your body to the very end of each dance set. That small interval of time is when someone would paint the picture of what he or she is feeling through physical movements. Some might have the urge to do power moves. These moves involve require strength and complete control over the body, for example hopping while holding a one handed handstand. Other dancers might feel the music is moving them to express in slower more fluid motions by maybe gracefully sliding and spinning while on their knees.

There are some basics moves for breakdancing but the best dancers are original and create their own personal signature moves or styles. Once a year the best bboy crews from all around the world will come to one spot and battle each other through dance in order to gain respect from other dancers all around the world. This event is called battle of the year. I think one of the biggest defining things about battle of the year is that the winning prize money is only three thousand dollars. After this is split between maybe 10 crew members the amount of time put in to win doesn’t pay off.

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But to these professional bboys the pride that comes with winning is all that is needed. When the dance battles take place each crew will take turns sending in one member to freestyle to the music. Each bboy is different, there cannot and never will be two people that dance with the exact same style. This is one of the amazing things of breaking. A friend of mine likes to dance with a wobbly drunkenness with each step in order to taunt his opponent while another friend is very serious in order to show that the opponent has no chance of winning the battle.

I’ve seen one dancer end his freestyle set smoking an imaginary cigarette and throwing it onto his opponent to tell him he had just gotten “smoked”. Now, if this was any other hobby or sport, doing these sorts of things might get you beat up. However, this is one of the beauties of the bboy culture. Even after conveying such mean and hurtful actions every bboy understands that it is all part of the “act” and it is nothing personal. Over time clowning or making fun of your opponent has become a very essential part of dance battles. After each battle all competitors will always shake hands and hug, even if it is a total stranger.

For most bboys, respect is given right from the second someone else decides to express themselves over the music in the spotlight. This is because most breakers know that it takes courage to would out in front of a crown and express yourself ignoring what people may think. The complex language of dance is solely unique and is what makes the bonds and friendships between breakers so powerful. Sweat, pain, and exhaustion are all things that intersect the path of bboying. To any true dancer, the drive to improve will always out way the pain and the downsides.

Every crash is a lesson; the only way to improve as dancer is to learn from previous mistakes. Over the years technology has made this easier; many bboys can now simply record themselves in order to watch for errors or mistakes during their practice sessions. While this helps decrease the time it takes to learn things, true breaker will never stop and always strive to be a better dancer. Ultimately there is no finish line; the real goal is the friendships and memories that will be made through this journey. He or she will always be trying to beat that future opponent who may be good or bad.

There are four main elements of bboying; power, footwork, top rock, and freezes. Power moves have the steepest learning curve of them all. The most basic power move is called the windmill and this on average takes at least 6 months to learn just one rotation. And when I say six months, I mean six months of practicing every day for one hour minimum. There are many bboys out there who love power moves for this very reason. They are so hard to master, and achieving them makes it worth that much more. The best bboys have a good balance between all four of these different styles.

During this adventure of learning each style, good breakers dissect each move in attempt to make new and original things out of the old. It may be just one slight difference of being lower or higher with your legs or it could be a whole combo of fast stepping movements stringed together with original fluid transitions. This is the true beauty of bboying; one can do whatever one wants. There is no one in the world that can say you are doing your own style incorrectly. Creativity is a truly amazing thing. Because of the nature of the brain, there is an endless amount of combinations and movements that can be thought of or discovered.

Dancing, to put it simply, is a vessel to express ideas and emotions. The only reason breaking is still thriving today is because there is always something new that can be created. Every generation will build off what their previous generation has made and make it their own. Over time the “foundation” moves have changed, and it will always continue to evolve as long as there is music and a will to express. Some might say that other things make up a true dancer, but out of all of them I would have to say the most vital things are to be original, be unique, be you; bboy.

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