From urban dance to Olympic sport: Why you should learn breaking in 2021

8 Oct 2021

“First things first, breaking is the official name of breakdancing.”

Breaking is hugely popular worldwide, especially when it has been frequently presented in popular culture over the past few years. Here are 5 good reasons why you should consider exploring the world of breaking.


Breaking is a street dance style originated in New York in the 1970s, combining acrobatics and dance battles. It is part of hip-hop along with DJing, MCing (rapping) and writing (graffiti). Although breaking is often called “breakdance” by many people, most practitioners see “breaking” or “b-boying” as the original, right terms. It is important to use the correct names to refer to breaking, as it is not just a dance, but a culture and a community, and a lifestyle with its unique essence, values, language, and clothing codes.

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Back in the early days, breaking used to be an alternative to violent gang fights to resolve conflicts. Today, breaking has its defined format or framework, but basically there are no rules or standard moves. As a b-boy, b-girl or breaker, you can literally make your dance moves in your own way to express your personality and show your attitude. You are free to be innovative and interpret the dance in your unique style. It inspires when people do breaking.


There are basic elements you should know about breaking. When you combine them into a freestyle dance with gravity-defying poses, this is where the fun begins.

•    Toprock: A major element of breaking, dance moves performed upright, stepping to the beat and being groovy, usually the first display of one’s style
•    Downrock: Dance moves performed on the floor, with the hands and feet supporting the body, with famous steps such as the 6-step
•    Power Moves: Acrobatic moves using the upper body while the rest of the body creating circular momentum, including the windmill, swipe, and head spin
•    Freezes: Sudden halt of all body motion to hit the beats of the music

The first hip-hop organisation, the Universal Zulu Nation advocates the motto of “Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun.” And yes, breaking is incredibly enjoyable and rewarding.

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This is not breaking news: breaking has become an official Olympic sport. It will be added to the Olympic Game Paris 2024 for the first time, following its first appearance at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. There will be one event for men and one for women. A total of 32 breakers will go in solo battles. There has been controversy though, for example, whether Olympic judges should value technical skills over creativity and personality.


Breaking moves are a mix of dancing, gymnastics and acrobatics, making breaking a full-body workout with a lot of health benefits. It does not only enhance your body strength and flexibility, but it also boosts your confidence and helps you cope with new challenges. It is one of the best sports for kids to spark their creativity and be motivated to reach new goals.

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