Breakdance is originally American street art. So, breakdance was brought into the world by Americans. It appeared in the USA pop culture in the 1960s-1970s under different names: “B-boying”, “breaking” and “breakbeat”. Below you can watch an old video of b-boys dancing at a block party (graffiti artist Futura 2000 also featured) from 1973! I suppose this is one of the first-ever videos of b-boying/breaking/breakin’/breakdancing.
Bboy Lilou from France dancing on a french show from 1981.
In Europe, breakdance is often called breaking or B-boying. In Germany, it’s been very popular since the ‘80s and 90’s when there was a boom in West Coast Hip Hop Culture. Since 2000 breakdance is very popular all around Germany in different cities and you can have a lot of battles there but also in other European countries, especially in France where they have their own crews.
Breakdance started to appear more frequently at pop music events. It was used by artists like Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Madonna with the famous “Thriller” video clip or “Bad”. Also, many b-boys worked for musicians as dancers or choreographers. A real revolution for this street art happened when Madonna brought New York hip-hop dancer Francisco (Frankie) Freeze on her Who’s That Girl Tour in 1987. He influenced her show with his breaking moves and whole aesthetics that became famous later on.
Breakdancing also became popular in other parts of the world. For instance, in Japan, the first breaking crews formed in the early 1990s and it soon became one of the country’s most popular street dances.
So, as you can see, breakdance is originally an American street art that appeared in the USA pop culture in the 1960s-1970s. It was brought to Europe by b-boys and quickly became popular there. In other parts of the world, it also gained a lot of popularity. So, next time you see someone break dancing – don’t be surprised because it’s truly global street art!
World’s famous Breakdance artist
There are many world-famous breakdance artists. Some of them are b-boys and b-girls who started dancing and breaking in the early 1980s, while others are more recent. Here is a list of some of the most famous ones:
-Michael Jackson (USA)
-Crazy Legs (USA)
-Frankie Bones (USA)
-Rock Steady Crew (USA)
-The Lockers (USA)
-Doug E Fresh (USA)
-Boogaloo Sam (UK)
-Pete Rock (UK)
-The Storm Troopers (Germany)
-Les Twins (France)
-Flying Steps (Germany/France)
As you can see, the list includes many great breaking artists from the USA and other countries around the world.
Breakdance is a truly global art that has gained recognition all over the world!
Michael Jackson and Breakdance
Breakdance was popularized by Michael Jackson through his music videos and performances. In particular with his song “Billie Jean”. In this clip, you can see one of the first uses of a backspin move that was later named after him as the “Moonwalk”. Breakdance has certainly come a long way since then and is now enjoyed by people of all ages all over the world! Thanks, Michael Jackson, for helping to make it so popular!
So, in conclusion, I would say that break dance was popularized in the world by Michael Jackson and his music videos and performances. He helped to make it one of the most popular street arts around the globe! Thanks, Michael!