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Breaking On Another Level Essay, Research Paper

Culture is something derived from ethnicity, geographical location within the world, or religion. A sub culture on the other hand can be created at anytime by anyone. In the late seventies, an urban subculture in the streets of New York began to rise. This movement became known as Hip-Hop. This was a culture in which peoples from all backgrounds, religions, and race could all participate. The inner city youth, to create a sense of togetherness, created their own culture. Hip Hop as a culture is more than music, that is just one of the art forms that go along with it. Hip-Hop as a culture has four different elements that one must master to claim himself a true Hip Hopper. M.C.ing is the art form of creating stunning, thoughtful rhythmic ballads. A DJ masters the turn tables and can fluently mix an entourage of music creating it into his own masterpiece. A graffiti artist, known as ghetto Di Vincis, uses a wall or some other big place to express his views of the world. The hardest art to perfect, because it is forever changing, is break dancing. A good breaker can astound an audience with one move. Break dancing, like the other elements, has many branches underneath it. The sub elements of break dancing are pop locking, popping, hip hoping, and B boying. B boying is the one most commonly seen and also referred to as breaking. Breaking is an art form that is constantly evolving, has very complex moves, and demands of great risk taking.

The art of breaking began as a simple art with simple moves. It is relatively a new art, with its forefathers still alive, and still breaking. In the very beginning breaking had few moves and was relatively thought of as being a few crazy moves that some kids had incorporated into their dancing. As more and more kids started to break it began to separate itself from the group, becoming its own phenomenon. Kids began to compete against each other to see who had the best moves, this competition became known as the battle. The competition forced kids to be more creative and come up with more moves to blow away the opposition. As a whole Hip-Hop tends to borrow from other art forms and create them into its own art, breaking was no different. Kids looked towards anything to get ideas. Watching a battle one might see interpretive dance, gymnastic moves, and even some yoga positions. This is where the youth turned to mainly for ideas. They took gymnastic moves and altered them to fit what they were doing. Once they had gotten the main moves, they developed ways to keep their momentum and keep the moves going. To this day the main moves of break dancing remain the same: up rocks, shuffles, head spins, windmills, turtles, swipes, hand spins and back spins. More moves were added later that also became the backbone of breaking, like flares and crickets. Variations of moves such as windmills into ariels, handcuffs, jackets, and nutcrackers, and head spins into taps and drills, also with different variations, became a major part of breaking. The new spins on breaking have came from our own backyard. The B boys of Los Angeles have taken credit for adding on the newest and most complex moves yet, the air moves. This has caused great commotion in the world of break dancing. It made those who thought they had mastered the art go back and just about start all over, suddenly their moves were not the best out their, and the best B boys were no longer from New York, but from Los Angeles.

The moves them selves are so complex that it takes years to be able to at least do them, forget about mastering them anytime soon. The moves are so hard that the average time for a good breaker to get them consistently and cleanly it can take about a month per move. As if the moves were not hard enough to learn their variations are even more difficult. A good example is windmills. This move requires you to open your legs and spin your body in a rolling motion while gyrating the whole thing in a circle. This one move probably has the most variations; almost all of those require the restraint of your hands. For instance in handcuffs the same motions are used, but the person must put their hands behind their back while doing so. This means that instead of using their hands to keep their body form slamming to the ground they must either use their foreheads, or go fast enough so that their momentum will carry them from one shoulder to the other. Using a newer example of a very popular move, the flare is one of the most technical moves, requiring strength, rhythm, and perfect technique. A flare is actually a move in men s gymnastics done often either on the pommel horse or the floor exercise. This move has your hands suspending your body above the ground with your legs open, almost in the splits, revolving around you while also whaling them in half circles. The two major variations of this move are the spindle flares, were your whole boy rotates as well, and the newest, hardest move around today. Originated in Los Angeles, the air flare is now the move that everyone wants to conquer. It involves popping your whole body in the air while doing the whole action of the flare in mid air then catching yourself with only your hands touching the ground. As mentioned before there are variations out there with the prefix air . These moves have all basically came from Los Angeles and take both the moves and injuries to a new level. Out there are moves such as air bridges, air flares, air tracks, and others. These moves generally mean that your body must be suspended up only by your hands then popped up in the air and caught again allowing only your hands to touch the ground.

Doing these moves has high risks involved. Over rotating, not rotating enough, not having your hands where they should be, closing your legs, losing your balance, all these can have grave consequences. To get most of these moves to work involves cheating gravity a bit by rotating your body and kicking your legs in such a fashion that spins you around and throws your body up, generally this is a circular motion. This motion creates great momentum and hitting the ground at those speeds can have very perverse effects on your body. An example would be imagining doing windmills. You bend your leg slightly; this causes you to lose your balances and also effects the motion that is keeping you of the ground. The next time around your perfect motion is gone and your knee hits the ground. This is not just like falling on the ground, to recreate this type of pain you would have to get a running start and then knee a solid concrete wall. Now not only are there worries of spinning and hitting yourself, but also with all these new air moves you must also worry about having the same momentum and the new variation of falling add to your pain. This art form can also cause the damage of joints, muscles, ligaments, and broken bones if you are not careful. Break dancing requires pushing the body to its extremes. It is not for the weak, or for those who just want popularity. Over time, breaking will weed these people away. The sourness and injuries acquired are great, and only those with discipline who truly are committed will become true B boys.

The B boy art form is one of rigorous training that has a big danger element with it. True B boys are admired within the breaking community because most know what they have been through. Being a breaker is like being an entertainer, whether your audience is full of other breakers or just other people, the person with the best material will be the most recognized. A real B boy can do one move and have others around ask how he had done that. B boys will spin at alarming speeds on various body parts, pop them selves in the air, balance themselves in awkward positions, and just all around defy gravity and injury. Breaking will never stop evolving, the moves will become more complex, and that will make the consequences even greater. Hip-Hop was believed to die out few years after it began. People viewed it as a bad thing. It has survived for so many years because it has helped unit the community rather than split it apart. It has even provided some of its most talented artist a way of making a living. Hip Hop along with break dancing will begin to grow, to incorporate new outrageous moves. Whether those moves will originate in New York or Los Angeles is not yet known. Maybe as in rap, artist will originate form other areas creating other superpowers. Breaking has, after all, gone global hosting some of its biggest contest in Europe. Where the next direction of breaking will take is not known, but that it will survive is almost unquestionable.

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