In the early 1980’s, break dance exploded onto the scene and became a national phenomenon that officially ushered in the “Hip-Hop” era. Then in the 90’s, the popularity of Rap music dominated the scene, essentially forcing “break dancing” out of the public spotlight and back to its underground origins. That is where break dancing has remained for the past two decades – growing in popularity ¬- evolving and developing a massive following that now spans the globe.
Break dance – which is now mostly referred to as “b-boying” and the dancers called “b-boys” or “b-girls” – is actually a term applied to anyone who identifies with the “break dancer” culture. The B-boy genre – which is largely unnoticed in the U.S. mainstream – is actually as popular today as other forms of popular sports and entertainment. B-boy now generates millions of dollars of revenue through its own network of live events, websites and retail outlets ¬- which sell their own unique brand of B-boy videos, music, apparel and related paraphernalia – and is searched on-line as much as other forms of popular sports and entertainment. B-boy entertainment is viral, a bonafide phenomena that is re-emerging in the U.S.
B-boy – which technically stands for “break or beat-boy”- is the art of traditional break dancing, but now combined with elements of gymnastics and mixed martial arts or what is now known as “tricking”. The original form of the dance, which never actually died as most assume, simply went underground where it could find its own home. A place where B-boy’s could shine in their own right, away from the negative aspects of modern mainstream Hip-Hop. There it’s where it has remained and morphed into an incredible acrobatic-styled dance that is often compared to an Olympic sport.
“You won’t see any finer moves in the Olympics” – Ron Wilkerson / Monster and Critics.com
At the center of any B-boy competition is the “Battle”; where two opposing sides – either teams or solo – face each other in a battle of dance supremacy. Many B-boy competitions include choreographed stage presentations – in which they’re judged for creativity and showmanship – but the Battle remains the foundation of any B-boy competition.
RedBull & SONY® are two of the largest and most notable sponsors of B-boy competitions worldwide. With several dozen major events held annually, some of the larger events like Battle of The Year and R-16 draw in crowds of over 10,000 and 20,000 respectively. Other notable events like the World B-Boy Championships, FreeStyle Session, Red Bull BC One & Beat Battles boast record breaking attendances into the thousands, and sell out year after year.
These hi-energy contests are incredible displays of creativity, dexterity and agility. The Battles – which are often laced with verbal smack, jostling and chest thumping – are explosive to watch and have often been compared to a WWE match. However, this is unscripted and in the end, with hugs and handshakes all around, there’s nothing but respect and honor …