In “Flash Dance” a famous scene represents the turning point for Break Dance history: we see the protagonist enjoying the performance “Aff Boys”, moving recklessly together with a cameo such as “Frosty Freeze”, one of the fundamental pioneers of this dance.

Break Dance was born in the early Twenties between Harlem and Bronx. The event from which Break Dance originated was the Block Party of Cool Mark (the 11th August 1973). On that occasion the DJ, playing B Boys and B Girls, started a new dance. 

The terms B Boys and B Girls meant break boys and break girls, or meant B as Bronx, the place where Break Dance was born. The Break dance had also a social value: it was a way to solve disputes among gangs, dancing in the street rather than fighting. 

Boys coming from infamous neighbourhood challenged each other in Block Party and in the street to affirm themselves and let know their identity and personality. So, the fought against shyness and humiliation. Their aim was to obtain respect. 

The challenges of were held in a circle called Cypher; it was not only a way to challenge gang campions, but it was also a ground of comparison and an opportunity to make friends. 

Breakdance was very popular among black people in the first place, but then, Latin Peoples, living in Bronx and Harlem, began to practise Breakdance, adding moves from Martial Art films and dance steps of Salsa, Mambo Capoeira. From 1970, Break Dance evolved into Hip Hop, another dance whose styles are different and based on improvisation. 

Breakdance became more and more popular: at the beginning it was a form for people to overcome fights and to affirm themselves and now it is a form of art known aound the world.

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Fabio Finocchiaro


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