Break Dancing

Dancing, or at least attempting to breakdance! My friends and me used to love it!

I thought I was brilliant at it, and it basically involved bizarre gymnastic floor exercises, and thinking you looked as cool as the people in the Beat It video.

The moves I can remember were the Caterpillar (I tried to replicate this before writing this post, and nearly broke my back. I guess I am not as flexible as I used to be!)

Others were the Windmill, Backspin and Headspin. I attempted all of them in the 80s but was pretty rubbish. Looking back now, it̢۪s amazing that parents actually used to let their kids do this, as it seems pretty damn dangerous thing to attempt spinning on your head!

It evolved from the street corners of urban areas in the USA (like New York City) and was ideally a creative expression that allowed gangs to let off some steam and avoid fisticuffs (as depicted in Michael Jacksons Beat It video) which doesn't mean that fights didn't occur.

All that was required was a smooth floor (or a large piece of cardboard or linoleum), a pair of sneakers, some sweat pants, a few bandanas tied around your leg and preferably not too much honkiness in your blood . . .

From popping to locking (as demonstrated by Fred Berry as Rerun on Whats Happening!) to moonwalks and backspins, break dancing had all the moves.

Some greedy opportunists ultimately made some poor films like Breakin and Electric Boogaloo and break dancing disappeared off TV but still exists on the street in different forms today. It never actually went away, and is still pretty big now in London.


Jen said...

Oh yeah...breakdancing was THE thing to do back then! When I was growing up, I was a member of the local youth center on the military base where I grew up. There was a dance hall there and I was a permanent fixture there for many years cause I was one of those prodigy kid tap dancers who often had to perform there and around the area where I grew up. I did other kinds of dancing too and you could always most likely find me dancing there during the day or doing a show there at night every Friday or Saturday night back in the day.
Anyways, every Friday and Saturday night there would be crowds of people at the youth center dances and everyone used to crowd around in circles to watch the older kids breakdancing! I remember this one kid named Keith who was totally awesome! He won a lot of breakdancing competitions both locally and statewide. Everyone used to come around to see him (and me too). He was pretty fly for a white guy too! Remember all those breakdance movies that came out during that era? Hahaha...they were so cool then but so corny now! LOL
Hey...thanks again for the shoutout in your post! I'd love to be your guest blogger anytime!

michele said...

The 80's were fun and
i had the best times
of my life.I won a bmw
in 1988 and a jeep in 85.

Life in the 80's said...

A BMW and Jeep?? Wow. No wonder they are good times!!

Thanks for the comments and checking out Life in the 80s!

Anonymous said...

Lisa Lisa discusses discusses Music and Fashion at

jessica arnold said...

i love the 80's dancing . im actually doing my senior project on it . i swear i love break dancing.......its the onluy kind f dancing i actually enjoy doing. i love michael jackson too and alot of his dance moves came from those 80's. i was born in 1990. but i always listened to the 80's . never will forget the 80's music,wardrobe,hair, and most def. the MAKE-UP.

Anonymous said...

brake danceing is fun i can do alot of stuff

Anonymous said...

I am glad I found this!! It's a trip down memory lane for me, reading and looking at the items posted...with a lot of good times, that come to mind.

I'd almost forgotten about the break dancing movies which I enjoyed so much.....where can I find them and what were all the titles....I seem to remember their being at least 4-5 movies.

Regards to all, and thanks for this site!!

Anonymous said...

I loved the eighties breakin on lino or cardboard was the best memories for me still like watching it today

KID BREAK said...

Who remembers hookin up friday night @ city square and breakin
dressed in nikes, flouro pants,hooded track top & head spinning on a laminated pizza hut menu oh! & socks over pants!Walking around with a ghetto box (large tape deck)Those were the days!!Priceless!

KID BREAK said...


Paul Barber said...

Love the 80s body popping in Middleton centre i

Kierah Lyn Logan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kierah Lyn Logan said...

life in the 80's it's really unique name, personally I love Break dance and you shared your history to your blog which really very interesting. so please continue your post. here is another Nice Hip Hop/ Break Dance Corporate Entertainment Services Platform


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