The student news site of Houston Community College

The Egalitarian

The student news site of Houston Community College

The Egalitarian

The student news site of Houston Community College

The Egalitarian

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Breaking in the 2024 Olympics: Art form or Sport?

World+DanceSport+Federation+vice-president+for+sports+Nenad+Jeftic+has+claimed+that+breakings+introduction+at+Paris+2024+can+revolutionise+the+Olympic+Games+%C2%A9Paris+2024
World DanceSport Federation vice-president for sports Nenad Jeftic has claimed that breaking’s introduction at Paris 2024 can revolutionise the Olympic Games ©Paris 2024

It’s evident that Breakin’ (or “breakdance”) is gravity defying. It’s constantly pushing the limits of the human body, some could say the depths of it are simply unimaginable. In 2024, Breaking will make its debut in the Paris Olympics. For the first time, Breaking will be recognized internationally by millions of people beyond the Breaking scene. With a step for the culture of Breaking so revolutionary, controversy and disapproval can’t help but come along with the praise and excitement.

Breaking is an element of Hip Hop, along with graffiti, MC and DJ. It stems from the roots of raw expression and competition. There’s no doubt about it that, no matter the flashy moves and technique, the core element of Breaking is that it’s an art form, a dance. It has its own essence.

The main issue that sparks towards Breaking in the Olympics is: how can the judges place a blueprint of structure / analytics at the level of Olympic competition to an art form that’s subjective? In preparation for the Olympics, the Breaking scene has been hosting competitions such as ProBreaking tour and Breaking for Gold. These competitions adopted a new judging style, separating and scoring each aspect of breaking individually in categories. (Ex. freezes, power, footwork, style/ dancing, creativity). Although this is a step towards putting more structure in Breaking tournaments, some would say this forces dancers to shoot for being an “all-around” Bboy/ Bgirl instead of having the freedom to flourish in whichever they please. This can possibly lead to lack of individuality by giving dancers a rubric, suppressing the spirit/essence/ expression of the art form.

On the contrary, Breaking in the Olympics is taking the art form to the next level. It has been given an opportunity to showcase the beauty in what has been practiced underground for years to a wider audience span. This will give it many more opportunities. Potentially giving Bboys and Bgirls around the world the opportunity to, one day, go all in to the art form with the reward of the same accommodation an NBA player receives. Some say the Olympic blueprint and structure of the art form is actually what’s needed to elevate the dance to the next level and be taken even more seriously. As well as an “athletes” approach of fitness, diet and conditioning/ exercising outside of the dance introduces Bboys and Bgirls, who risk their bodies daily, to more efficient health and longevity.

Is it an Art? Is it a Sport? That question is interpretive. Although it’s safe to say that Breaking obtains elements of both. In the end, Breaking in the Olympics will permanently change the game in many ways. It will be a platform to showcase the spirit of not only breaking but HipHop culture as a whole. Through finding the right balance and Bboys/ Bgirls passing the knowledge down to younger gens, it is very possible to keep the spirit and essence of the dance alive while having structure at an Olympic competition level.

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