Breakdancing to debut as Olympic sport at 2024 Games in Paris

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
IOC endorses breakdancing as an Olympic sport
IOC endorses breakdancing as an Olympic sport

Breakdancing has been admitted as an Olympic sport and will make its debut during the 2024 Games in Paris, as  the International Olympic Committee (IOC) moves to make the Games more 'urban and artistic.'

The IOC last June voted in favour of a proposal tabled before it by the Paris Games Committee, as it sought to bring more diversity in the Games. Also to be featured as provisional sports at the Paris Games are skateboarding and surfing.

"I am delighted with the IOC Session's vote in favour of our proposal to include breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games programme," said Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet in a statement.

The IOC has approved breakdancing to be an Olympic sport in 2024

"Our aim from the outset has been to highlight what has been the strength of the Games for 32 Olympiads now -- the diversity of the sports and the excitement that comes with performance -- while also taking the opportunity afforded by the IOC to enhance the programme and offer a new dimension."

Surfing and skateboarding will be provisional beause the IOC would want it to be introduced on pilot basis and test if they would be successful before finally determining if they would be fully admitted as an Olympic sport.

The 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires held its first breakdancing competition

Russia’s Sergei Chernyshevwon the first gold in breakdancing at the 2018 Youth Olympics

Breakdancing was introduced at the 2018 Youth Olympics held in Buenos Aires. It was one of the most-popular events at the Games, as fans watched Russia’s Sergei Chernyshev (who competes as “Bumblebee”) win gold.

The youth Olympic format featured head-to-head dance battles, which is the proposed format that would carry through to the Olympic games.

 

History of break dancing

Break dancing, is an engertic form of dance, popularised by African Americans and U.S. Latinos, that includes stylised footwork and athletic moves such as spinning on the knees, hands, or head.

The dance originated in New York City during the late 1960s and early 1970s from martial arts moves developed by street gangs. The moves, originally learned as a form of self-defense against other gangs, eventually evolved into the complex and athletic moves that characterise modern break dancing.


Break dancing became popular in the 1980s among the youth


In break dance, the emphasis is on energy, movement, creativity, and an element of danger and it is also associated with a particular style of dress that includes baggy pants or sweat suits, baseball caps worn sideways or backward, and sneakers (required because of the dangerous nature of many of the moves).

The term break refers to the particular rhythms and sounds produced by deejays by mixing sounds from records to produce a continuous dancing beat.

The technique was pioneered by DJ Kool Herc (Clive Campbell), a Jamaican deejay in New York who mixed the percussion breaks from two identical records. By playing the breaks repeatedly and switching from one record to the other, Kool Herc created what he called “cutting breaks.”

During his live performances at New York dance clubs, Kool Herc would shout, “B-boys go down!”—the signal for dancers to perform the gymnastic moves that are the hallmark of break dancing.

In the 1980s break dancing reached a greater audience when it was adopted by mainstream artists such as Michael Jackson. Jackson’s moonwalk—a step that involved sliding backward and lifting the soles of the feet so that he appeared to be gliding or floating—became a sensation among teens of all races.

Break dancing had an enormous influence on modern dance styles, and offshoots of it have been performed in many music and especially rap videos.

The mainstreaming of the genre was never more clearly demonstrated than in 2004 when break-dancers were invited to perform in the Vatican before Pope John Paul II.

Adjetey Sowah's claim to fame

In Ghana, the dance is etched on the minds of many people was it was what shot dancer, Adjetey Sowah to world fame when he was crowned the winner of the World Dance Championship in Malibu in 1986.