Breaking the boundaries on what constitutes an Olympic sport, breakdancers from around the world will now get the chance for their
voices moves to be heard.
In 2019, it was announced that breakdancing will make its Olympic debut at the 2024 Summer Games in Paris. But before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted for breaking to be added to the list of sports in the Paris 2024 Games, Red Bull has given b-girls and b-boys a platform on an international stage since 2004 with their Red Bull BC One Cyphers.
The Red Bull BC One National Finals is the largest global breakdancing competition. Ahead of the national finals, Distractify caught up with some of the biggest b-boys in the world of breaking at the Red Bull BC One Boston Cypher about what it means for the breaking community to now be recognized by the IOC.
More than just a form of dance, breaking is a lifestyle that is deeply rooted in culture. Beginning in the 1970s and hitting its stride in the '80s, particulary among Black and Latino communities, this hip-hop street style of dance combines acrobatics, body movements, and footwork.
So, with breaking shifting to the Olympic stage, are b-boys and b-girls worried that the cultural significance behind the art form will get lost?
"We got to control the narrative as a community. I think the people that are going to be involved, the people that have been active for many years, I think they're going to help guide it in the right direction," Omar "RoxRite" Delgado Macias exclusively told Distractify. "I think it's a great opportunity for the scene to bring breaking to the forefront once again and really educate the world on it because I think it's really misunderstood."
RoxRite — who served as a judge at the Boston Cypher — hopes that bringing breaking to the Olympic stage will also help lessen the stigma surrounding the dance style.
"A lot of people have been impacted by [breaking] worldwide. It has saved a lot of lives, opened a lot of opportunities," the b-boy added. "I'm just excited to have it there and be able to utilize that as a platform for us to highlight our craft."
As an audience member, you may find yourself super impressed by the "power moves" or acrobatic skills that a breaker throws into their dance battle, but for longtime breakers, it's the smaller and more intricate moves that may catch a judge's attention.
B-boy Ronnie explained to Distractify that he values a mix of originality combined with footwork, power moves, and freezes.
"The big moves that appeal to the general public, that's necessary, but at the same time, I like originality. I like someone with unique style," the Red Bull Boston Cypher judge told us. "I look at footwork and intricacy and style and moves that I've never seen before."
Though breaking is now classified as an Olympic sport, Ronnie stressed the importance of educating media on the culture surrounding breakdancing, telling Distractify that it is not just about the moves that a person does during a battle.
"We just need to find that happy medium, that balance between culture and sport," he said. "If we do, then I can see it being in the Olympics every four years."
Though we have to wait a few more years until the Summer 2024 Paris Games, check out the Red Bull BC One National Finals on Saturday, Aug. 21 (b-girls) and Sunday, Aug. 22 (b-boys) to watch the best breakers in America.
The winners from the Red Bull BC One City Cyphers in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Houston will go head-to-head for a chance to represent the U.S. in the Red Bull BC One World Final in Poland on November 5 – 6.
Check out the links to the Red Bull BC One Finals below.