Should Breakdancing Be An Olympic Sport?! Why The Hip Hop Community is Divided…

Should Breakdancing Be An Olympic Sport?! Why The Hip Hop Community is Divided…

(upbeat music) (paper singes) – Hello, hello and welcome
back to Rogue Rocket, my name is Philip DeFranco
and before we get started I wanted to thank the sponsor
of today’s video, Audible. With covering the news, some subjects are not
the most brand-friendly, and that is why it is
so important to partner with brands like Audible
who want to support the work that we’re doing. But, more on that later. For today’s Deep Dive, we’re gonna be talking about breaking. And for those that don’t know,
breaking is a hip-hop dance and it looks something like this. (hip-hop music) Now if you’re thinking, “Okay Phil, yeah, I know what
that is, it’s break dancing.” That’s not exactly right. Break
dancing is actually a term that the media created back in the 80’s. So it’s not a word that the people who actually practice the dance use very often. But today, we’re not gonna be
focusing on that distinction. We’re actually gonna be
taking a look at breaking because the dance is at
pretty pivotal moment in its history. And that’s because the organizers of the 2024 Olympics in Paris are hoping to add breaking
as an official sport. Now, nothing is set in
stone at this moment. But even just the idea of including breaking as an Olympic sport has raised a lot of controversy. And both people inside and
outside of the breaking community have a lot to say about it. So today we’re going to
be taking an inside look at the breaking community to see why not everyone is on board with breaking being in the Olympics. You’ll hear from some legendary B-Boys who helped shape the
dance in it’s early years. And you’ll also be hearing from a younger generation of performers who are currently dancing in some pretty prestigious competitions. But to tell you more about
the past, the present, and the future of breaking, I’m gonna turn it over to Alissa Sinicki from
the Rogue Rocket team. (hip-hop music) – [Alissa] Breaking has had a
long and complicated history. It’s gone through periods where
it’s been a media darling, featured in commercials and
television shows and movies. And it’s also faced some tougher times where critics claimed breaking’s
time had come and gone. But right now, the dance might be the
biggest it’s ever been. You can find B-Boys and
B-Girls dancing in studios and in the streets all over the world. An there are even massive international
breaking competitions offering some serious cash to winners. But the next step in
breaking’s future is uncertain, because there’s a chance
the dance can be included as an Olympic event in Paris 2024. But the breaking community
isn’t exactly in agreement over whether or not that should happen. But before we dive into the
undecided future of breaking, it’s important to understand
where the dance came from and how it got started. And in order to walk us
through that history, we spoke to multiple B-Boys,
hip-hop dancing instructors, and legends in the breaking community. We talked to Darius Frye, the
co-owner of the award-winning Origin Hip Hop Performing Dance Academy in San Diego, California. Darius’s studio teaches a
younger generation of dancers not only how to break but also the important
history behind the dance. One of Darius’s students is Miguel Zepeda. Miguel is a B-Boy who hopes
to represent the United States if breaking does become an officially sanctioned Olympic event. And we also caught up with
some legendary figures in the breaking community. This is Easy Roc, he’s a
B-Boy from the West Coast and he’s been hailed for
decades for his smooth footwork. Easy Roc has worked on films like “Zoolander” and “You Got Served”. And he’s had a major influence
on B-Boys and B-Girls across the globe since the
late 80’s and early 90’s. This is Zulu Gremlin, he’s choreographed for major artists like Justin Bieber and Usher. He’s been active in the hip-hop community since the early 80’s, and he’s also been featured in films like “step Up Two”. And last but certainly not
least, this is Ken Swift. He’s been breaking since
he was a kid in the Bronx in the 1970’s. He’s been featured in
dozens of magazines, movies, and television shows throughout the years, and he’s regarded as one
of the most legendary and important figures in breaking. And one thing all five dancers told us, is that if you wanna understand
the history of breaking, you have to start with
the origins of hip-hop. Because while there are
dozens of hip-hop dances, and it can feel like a new
dance is popping up everyday, there’s something that separates breaking from all those other dances. – It’s the first dance of hip-hop culture. Even though many dances
were there and existed and still come every time we turn around, you know new dances exist, breaking stood the test of
time and it was still here. (record scratching) – [Alissa] Hip-hop was born in the 1970’s in the Bronx of New York City. During that time, DJs were
bursting onto the scene. And the way in which these
DJs were arranging their mixes changed both music and dance. – When you make a song,
it has a structure. And in that strung, in that structure, there’s an intro, a
verse, a chorus, a bridge, and there’s this special
part called “The Break”. And usually the break is
literally taking a break of all the musicians
except maybe the drummer and maybe everybody hits just one note. Like a horn hit, BAM! And you hear the drummer, and
everybody’s taking a break. Literally taking a break. – Within that section, that’s
when people would come in and dance to it during shows and parties. – That break is something
where everybody kinda loses it where you’re so in control of the moment, throughout the night, but that break is the one chance where you get to like
open up a little bit. – People that you know understood that that was the best part of the record and saw the reactions of audiences. I think that’s the birth of breaking. – [Alissa] The term “B-Boy” and “B-Girl” would later develop as
shorthand for a boy or girl who danced during the break. And as the dance became
more popular in New York, B-Boys and B-Girls developed
their own set of rules. And four essential components formed. The first, was Toprock. – Top and then Rocks. You’re rocking on your
feet cause you’re on top. – It’s just basically how
people go out into a circle. They go out to the floor, at this point, they’re still on you know, they’re on their feet, their standing up. This is the, like the dance element of it. The B-Boys can use, like they can show their style and their
character through this but yeah, it’s basically just, it’s the part before they
even like hit the floor. There’s, this is what they’re doing, they’re standing on their feet. – [Alissa] The next element was Downrock. – A Downrock is when you get aggressive towards your opponent. For example, here you
can pretend to punch him, pretend to throw and arrow at them, call out this thing, that’s
the battle sense of it, as you go down. – This is another way
to show your character. A lot of B-Boys, you know
they have different ways in which they go down. And however you go down is
basically another just element of just the performance. – [Alissa] Then, there were Power Moves. – [Miguel] So Power Move is
basically, as the name states, it’s a move that requires
like a lot of power. – Power Move is basically,
just the craziest thing that a B-Boy or B-Girl can do. Whether it’s spinning on their head, or air flares, or babies. – [Alissa] And lastly,
the all important Freeze. – So Freeze, pretty much
sounds like what it is, you just stop. But it is, it can either be on the ground, on your hand, you just pretty
much (Snaps fingers) stop. – [Alissa] Today, these are all still essential components of breaking. But it’s worth noting
hip-hop culture in the 70’s wasn’t just limited to
music and these dance moves. There were other important
aspects shaping the culture. – When hip-hop started,
there were actually, there were four elements of it. There was, there was DJing and MCing, which for most it was just, it’s rapping, you know the lyrics, the
poetry over the music. And graffiti art and breaking. – [Alissa] And for kids
growing up in the Bronx, like Ken Swift, these four elements weren’t
separate from one another. – A lot of the original
people, we did it all. We wrote, we DJed, we rhymed,
we broke, we did it all, we were just experimenting. – [Alissa] By the late 70’s, kids and teens practicing these elements, started to form crews. The crews danced against one another in what became known as Battles. Pretty quickly, these
crews and their members started to gain notoriety. – Like they walked down
the block and like, “That dude is, oh that’s
Spy, that’s Jo-Jo.” You know, so forth. These people were influential
people in the community. So people looked up to them. – [Alissa] And by the early 80’s, the media also started to take notice. – In the 80’s it was pop culture. It was popular among, you know,
normal people watching TV. You know, it was on every kind
of TV show you can think of. And every kind of commercial. – [Alissa] But the
earliest media coverage, started with print journalism. – A very important event was
the “Village Voice” article “Breaking is Hard To Do”, I think it was 1981,
where the first kinda like showcase of the four
elements of hip-hop culture were put together. That was one of the times
that, one of the events that really kind of opened interest. And then it was us just going
to these roller skating rinks. And then the West Village
had all these interesting punk-rock clubs that we
were, Mudd Club and Negril and all these places where
we’re invited to go showcase and it opened up, people
started becoming more aware. – [Alissa] At the time, Ken Swift was part of the Rock Steady Crew. His crew became the
public face of breaking. – Rock Steady Crew is the first group of B-Boys, B-Girls, etc.
to become professional in the 80’s. – [Alissa] Ken Swift
and the Rock Steady Crew were featured in the PBS
documentary, “Style Wars” and then the independent
film “Wild Style”. But maybe Ken Swift and Rock Steady’s most influential appearance, was this 90-second scene in “Flashdance”. – [Ken] There’s a consensus
about with people my age. A lot of people worldwide
had pretty much seen it that same time through that same film. Before that, it was sort of
condensed to New York City. And if you were lucky enough to have a relative or someone
who’d gone back to New York, maybe they saw it or brought it back and– – [Alissa] And then, the
talk shows took notice. – From the new motion picture Flashdance, ladies and gentleman, this
is not to be believed, please welcome two members from that group Crazy Legs and Ken Swift. (audience cheering and clapping) (hip-hop music) ♪ I know you got the beat ♪ ♪ Let’s dance ♪ ♪ Oh yeah ♪ ♪ Let’s dance ♪ ♪ I
know you got the beat ♪ ♪ So let’s dance ♪ ♪ So come on and get
down ♪ ♪ Let’s dance ♪ ♪ I know you got the
beat ♪ ♪ So let’s dance ♪ ♪ Come on and get down ♪ ♪ So let’s dance. ♪ – [Alissa] And with the
new media attention, a new word started getting
thrown around, “Break Dancing”. – They’re hearing that term
“break” pertaining to the music and the DJ talking about the break, and they see the dancers
responding to the break. And so that term
developed as a description and it just became like a watered down way of talking about it. – That’s what happens once Hollywood got a hold of what B-Boying was. They would say, “Oh, Break
Dancing, oh all this stuff, all this stuff, all that.” Here you see the kids doing
and stuff in between over here, that’s all Break Dancing. – [Alissa] And while “Break
Dancing” is still a term the media uses today, other
facets of breaking have changed. The moves B-Boys and B-Girls
are performing are evolving. – It’s gotten a lot crazier. Like the guys who do it
now, they pretty much just, they almost seem like they’re
trying to kill themselves. You know, the things that I’ve seen. A lot of variations on moves that you know have already existed. Like, you know, if people
were doing Head Slides, now people know how to do them backwards. – [Alissa] And the Bronx
is no longer the only home of breaking. Over the past few decades,
B-Boys and B-Girls are now dancing on multiple continents. – Go around the world, we
don’t speak the same languages, but we all can identify and
communicate through this dance. – [Alissa] The growth of
breaking has also changed how and why some B-Boys and B-Girls dance. When Ken Swift took up
breaking in the Bronx in the late 70’s, he and the Rock Steady Crew battled for bragging rights and rep. There weren’t scheduled battles and tournament-style brackets to find out who the best dancer was. It was all about showing off. But today, B-Boys and
B-Girls are competing for money and medals, thanks to massive organized
international competitions. Red Bull BC One is one
of those competitions. The event has been held
every year since 2004 and winning B-Boys and B-Girls have come from seven different countries including the United
States, France, South Korea, Brazil, the Netherlands,
Japan, and Morocco. But Red Bull BC One isn’t the only international breaking event. Another event is the
World Breaking Battles at Hip-Hop International. Hip-Hop International,
nicknamed HHI for short, is a huge multi-week
international dance competition. Teams from all over the
world come to compete in a variety of categories. And there are also individual events like the Breaking World Battles where dancers can show off
their personal skillset. This year, Easy Roc, Zulu
Gremlin, and Ken Swift were all judges at HHI’s
World Breaking Battles. There they evaluated B-Boys from countries like Korea, Australia,
Mexico, Japan, Romania, and the Dominican Republic. Last year Darius and Miguel represented the United States in the
Adult Crew Division at HHI. They competed against more than 60 other international hip-hop crews and finished ranked 27th in the world. And because dancers
from all over the world come to compete on such a large stage, some have actually compared
HHI to the Olympics. – Its an Olympic-style event because you have to compete in you country and then out of the top
three in each division of those countries will have to, they come in and they
compete against each other. – [Alissa] But it might be
possible that big events like HHI and Red Bull BC
One could take a back seat to the real Olympics pretty soon. Because in June, the
International Olympic Committee voted in favor to add breaking
as a provisional sport for the Paris games in 2024. And because breaking
was provisionally added, it means that the IOC will
have until December 2020 to make a final decision. And it’s still possible that
the dance can be removed from Paris’s program before December but it’s worth noting, this
actually isn’t the first time there’s been a push to include
breaking in the Olympics. – Cause this is not a new conversation. Let’s just pull it back to 1982 or three, a gentleman named Michael
Holman was the manager for the New York City Breakers and if those of you that
understand the history, New York City Breakers was another group and that was the group
that was in the movie “Beat Street” alongside of Rock Steady, we both were the two groups. But his vision was to bring
breaking to the Olympics in ’83 and ’84 cause he, he
had this kind of like idea. So he put them in bobsled suits. He wore these tight
bobsled suits that were, the idea was they can spin
faster in these suits. You know, cause Michael had this vision. We were like, “What the heck
are you doing in a bobsled?” Like the whole, all the people were kinda like laughing at it,
and bugging out on it. But that’s what he was thinking. – [Alissa] Obviously,
the Olympics didn’t back Michael’s vision at the time, but today, the IOC has
shown a lot of support for Paris’s proposal. And they’ve even said they hope breaking will bring in a young and
urban audience to the Olympics. And that IOC support has a
lot of dancers really excited. – Who doesn’t know the Olympics? Now add breaking in it, who doesn’t know breaking? – Some of our biggest B-Boy
competitions still kind of fall under the radar, even something as big as
something sponsored by Red Bull. Everyone gets to see it,
they know it’s there, you look on YouTube, but
again you have to look for it. Olympics come straight to
you, in your living room. – It would be such a great
platform for people to see. It’s not like you don’t want them, you don’t wanna be underground forever cause, you know, the bigger audience, the more people coming in,
the bigger the community, the more love, positivity,
that’s what we want, you know? – Once B-Boying is in the Olympics, it’s gonna be portrayed exactly how it is and the whole entire world
is gonna be able to see exactly how it is so like it
will be as familiar to you as gymnastics or running
or swimming will be. – [Alissa] Miguel hopes to
represent the United States if breaking does officially
become an Olympic sport. And he trains almost daily focusing on technique,
strength, and conditioning. He told us being chosen to
represent the United States in the Olympics would mean so much to him. – It would be like the biggest honor to, it was already, such a huge honor to represent dancing for HHI as a adult for the US, to represent the US. That was the best feeling ever. Now doing it with breaking, that would, I think that would be a step up. – [Alissa] But some of
breaking’s pioneers and legends aren’t as on board. – What we’ve done all these
years and what we stand for can’t be like thrown out the door just cause you wanna make a cool event. – [Alissa] Zulu Gremlin
expressed he doesn’t feel there’s enough information about how the potential
Olympic event would be run. And he also has concerns about who Paris organizers and
the IOC are reaching out to in the community. – For me, my position is very simple, if you’re gonna do something, do it good. It’s about being respectful,
it’s about being accountable, it’s about knowing what
you’re doing, being experts and if they’re not experts, then you need experts to be there. It needs to be at the highest level because we’ve put in so many
years and time into what we do, we don’t want someone
that’s less qualified. – [Alissa] For Easy Roc, he
doesn’t feel that breaking aligns itself well with the Olympics. – The dance, breaking,
B-Boying, B-Girling, whatever you wanna call it, hip-hop, the dance of hip-hop does
not need the Olympics. The Olympics needs it. To us breaking is like
our, it’s like our child and so we’re very protective of our child, very protective, what area it goes into, how people see it, how it’s portrayed. And I think with the Olympics, I feel that the rawness of the dance is just, it might be too
raw for the Olympics. I just think it’s too raw and I don’t think it’s a good fit. It’s more of the Extreme
Sports, which they call now, you know so it’s like, so I was advocating years ago for it to become part of the X-games. – [Alissa] And Easy Roc
also feels there’s a lack of information about how
breaking could be implemented. – Change is hard. Especially when you’re looking at things that you have no control over. And I think that’s what
we’re getting into, is like we feel like we don’t
have any control over it and how it’s gonna look, so it’s hard to put sort
of your stamp on it. They’ve been asking me to
endorse it, I haven’t done it because I just don’t have
enough information about it. – [Alissa] The IOC has also
reached out to Ken Swift. But they didn’t just ask
him to endorse the event. They asked Ken Swift
to judge the Olympics, but he turned them down. – A lot of people said,
“Well Kenny, but you know, but you could, you could.” And I’m like, “Well I
just don’t feel that way, what do you want me to do?” You know, I’m not gonna
compromise my principles on behalf of just this opportunity. – [Alissa] And he’s told us
that his personal experience with breaking is what
really shaped his decision. – Even though it is competitive, something about it struck me differently and allowed me a sense
of identity and freedom. That certain freedom that was you know, there’s technique and
rules in specific things, but in breaking I was allowed to create, I was allowed to make up
something and call it something and expose it and get recognition, and get recognition from the peers. So my experience with breaking
is not a sports experience so after 41 years, it’s, I can’t, I’m not gonna turn back on what I feel. – [Alissa] And that distinction
between art and sport is a topic that continually
pops up in media coverage of breaking in the Olympics. So we asked the dancers what they thought. And once again, not
everyone was in agreement. – I actually don’t think
breaking is a sport, it’s an art. – I think it’s both. I think it’s both cause you
have to be incredibly athletic to do it but in order to like
you know flip it on its head, you have to have an understanding of music and understanding of your body, understanding of like patterns
and cadences and whatnot, in order to make it look beautiful. – It’s a culture, and so
culture has art and sport. And why can’t it be very much more? It’s intellectual, it’s
history, it’s knowledge. It’s so much more than just art or sport. You know we’re talking about, you can’t put everything
into one little capsule or one little bubble with culture. – At the beginning, I
think it’s more of a sport. You gotta get the hang
of it first, physically. You gotta have the body
for it or the technique. – It is all things. It is a sport, it is an
art-form, it is a pastime, it is a way of life, it is a
religion, it is all things. – [Alissa] But despite the fact that there are multiple disagreements in the breaking community, everyone we spoke to
does hope for one thing, if breaking is included in Paris 2024, they hope it leads to more people dancing. – I think it’s gonna be
great for the community. It’s gonna give more exposure
to the art-form of breaking so to me that’s bigger than, you know, that’s bigger than everything else. It’s like it’s gonna share
the dance with other people. – [Alissa] But for now,
we’ll have to wait and see if the dance will be included. And if it is, it will
be interesting to see how the community responds
and if it changes the culture. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time aspects of breaking have changed. And one thing is for certain, the original dance of hip-hop culture isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. – So, with all of that said and everything we’ve showcased, of course we wanna pass
the question off to you. Do you agree with people
like Darius and Miguel and think this will be
good for the dance, or no? Maybe you agree more with
Ken Swift and Easy Roc and you have some reservations about it. Or maybe you’re completely against breaking in the
Olympics in general. Really just any and all
thoughts you have on this, we’d love to see in those
comments down below. And just before we wrap up today’s video, I wanna thank again the sponsor
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  • Adactylous says:

    as a b boy I appreciate this video so much

  • Jordan Green says:

    I feel like eventually the olympics is just gonna be every sport. Just like “quidditch? Yeah sure put that in the olympics too”

  • Psych0ps1licy says:

    If breaking would be allowed at the Olympics than all forms of dance should be allowed (ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary etc.) which would open up another can of worms

  • Sorenkair says:

    I agree that breaking is more of an art than a sport, especially at the highest level.

  • mrperscat mrperscat says:

    Brakedancing should be underground n should stay underground period!

  • Steadfast The Renowned says:

    Take a shot every time Phil says "break" and "breaking"

  • Sean P says:

    the curling community is a huge advocate of this, so they won't be the most ridiculous event

  • where's my rooptoff says:

    I'm so happy to see this culture of street dance being spread around, especially by you guys, Phil.
    Bboying should only be in the Olympics if the judges actually know what they are talking about, and do not simply judge it from 1-10 scores. The reason HHI and several other hip hop / street dance competitions are so high tier and noteworthy is because they know how to judge. The judges for any type of hip hop dance, popping, breaking, locking, wacking, etc. are experts in their field and do not simply judge from a 1-10 basis. If we could get the exact same atmosphere that you get from regular breaking/street dance competitions in the Olympics, then there would be no problem seeing it in the Olympics. Breaking is technically a sport but the focus when it comes to breaking and other forms of dance is competition and an art form.

  • Jennifer says:

    How on earth would you even score it? Who would be the judges? Plus, if break dancing is included in the olympics, why isn't ballet included? Ballet is definitely an intense practice that takes years of dedication. Why not flamenco, salsa or any of the other dances that do take lots of training. Not to put down breakdancing, but I just don't think that it's gonna work in the olympics. Maybe in another competition, it would work but this is the olympics.

  • BehindTheScenes WithJenn says:

    Thanks for covering this story Phil, it is really nice to see the history of this and the views behind it.

  • J Phillips says:

    That’s a neat origin for the term “breakdancing”.

  • Yeetus says:

    Before I watch, the answer is no

  • djmenez10 says:

    The IOC said it themselves. They want to get a younger audience but I don't see it being a mainstay event for the olympics. BBoy/Girl culture(Breaking) has plenty of competitions/venues/events/showcase both here in the US and internationally.

  • herewegoinvt says:

    I was an idiot kid who fell in love with breaking and learned how to dance as a result. It would be great to see this recognized at a higher level, but at the same time I worry that this will become another skating or gymnastics competition where the focus is not on the music, the lifestyle and the almost rebellious nature of how it started and instead focus on how many spins or flips someone can do.

  • darkxxhimxxlight says:

    i like watching breaking, but this is one of the dumbest ideas i have ever heard for an Olympic event.
    here's why I don't like the idea of it being in the Olympic; basically any form of dance to be judged will be almost completely subjective by the judges. in gymnastics there is a set-in-stone specific form that has to take place during a performance such as straight arms, legs, pointed toes, etc…. in breaking, there is some specific forms that are required, but the whole point of this form of dance is that it is an artistic expression of dance that is personal to the person performing said dance. so literally every move you make could be subjectivity what you think was the best you've ever done while the judges may see it as sloppy or too stiff, etc…. when i watch movies like step up or bring it on, all i see is people flailing around and the people of the same race that are watching are going nuts like they just watched a miracle happen before their eyes. it's mostly a popularity contest. if you're a known breaker, no matter what you do out there, the crowd is going to go nuts. if you're a nobody giving it your best, you're still expressing yourself in the same way as the 'known' breaker, but you may not get any responses, even if it was just as good of a performance. basically i don't see that there's any way to be objective about judging this form of dance.
    they as a community already have contests that are probably judged with a lot of bias, but it's just ridiculous to think they can judge this type of dancing objectively without any bias, whether that be by someone who is well known being scored higher than less knows, or by race, gender, etc.

  • Abram SF says:

    They can add it to the Olympics if they find a way to judge it. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to watch it. Not sure how it’ll be much different than the gymnastics floor routine.

  • Rogue Rocket says:

    Is it an art? A sport? Both??

  • Charles Waldon says:

    You're not a fit for the X games. This was an absolutely absurd thought to me… not a fit for the Olympics, yet you think it's a good fit for the xgames? Please, you are dancing… closer to figure skating than Xtreme sport.. consider yourself one of chicks with ribbons doing the dancing gymnastics with out a ribbon.

  • 04beni04 says:

    I figure the biggest drawback to breaking being included in the Olympics would be the effect it has on the culture. I mean, this is probably what the one guy meant by "raw", but breaking is all about innovation and discovery and pushing the envelope. It's thinking outside the box, flattening that box and doing a spin on it near a street corner somewhere. The mere act of codifying the movements enough to create a judging scheme could stifle creativity in a big way.

    Then again, what do I know? I may have flirted briefly with hip hop dancing in the early 90s (a few bars of I've Got the Power still makes me want to risk back injury, LOL) but otherwise I mostly only know what they show in movies. So … yeah.

  • Brian Cole says:

    Sure but first Cheerleading. That's been waiting in the wings for longer than Break Dancing and deserves to move up in prestige first.

  • qlives says:

    It would be like everyone looking at a picture, then having contestants paint that same picture at some point placing definitive rules on how to paint it. It might even hinder the emotion that comes with the music, even. When did they hit the drop? How long was the freeze? It's very technical and talented dancing for sure. It IS dancing and emotion. If somehow, you could give every single move a name, where, what would be the control? Where's the double-triple axel flip when all of it is amazing?

  • KR P says:

    As a (retired) bboy, I agree more with Grim on this one. If you're going to put breaking in the Olympics, fine. But you need the right judges, the right judging system, the proper format, etc. That's just to make it as faithful culture as possible.

    You're never going to get the rawness (not to be conflated with edginess, it't not about that). You're not going to be able to replicate the feel of a cypher on such a grand stage. And, more than likely, those new bboys/bgirls that the Olympics would bring in would be entirely battle focused; something that is a sore spot for a lot of verteran breakers who are tired of the excessive focus on battling.

    I do wish Ken Swift would've judged though. We'd need people like him involved if this is going to be done properly. As for judging format…IDK, Dyzee tried to come up with one many years ago , if I remember correctly. Maybe the Olympics could copy his.

    Great video though. As a former journalist and bboy, I appreciate this vid.

  • Walkin'Cat says:

    as a former b-boy enthusiast, I focking love to hear it

  • Jesus Loves says:


  • pikaseel says:

    If Breaking joined the Olympics, you can bet I'd be much more interested.

  • M T says:

    Who else smiled when they saw the Theory Wear?

  • 1989barker says:

    I didn't even know breakdancing or "breaking" was even still a thing that people do seriously.

  • TheCreepypro says:

    while I personally would like to see it in the Olympics it also has to be done right and treated with the proper respect it deserves that one guy was right when he said that the Olympics need breaking, breaking does not need the Olympics

  • Abigail Quick says:

    I think that because breaking is so inherently free-form, it would be somewhat difficult to get clear judging criteria. Maybe that's just me, and I don't have much experience with the dance lol. Sick theorist pride tho B)

  • Christian Matos says:

    Got a game theory fan lol

  • Rijacki Ledum says:

    If one dance style is made an Olympic event, why shouldn't others? All dance at its competitive levels is athletic. Various types of 'ballroom' dance have international competitions so why not add them, too, for the exact same reasons, other than the youth and inner-city draw, as breaking. I'm not being sarcastic. Various dance forms have been proposed in the past for Olympic inclusion.

  • heyjubes says:

    A level of athleticism isn't enough to warrant something to be called a sport. Yes, you have to be seriously athletic to be a b-boy or b-girl, but then that's true for ballet dancers and traceurs, the latter I think is closer to what I would expect to see in the Olympics than breaking. Breaking is a dance, which for me lands it under art.
    There are artistic elements in some sports like figure skating and rhythmic gymnastics but I see those as to highlight the athleticism of the athletes involved. In breaking, I see it as the opposite where the athleticism is there to show-off or allow for the artistry to come through.
    I guess, for me (who is neither an athlete or a dancer), it breaks down to this: do b-boys and b-girls primarily want to be known as athletes or as dancers? Or, so as not to say they can't be both, do they want to be known as athletic dancers or creative/artistic/aesthetic athletes? (It's a fine distinction but the line is there)

  • NomadicCleric says:

    Just learned I'm officially good going Phil-free on these 😀

  • Taryn Garrison says:

    I think it is incredibly difficult to implement Olympic events from those competitive acts that stratal the line between sport and art. I’m all for breaking in the Olympics, but even 5 years seems too short to pull together a legitimate and comprehensive “rule book” and “required elements” list like found in ice dancing or rhythmic gymnastics. Not to mention legitimate judges and a crop of dancers who will compete on a level dance floor. Then again you have to start somewhere.

  • Hardlydan says:

    Another fantastic deep-dive. Should Breaking be in the Olympics? For me, the answer is yes, It at its core is everything an Olympic sport requires. How it should be judged and the rules are for far more knowledgable people than me to decide. Does the Olympics need breaking? I can't answer that and the conversation requires far more space than the average person reading the YouTube comments section will allow.

  • hungrywallaby says:

    If breaking dancing were to be included in the Olympics, wouldn't it be as a demonstration sport? I think break dancing would be a great demonstration sport– a sport that is included out of general interest, to demonstrate the wide variety of sporting endeavors in the world. Unfortunately, I don't think the Olympics sees it that way– they see being a demo sport as an initiation into being a regular Olympic sport like track and field or swimming.

    Ballet dancers go through a rigorous training process that has to start in their preteens and cannot stop until retirement. Then why isn't ballet dance an Olympic sport? I agree with another commentor– breakdance, like ballet, is an art, not a sport. Art is about expression, sports is about competition. I'm okay with demonstrating it to show how these artists are incredible athletes as well– the Olympics does have a cultural component. But to be made permanently an Olympic sport, then we have to include ballet, ballroom dancing, square dance, Chinese opera (very athletic)– where does it end?

  • Canadian Abroad: A.M. Molloy says:

    I mean, they added golf to the Olympics. Breaking is more of a sport than golf. Life, you don't even need to be in shape to play golf. And it's boring. (No offence to actual golfers out there. I'm just not a fan. You do you).

  • redranger2013 says:

    I think if breaking becomes an Olympic sport so should ballroom dancing.

  • edwin semidey says:

    I'm sorry I love break dancing but in the OLYMPICS no way

  • joseblancoize says:

    Almost got through it. Too much free time?

  • Eva Hernandez says:

    Could you start breaking a little later in teen years? Like 17? 😅

  • Ronda Romero says:

    Yeah except the Olympics is a corrupt, money sucking community destroying, people destroying entity. Does anyone remember what Brasil did to hide certain parts of their community. And the massive structures and arenas that dot the world that go unused, and huge money pits only used for two weeks. Look at salt lake cities losses and that was winter Olympics, and Atlanta's losses.

  • Heidi Ah Sue says:

    I think it's interesting that it was the OG breakers who didn't want breaking in the Olympics. It makes sense. Breaking is relatively new enough that it is still very personal to the artists who created it. All forms of art evolve as they grow but it can be hard to watch something you love, that you created and has a history, become more impersonal and more disconnected from its origin.

  • kuntamdc says:

    Battle of the year?

  • David Gilbert says:

    Is that guy in the yellow basketball shirt wearing a Game Theory beanie? C:

  • AyaNanase says:

    Would really appreciate it if you touch upon other dances in later videos! This was really informative and interesting to me as a person interested in dancing

  • BootlegEL says:

    Art or sport its both olympics more exposure more money more schools more breaking!

  • Gregor Clegane says:

    I say why not? I think Capoeira should also be an Olympic sport.

  • DudetteDees says:

    We've seen a similar discussion in the ballroom dancing world.
    Some even say that the push for ballroom to be in the olympics caused the biggest split in the global Ballroom dancing league, the WDSF and the WDC. One views the sport more as art, and therefore incompatible with the olympics, the others see it more like ice dancing (which is in the winter olympics) as both sport and art.

    Personally, if you are competing in such an event there is always a sports element and an artistic element. It is a sport you can judge on artistry. I am in favour of more dancesport in the olympics, ballroom, breaking or otherwise. I hope that more people will see dance as a sport, and take it more seriously. And everybody always hopes that it will inspire more people to dance in any style.

  • CynicalCrowTwT says:

    Really interesting, learnt something.

    Also I see that game theory merch. Brilliant

  • nab 6215 says:

    The younger dancers don't realize that the Olympics will make them their art in order to comply with decency standards. Breaking can be raw because it's real. They are going to not allow that.

  • Darnell Jackson. says:

    No mention of physicx, Hong 10, Junior, lilou, pocket… etc etc.

  • Nikki Miller says:

    There are so many huge dancers that have been trying to make it into a career and have especially because of all the competitions all over the world. I know Les Twins aren’t flipping b-boys but they are the best in the world and dancing is hard. They are athletes to the fullest by far and if they were t in good condition they wouldn’t be able to do it.

  • Michelle Douglas says:

    Breaking is doing good on it's own. I agree that it doesn't need the olympics the olympics needs it. I also feel though that Breaking should be on TV. The talent these people have is amazing and it should be showcased.

  • Rebecca Koch says:

    If breaking becomes part of anything, it makes more sense for the x- games.
    Also, figure skating is an art/sport, do breaking the art/sport is perfectly valid

  • Dc says:

    18:52 So Ballet is also a sport? 🤔

  • _ SassySaucyxx _ says:

    Breaking in the Olympics would be cool to watch but it really does fit better with the X games

  • armygonz says:

    The culture of Breakin will do what it will do, the point is to Enjoy all the motions of it. Playboy Breakin Crew 2000 "Booger" was here. 😁🤘

  • Kwantomkaos says:

    The physicality and artistic expression involved in breaking have similarities to the floor events in gymnastics, synchronized swimming and ice skating. I believe breaking has a place in the Olympics.

  • Tristan Zahringer says:

    In general i prefer the olympics stick to things that are objective, speed, strength, endurance, etc. When its subjective, judges are involved, and they score it on personal preference. And i dont trust the olympics because the whole committee is corrupt and that probably filters down to the judges.

  • RedLogicGaming says:

    My father was a B-boy! His name is Earl Conner, if anyone knows him reply!

  • Adambobobmb says:

    This was dope ppl these days barely know bout the 4 pillars glad they promiting it now as for the question. I can see the issue cause a sport nees regulation and you cant "regulate" breaking it wasnt madr for regulation its like how do you "regulate" on a international scale rapping, its expressive, its better in the raw.
    But, it does have a great competitive element and theres already a space like the Olympics for it. So like they said before how do you have the competition but respect the history?

  • Gatlin Grove says:

    so I didn’t know much about breaking before but now I think it’s one of the coolest dances I’ve ever seen

  • Mister Mayhem says:

    I love breaking! If saber duels can be in the Olympics, I don't see why breaking shouldn't.

  • JoM Squared Videos says:

    I think it would be cool to see breakdancing in the Olympics, but i do have to wonder, how long will it be until people push for other dance styles to be a part? We have ice skating and ice dancing, but why shouldn't other genres of dance be included?

  • Gerfnutts The greatest says:

    What, no crazy legs?

  • Daniel Luft-Martinez says:

    hard pass

  • Jose Monroy says:

    Sure let's make breakdancing an Olympic sport whats next? the Mexican quebradita???

  • sleepymurderEDL says:

    @gametheory check out the hat

  • One Wheel to Rule Them All says:

    I prefer objective sports (like a race for example) vs subjective ones (where someone does a dance and judges give scores). I know the Olympics already has subjective arts sports like that (figure skating and whatnot) but I'm not as huge of a fan of those either. It's cool to watch the people perform, but as a competition I don't like it as much as it's left to judges giving scores, vs an objective outcome like a race (where it's who's fastest rather than what scores judges decided they should have).

  • TheMysticLink Plays says:

    I feel like I just got cooler after watching this.

  • kiwigirljacks says:

    If one form of dancing is made an Olympic sport… then should all be..? Seems weird to me.

  • hotdrippyglass says:


  • Berzerius says:

    If figure skating is in Olympics, it makes sense for breaking to be included.

  • DJ Beneficial says:

    I will answer this for you as a veteran b-boy. The reason why the hip-hop community is divided is due to the old head vs. young head mentality. The old heads just hate! I know I'm going to catch flack for this but I lived it myself and I can tell you that the older generations while some were great mentors and inspirations, a lot of them just straight up hate on the younger generation. I won't name any names because this isn't a snuff piece, but the fact is that the younger generation of b-boys & b-girls have thought of new ideas and have new physical abilities that they never had. Instead of supporting us they would always tell us that we aren't real and we aren't doing it right. They never liked that fact that we took the dance in new directions that they couldn't imagine. It's called progress. However, the old heads felt threatened that it was going in a new direction. First it was power moves they would hate on. Then it was new styles they would hate on. The old heads also felt threatened that they were no longer on top. The fact is that b-boying is a young man's sport. Over time you lose your strength & speed. Unfortunately that's just a part of life. Instead of passing the torch, they wanted to still be on top, so they would try to convince us that they were still better, by saying our ideas were wack & we weren't respecting tradition. Nowadays b-boys have new opportunities that were never available in the old days. I get that in their generation it wasn't about the money and the fame during their time, but I truly believe that if they were presented with these opportunities during their time, they would've absolutely jumped on the chance to be in the olympics, movies, commercials, music videos etc. Pass the torch, grow old with dignity & let your experience, perspective & wisdom be why you are respected. The fact is that some old heads are just bitter, and it really sucks. I am so proud that I contributed to hip-hop culture during my generation, but it is no longer my time, & I would rather see it progress, than stay in the same place or fall off. I would hate for my generation to be as far as it went. For b-boying to survive it needs to go mainstream to reach more people, which will ultimately help more people to learn about where hip-hop came from. It's about time for b-boys to be able to make a living just like these DJs & Rappers are able to. I understand that their fear is that commercialism leads to inauthenticity of the culture, but I believe that it is better for more people to participate in this activity. If they don't participate then it will definitely die off. More people participating creates more opportunity for people to be reached & educated about the history. As long as the people judging are non-biased veterans, let the evolution proceed!

  • Sparky16 says:

    Anyone else notice the game theory hat? XD

  • Violet says:

    Enbies also perform this, not just boys and girls;

  • Impetuous Love says:

    This was nicely done guys. Good job

  • Egg Cellent says:

    What about ballet? or ballroom dancing then? Bit weird this… Dancing is as much of a sport as it is art, I feel like this is a bit silly. Also feel like this is another example of people taking inclusion a little bit too far, even the article wrote ''a more urban crowd'' saying you want an urban crowd is just a nice way of saying you want more people of colour to tune in. Jus sayin'

  • Mahororin says:

    Great job on this video Phil and everyone at Rogue Rocket. I wasn’t aware that Breakin had such a worldwide following. What’s the name of the music playing through a major portion of the video? I’ve heard it on hot ones and especially as the theme song in curry shop both from first we feast and now I hear it here. It’s very catchy but I cannot seem to find a name for it. Thanks in advance and keep up the amazing work on all these videos.

  • Names Rever says:

    You guys suck for not involving/interviewing Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers and Adolfo "Shabba Doo" Quinones. They pioneered breakdancing by bringing it to the forefront and to a new generation.

  • znxster says:

    If Breaking is a sport .. why then isn't Ballet consider a sport and in the Olympics too?

    Breaking is an extremely athletic art and I am certain that the top flight train as hard as any Olympian. I feel the IOC is doing this for the chance to bring a focus to themselves and not to Breaking itself

  • Alpha says:

    Philip DeFranco covering breakdance?!?! Im so ecstatic! It's hard to find others around me who are also interested in breaking, hopefully it's push on the mainstream stage will change that.

  • Bernard Gilbert says:

    Maybe they could combine breaking with that sport they do with the ribbon, twirling I think it's called.

  • Nox Megido says:

    Repping that game theory merch what a legend

  • WhiskeyBrewer says:

    I honestly don't think it should be an Olympic sport. Let it be its own thing

  • GuitBarbu says:

    I’m against the olympics

  • Angie Evans says:

    "The more love, positivity, that's what we want" ❤

  • Angie Evans says:

    Progress really is inevitable and the more the veterans support change the more likely it is to stay true to it's roots, if they don't support it and are included in it's future I feel like it will lose its authenticity and become commercialized

  • Wendy Toledano says:

    Good video and information about hip hop hopefully the Olympics introduces them 🙏🏼👍🏽

  • Some Monsters says:

    I just hope that this doesn't create a divide and conflict between those who focus on the original platforms it is performed on and those who will go into the Olympics. If it does, the issues could last for generations :/

  • Anthony Peters says:

    Can we laugh yet….

  • Vezexis says:

    I am severely disturbed by the lack of Capoeira influence on breaking mentioned in this video

  • Claudiu Stian says:

    Mad love and mad respect for the Rogue Rocket team for a professional coverage of this raw and urban athletic art form.

  • JustPassingThrough says:

    I personally think that break dancing is fine as both a sport and a cultural and artistic expression. Although I believe that the two will most likely diverge pretty hard in the Olympics (which has its own host of massive issues to begin with) I also agree that including it will help further normalize break dancing the world wide, which at worse is harmless. I also get the hesitation to see it become so mainstream however. It started out as a pretty specific cultural icon, and it will only become more mainstream and marketed as time goes on. But the cultural and artistic heart of it will remain nonetheless. I think…

  • QuiteDecent says:

    Then make "break dance moves" the Olympic event and leave the expression/art out of it to allow for objective judging.

  • Kara Lekuse says:

    Surely ballet should also be included as a "sport" then. Surely any form of dancing requires athletic fitness to perform jumps, poses, holds, throws etc. The difficulty with dance is that there are many interpretive elements that make judging very subjective vs the objective measurement of who jumps highest, swims fastest, lifts heaviest etc.

  • High Deaf Radio says:

    I hold it very highly as an art and respect it as a sport. Still… For some reason it just looks silly to me. Its like the ugliest form of dance in my, obviously, objective opinion. Ill never knock this an as art, its just a genre of dance that looks cringey to me.

  • Ann N says:

    I spy a game theory hat

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