What is Breaking - Paris 2024 Olympics Sports

Breaking in Paris 2024 Olympics: What is Breaking?

Breaking, also known as b-boying, b-girling, or breakdancing, was added to the 2024 Summer Olympics as a new sport, along with skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. The competition will take place on August 9–10 at Place de la Concorde, with 16 “b-boys” and “b-girls” competing in two gender-based medal events. The women’s competition will take place on August 9, with the qualifying round from 4–6 PM and the final from 8–10 PM. The men’s competition will take place on August 10, with the qualifying rounds from 4–6 PM and the final from 8–10 PM.

Breaking is an urban dance style that originated in the Bronx borough of New York during the 1970s as a part of hip-hop culture. It is characterised by a combination of athletic moves including spins, flips and other complex body movements.

Breaking athletes are known as B-Boys and B-Girls with the “B” standing for “break”, which refers to a brief instrumental interlude with intense beats in music.

Competitors from around the world will showcase their skills, performing a variety of dance moves, from windmills and six-step footwork to gravity-defying freezes, all to the infectious beats of a DJ’s tracks. But breaking isn’t just about the moves—it’s about storytelling through dance, connecting with the audience on a visceral level.

Each performance is evaluated using three faders, each representing a different aspect of the art form:

  1. Physicality Quality: Assessing the body’s technique, strength, and agility.
  2. Artistic Quality: Evaluating the creativity, originality, and musicality of the performance.
  3. Interpretive Quality: Delving into the soulful interpretation and emotional depth conveyed through the dance.
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With each category contributing one-third to the overall score, competitors must excel in all aspects to secure victory. Technique, creativity, and emotional resonance are just some of the criteria considered, each weighted accordingly to ensure a balanced assessment.

IOC President Thomas Bach has emphasized the inclusion of breaking as part of the Olympics’ commitment to engaging younger audiences. By embracing the vibrant culture and dynamic energy of breaking, Paris 2024 aims to captivate a new generation of Olympic fans and celebrate the universal language of dance.

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) was the first Olympic event to showcase breaking, welcoming 12 B-Boys and 12 B-Girls to Buenos Aires 2018.

At Paris 2024, the breaking competition will take place at La Concorde on 9 and 10 August 2024. The event will feature 16 B-Boys and 16 B-Girls who will face off in 1v1 battles to music that is randomly played by a DJ.

Breaking typically involves four primary elements:

  1. Toprock: Toprock refers to the upright dancing movements performed while standing, often incorporating steps, shuffles, and arm movements. It serves as an introduction to a breaking routine and sets the tone for the dancer’s performance.
  2. Footwork: Footwork involves intricate and rapid movements performed with the feet while transitioning between various positions on the floor. Dancers utilize a combination of steps, spins, and floor sweeps to showcase their agility and creativity.
  3. Freezes: Freezes are dramatic poses or positions held by the dancer, often emphasizing balance, strength, and control. These static moments punctuate the routine and add visual impact to the performance.
  4. Power Moves: Power moves are dynamic and acrobatic maneuvers performed with explosive energy, such as spins, flips, and airborne rotations. These moves require exceptional strength, flexibility, and coordination.
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What is Breaking?

Breaking, also known as breakdancing, is a dynamic and athletic form of street dance that originated in the Bronx borough of New York City during the early 1970s. It emerged as a key element of hip-hop culture, alongside graffiti art, DJing, and MCing (rapping). Breaking is characterized by its acrobatic movements, rhythmic footwork, and improvisational style.

How is breaking judged in competitions?

Breaking performances are judged based on criteria such as technique, creativity, musicality, and execution. Judges assess the dancers’ skill level, originality, use of music, and overall performance to determine the winner of a competition.

Is breaking part of hip-hop culture?

Yes, breaking is one of the four original elements of hip-hop culture, alongside graffiti art, DJing, and MCing (rapping). It emerged as a key component of the hip-hop movement in the 1970s and remains an integral part of hip-hop culture today.

Is breaking recognized as a sport?

Yes, breaking has gained recognition as a competitive sport in recent years, with organized competitions held at local, national, and international levels. It was officially added to the Olympic Games program, starting with the Paris 2024 Olympics, as part of an effort to engage younger audiences and promote inclusivity in sports.

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