Breaking, also known as breakdancing, comes to the Olympics after it was officially added to the Paris 2024 schedule on Monday. For break dancers around the world, the announcement deserves recognition for what is not only a popular sport around the world but also a culture and art form.
“It made me extremely happy, especially for the people who paved the way for my generation,” 17-year-old American breakdancer Logan Edra, also known as Logistx, told Reuters.
“Honestly, I do not think there is a week that I have not thought about the Olympics in the last year.”
Breakdancing originated in New York’s South Bronx in the late 1960s and early 70s and is strongly linked to hip-hop culture.
In recent decades, it has become hugely popular worldwide, with an estimated one million participants, according to a report from the 2019 Olympic Program Commission.
But while most people are happy to break their moment in the Olympic spotlight, they also want to make sure that its roots are not forgotten.
“This is true folk art, from the music to the dance to the DJ to the rapper, whatever, to the graffiti artist,” Richard ‘Crazy Legs’ Colon, one of the first break dancers to emerge in the 1980s, told Reuters.
“It’s a popular culture born out of something that most people would never expect to survive.”
“I think one thing for the breaking community is that we want to make sure that it is not just known as a sport, but an art, a sport, a culture,” says Edra.