Breakdancing, “breaking” or “B-boying”/”B-girling”, as it’s known to practitioners is getting a big second wind lately and one of the world’s most successful choreographers today is 31-year-old Matt Steffanina. With no shortage of work on feature films, commercials and music videos, a very well-attended dance school in Los Angeles and several high-traffic YouTube sites, he struck gold when he tapped into the profound urge that many people have to street dance. As you’ll see here, it requires a lot of physical power and the energy is infectious!

This clip shows several groups of Steffanina’s young students going through a routine he put together for the record, “Tip Toe” by Haitian-American pop artist, Jason Derulo (aka Desrouleaux). Both the record and the choreography are heavily inflected with a Jamaican Dancehall style and its attendant winding movements.

As someone who myself was professionally involved in Hip Hop decades ago and who spent thousands of hours dancing like this, it’s mind-blowing to see how an art form created by Puerto Rican and Black kids in the Bronx in the mid-1970s has become a new classic that’s practiced worldwide, with annual competitions held in Germany, Netherlands, France, Denmark, Japan, Portugal and Senegal.

Breakdancing has even been recognized as a discipline of dancesport by the International Olympic Committee (!) and there will be men’s, women’s and mixed-team events this year in 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Alexandra Bruce

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