I will start it simple by explaining the name, as I did above. The term b-boy/b-girl comes from the breaks of the records DJ Kool Herc was playing and the people were dancing on. “These guys are dancing on the breaks so let‘s call them B-boys, Break-boys”. The term “breakdance” only appeared later through the medias because they saw them dancing in the streets and said they are dancing but what they do looks dangerous, they might break something. B-boys never liked that term because it came from outside of the culture, especially because it came from the medias, who had also a negative impact on the scene..
The first steps they did on the breaks were the moves of James Brown‘s track “get on the good foot”, so at the beginning, b-boying was stric- tly dancing on their feet, toprocking, but two dancers started chan- ging that by starting to do steps on the floor and spinning around. The first real footwork basics were “sweeps”, “CC” and “the Russian”. These footworks never looked complete at the beginning because they al- ways stopped to get into the next move or got back up to do toprocks/ uprocks again.
As the parties moved to the parks, b-boys have been seen a lot more and a lot of people started b-boying too. This was the beginning of the rise. After this the hispanics joined the movement with their crazy moves, like the backspin or the continuous backspin (windmill). Spy was considered as “the man with the thousand moves” and creator of the “swipe”.
The basic forms in b-boying / b-girling :
1. Toprock – steps while standing, rocking
2. Uprock – acting like you’re fighting while dancing
3. Footwork – steps on the floor
4. Freezes – holding a position
5. Powermoves – all the dynamic spinning moves
The two crews you need to know are Rocksteady Crew and New York City Breakers (changed their name from Floormasters). These two crews had the biggest impact at the beginning of the b-boy scene.
Rocksteady crew was formed by Jimmy D and Jojo, later on they passed it to Crazy Legs (creator of the windmill). This crew had the most succes of them all, they did the first organized battle against Dynamic Rockers and were the first b-boys to appear in a Hollywood movie and been seen worldwide on the big screen in the movie called “Flashdance”. This was another reason for a big boom in b-boying. As in New York was focused on style in LA they focused on the powermoves.