Bboys: A History of Breakdance


Rock Steady Crew: The Exposure

Breakdancing, which started in the Bronx block party scene over 40 years ago, has become a global phenomenon. This series travels to New York, Berlin, Paris, and Seoul to see how the next generation of dancers is pushing.

AIRED: July 14, 2021 | 0:06:26


[ Echoing ] ♪ BBoy



It was really about the party, man.

We were young little rock stars --

little ghetto rock stars.

We were just trying to have fun, make stupid jokes.

You know, it's funny, 'cause we enjoyed things.

We had fun doing that.

You know, we didn't brag about, "Yeah, I'm going to France.

Yo, I'm going to London, I'm going to Germany."

But the best part about going there

was being able to come back and tell the girls

and get some fresh clothes and go to the Roxy.

That's all we -- We just wanted to get paid

and have fun or whatever, man.

Mr. Freeze: Now, when we get to the era of the '80s --our '80s --

where it wasn't happening anymore

but we were taking it to another level,

it was extremely exciting

because people from all over the world really enjoyed this,

and it was no longer in the street.

It was more in like the Roxy or Studio 54.

You know, we were able to do things that...

get into places that nobody could get into it.

Look at Studio 54. You couldnever get in there.

We walked in like it was nothing.

And one day, we met a manager

who Crazy Legs was friends with named Ruza Blue --

Kool Lady Blue.

She was the assistant of Malcolm McLaren,

which is why we did "Buffalo Gals'" video first.

[ Remixed vocals ]


Doze Green: She got us kind of in the nightclub scene.

Peppermint Lounge, Mudd Club, Danceteria,

All those clubs, we were in.

You know what I'm saying?

She made it possible for us to get into these clubs,

and we were underage.

We were straight up, not-for-nothing dancing

at Studio 54 at 14, you know,

doing all kinds of stuff I won't talk about, but --

And I remember, we were in a dance studio in Manhattan --

like 45th Street or something --

and she tells us that she has a friend

that's with Paramount Pictures,

and they're doing a movie on dance,

and they're looking for something special.

And I remember all of us, we were like, "Nah, fuck that!

We don't want to do that!"

Because at the time, the way we thought is,

if we did it, then the whole world is gonna see our moves,

and they're gonna bite.

"Biting" meaning, you know, they're gonna copy you.

And so, we didn't want to do it,

and I particularly remember saying

how much we were getting paid,

and when I heard the pay --

Well, excuse me.

We all heard the pay, and we were like,

"Okay, we'll do it."

♪ Watch me now

♪ Feel the groove

♪ And there's something

♪ Gonna make you move


It's funny that we talk about the "Flashdance" story,

because that particular famous back slide with the umbrella --

which I did in the movie

two years before Michael Jackson did it on Motown --

years before that, I had a friend --

his name is Lockatron John

with the Lockatrons from Brooklyn --

and I saw him at United Skates of America

in a sparkly, shiny gold suit, and he was moving real slow.

And then, all of a sudden, he pulled out the umbrella

and did the back slide.

I said, "John, do you mind if I do that move?"

Because you just don't do other people's moves.

He goes, "Sure."

So I end up doing the move in "Flashdance,"

and years later, he comes up to me --

He goes, "You know, Marc, I let you use the move,

but I didn't think you were gonna do it

in a fucking major motion picture

that the whole world was gonna see!

They think you invented it!" [ Laughs ]

John Christian, thank you for letting me use that move.

And, yes, you did the moonwalk

before Michael Jackson did it too.

♪ Rock it



When I saw "Beat Street," the most amazing thing I saw

was when Rock Steady went against

the New York City Breakers --

who were originally called The Floor Masters --

who were in absolutely no way floor masters.

You know, they did some good editing on it,

because otherwise, Rock Steady would have destroyed them.

I mean, they had to make it look like there was a chance.


Crazy Legs: The only thing that was spontaneous about "Beat Street"

was when I took my sneakers off.

I had never done that move before.

And I went to the side -- I said, "You know."

They were like, "Okay, we want two people

to go at the end and go down three times.

Whoever does the best move is gonna end it."

So my third time going out, I told Buck Four,

"Yo, cover me."

I loosened up my sneakers and I said,

"I'm gonna try this move."

And I did it.


That whole thing could have gone wrong,

just as wrong as all of these helicopters flying over us.

It could have gone severely wrong.

My sneakers could have flown out my hand

and history would not have been made.

It was really about fun.

It was really about -- about the heart.

It's really about the core of your existence,

and I would just hope that the BBoys stay true to that core

and not try to outdo people

with kind of like these mechanics,

but to really pull out their individualism,

their individuality, you know?


♪ BBoy




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