One of the core elements of Hip-Hop, breakdancing has long played an integral role in the culture’s formation.
Soaring to popularity in the early ’80s, dancers like Crazy Legs, Frosty Freeze, Joe Joe, Rubber Band, and Charlie Rock wowed with their athleticism, while crews like Rock Steady Crew and Zulu Kings etched their names in history through historic battles. It wasn’t long before the art form made its way into mainstream pop culture, thanks in part to films like Breakin’, Wild Style, and Krush Groove.
Since breaking has been chosen to feature in the Paris 2024 Olympic sports program as a new sport, it’s set to reach new levels of popularity. However, despite breaking being recognized as a defining element of Hip-Hop for decades, women’s place in the culture has often been overlooked. Female crews like the Dynamic Rockers, the Lady Rockers, and the Female Break Force haven’t received the same recognition as their male counterparts.
“Hip-Hop dance has been categorized as a man’s dance, especially with the advent of break-dancing. In reality, there were b-girls and b-boys in equal proportions at Hip-Hop’s dance inception,” Carla Stalling Huntington, author of Hip Hop Dance: Meanings and Messages, said in an interview featured on Medium. “These b-girls and b-boys provided the seeds for what we know now as Hip-Hop dance.”
As breaking gains new recognition on the global stage with its inclusion in the Paris 2024 Olympics, we’re taking a look at six of the most talented and trailblazing b-girls, both past and present.