Blast From the Past: When Breakdancing Was Young in Century City

The L.A. Public Library archives are full of notes, books, and gems from other eras. One of its greatest assets, however, is its wide-ranging photography collection that exists to give us a view into the city’s past.

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LAPL recently shared a photo via Twitter that gives us a glimpse of 1984 Century City, when breakdancing was a new art form that hadn’t yet busted onto the mainstream.

In the “historical notes” section of the LAPL’s entry, breakdancing is described as:

 “breaks in music and the movements that can be associated with these breaks, although the term “breakdance” is frequently used, “b-boying” and “breaking” are the original (and proper) terms to use when referring to the dance. Elements of breaking may be seen in other antecedent cultures prior to the 1970s, but it was not until the 70s that breaking was introduced onto the New York street scene, developing as a street dance style most prominently in the Bronx. The dance includes moving the feet sideways and onto the toes, spinning on the knees, head, hands and elbows, mock fighting moves, and pantomime; it is danced to both hip-hop and other genres of music that are often remixed to prolonged musical breaks.”


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