Breakdancing will now be considered an Olympic sport after being added to the lineup for the 2024 Paris games.
Confirmed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) earlier today (December 7), the decision was made in order to attract a younger audience to the historic competition.
Breakdancing, which will be called breaking at the games, will join other newly added sports such as skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing, all of which will debut at the delayed Olympics in Tokyo in 2021.
Last year, it was announced that the IOC was considering making breakdancing an Olympic sport after it was included in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018. But the event was exhibition only, meaning countries were only invited to take part.
In 2024, the breaking dance-offs will take place at a downtown venue in the French capital, alongside sport climbing and 3v3 basketball.
Breakdancing is one of the four elements of hip-hop, along with MC-ing, DJ-ing and graffiti writing. According to a 2019 Olympic programme commission report, an estimated one million people take part in breakdancing.
The 2019 Red Bull BC One World Final earned more than 50 million views across multiple online platforms.
“The biggest part is your stage presence and character and your rhythm, whether or not you’re really feeling it,” Ronnie Abaldonado told Sky News, who has been a competitive breakdancer since 2004 and won the Red Bull BC One World Final in 2007.
“People can hit the moves but if you’re not feeling what they’re doing then you just kind of look robotic and that’s what kind of separates it being a sport to it being an art form.”
World famous Rock Steady Crew b-boy Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon added: “This is true folk art from the music to the dance, to the DJ to the rapper. We’ve already legitimised ourselves so we’re not looking to the Olympics for legitimacy.”
Meanwhile, during a recent panel for True Colors Festival, Indonesian rapper Saykoji, Singapore’s Wheelsmith and other international hip-hop innovators discussed breaking stereotypes associated with rap music and the genre’s empowering potential.
“Hip-hop is all about peace, love, unity and having fun,” Canadian breakdancer Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli said. “In [breakdancing], for example, it’s not about taking a dance class where a teacher teaches you moves.
“But you’re gonna go and some learn moves and you’re gonna be in a room surrounded by people of all different skill levels. Everyone just wants to see each other succeed.”