Image credit:
Dean Treml / Red Bull Content Pool
B-Boy Phil Wizard breaking
Image credit:
Dean Treml / Red Bull Content Pool

How breakdancing will shake up the Olympic Games from 2024

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At the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, breakdancing will achieve what no other dance sport has managed before: from then on, B-boys and B-girls will break for Olympic medals for the first time. The next milestone for a sport that has its origins in the urban style of the Bronx.

B-boys and B-girls have always been pioneers. Back in the 1970s, when African-American youngsters in the Bronx in New York in particular were whirling a completely new dance style onto the asphalt of the streets and squares with breakdancing. They will also be pioneers in Paris in 2024. Breakdancing will then be the first dance sport ever to compete at the Olympic Games.

An unusual move by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as it relies primarily on existing, established club structures for its approved sports. Breaking, on the other hand, is not dominated by clubs, but by unofficial groups that come together to break.

A dress rehearsal for the Olympic premiere already took place in 2018 at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, where the sport was included in the program for the first time. Breakdancing competitions were also held at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.

What does the breakdance scene think of the Olympic premiere?

Anticipation prevails in the scene. "In my opinion, it's great. People who previously only danced underground can now prove themselves," says Marco Greawert, founder of the Street Beatz crew.

But among breakers, the rise to an Olympic sport is also causing reservations. "Breaking is not just a well-organized sporting event, but a lifestyle full of spontaneity and creativity," says Thorsten Süfke, President of the Berlin Dance Sport Association. "You have to combine the lifestyle culture of breaking with the requirements of organized sport - that's a big balancing act."

B-Boy and Street Beatz member Carl Ferdinand Beccard, for example, fears: "At the Olympics, there will probably be something like a list and the jury will check off everything that has to be fulfilled - that takes the creativity out of it."

How will the breakdancing competitions at the 2024 Olympics work?

There are two medal rounds in total - one for the men and one for the women. In these solo battles, 16 B-boys and 16 B-girls compete in one-on-one duels. During a battle, the two participants take turns in so-called throw downs, each lasting 60 seconds. During this time, the dancers have the opportunity to impress the judges with their moves.

The jury then awards a score based on six criteria: creativity, personality, technique, versatility, performance skills and musicality. Technique, performance and creativity make up 60 percent of the overall score, with the other three criteria accounting for 40 percent.

Whoever achieves the highest score wins and moves on to the next round of the competition.

When and where will the breakdancing competitions take place at the 2024 Olympics?

On August 9, the breakdance battles will take place in the women's categories, with the qualifying round from 4 to 6 pm and the final from 8 to 10 pm.

On the following Saturday, August 10, the men will battle for the coveted title in their qualifying rounds from 4 to 6 p.m. and dance in the final from 8 to 10 p.m. An action-packed weekend awaits the audience in Paris - with impressive moves and thrilling performances.

Who are the stars of the breakdance scene before the Olympics?

In the men's competition, three-time world champion Phil Wizard from Canada and Japanese breakdance star Shigekix are the top favorites. Shigekix achieved third place at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Other well-known names in the breaking scene are French b-boy Danny and b-boy Amir from Kazakhstan.

Among the women, the US American Logistx and the Japanese B-Girl Ami, who won the 2022 World Championships, and breaking legend B-Girl Ayumi, who continues to perform at the highest level at the age of 39, are considered the favorites. Other stars of the breaking scene include B-Girl India from the Netherlands, who won the 2022 European Championships, as well as B-Girl 671 from China and B-Girl MadMax from Belgium.

How does the breakdance scene perceive its debut at the Olympics?

Opinions vary. Some are excited for the recognition, while others fear it may affect the spontaneity and creativity of the art form.

How do breakdance competitions unfold at the 2024 Olympics?

There are solo battles with 16 B-Boys/B-Girls, each in one-on-one duels. Judges evaluate creativity, technique, and more.

When and where will the breakdance competitions at the 2024 Olympics take place?

Women compete on August 9th, men on August 10th in Paris, with qualifying rounds and finals in the evening.

Who are the stars of the breakdance scene ahead of the Olympics?

Top favorites among men include Phil Wizard and Shigekix, while among women, it's Logistx, B-Girl Ami, and B-Girl Ayumi.

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