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break dancing

or breakdancing

a style of acrobatic dancing originating in the mid-1970s, often performed to rap music usually by teenage males in the streets, and characterized by intricate footwork, pantomime, spinning headstands, tumbling, and elaborate improvised virtuosic movements.
Also called break, breaking.
Origin of break dancing
the sense of break is unclear; cf. breakdown
Related forms
break dancer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for break dancing
Contemporary Examples
  • He wanted to be lithe and smooth and lightly airborne, working on his break dancing until he could make himself appear to flow.

Word Origin and History for break dancing

1982, but the style itself evolved late 1970s in South Bronx. The reference is to the rhythmic break in a pop-dance song (see break (n.)), which the DJs isolated and the dancers performed to. Breakdown "a riotous dance, in the style of the negroes" is recorded from 1864.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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