US cedes status as breakdancing capital to South Korea

Bronx may still be the first place to come to mind, but Seoul is now the breakdancing capital.

• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

If you’re looking for the world’s best break dancers you won’t find them in New York, even though break dancing – also known as B-boying – still brings to mind images of kids spinning on cardboard on Bronx sidewalks. The art form’s current epicenter is on the other side of the world in Seoul, South Korea.

B-boying was introduced here by American soldiers shortly after its genesis in the United States.

But it really took hold in the late 1990s when a Korean-American named John Jay Chon gave a break dancing video to some of Seoul’s urban dancers.

Korean B-boying’s breakthrough moment came in 2002 at the Battle of the Year. In the country’s second appearance at the event, a Korean crew won – an unheard-of accomplishment.

Break dancing’s popularity here has spread to the world of theater. A show called “Ballerina Who Loves B-Boy” will complete a two-year run in December, and SJ B-Boys Theater claims to be the world’s first theater devoted exclusively to break dancing.

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK