WHAT IS “STYLE”?
Written by Remy (The Spartanic Rockers)
Style – [stail] – characteristic speciality to express, formulate something.
Nowadays when you go to a party you can see a lot of young and upcoming dancers but there are hardly any new moves and ideas around. A lot of things are copied and taken over and sometimes you can even witness an imitation of a whole dance character (1:1- copy of a well known dancer)!
But such imitation and copying is in discrepancy to the main purpose and thought of Breaking (and the Hip Hop culture in general): creativity. The idea is to bring new input into the scene by presenting your own ideas and creations and with your skills you help to develop the culture and to bring it to the next level.
In the past the engagement with the dance, the experimentation with and the creation and developing of your own moves worked in a way that you took some idea, some inspiration or something which already existed and you worked on it and changed it into your own creation and added your own flavor to it. The influences were coming from a lot of other dance styles and even also from (eastern) material art mov(i)es. Like that everybody was creating and shaping an own dance character on which every dancer worked and which was the key that people were recognizing a dancer again in the circle although they maybe hadn’t known him personally. One was also speaking about the “style” of a dancer.
But nowadays regarding Breaking the word “style” is more and more set equal to steps and gimmicks and separated from the acrobatical moves of the dance. People distinguish between so called “powermoves” and “styles”. This is nothing but wrong!
Apart from the fact that the so called “powermoves” actually aren’t requiring that much power when they are well done because they base mainly on drive and technique, “style” isn’t just footwork and dancing finesse but it is the whole expression of a dancer. Because everybody is actually expressing his own personal character through the dance and thus gives his personal note to every move. And because of that the same move (also a “powermove”) looks different when done by different persons. Likewise it doesn’t seem to make any sense if the acrobatical and the dancing elements of Breaking are separated because the whole picture and appearance of a dancer with all details and every single move is how people will keep him in mind and also recognize him again.
Unfortunately a lot of stuff done in the circles and on the dancefloors are looking nearly the same nowadays. A wider variation and thus an augmented quest for something different and own would be really desirable. Also because this would help the development and level of Breaking as there would be much more inspiration around.
To develop an own “style” without adapting other dancers stuff is a hard way. But the ones who are imitating instead of innovating will always be steps behind because during the time they try to copy a move, the others are already on new skills and drills. And apart from the fact that with “biting” one can never be the best, one gets recognition only for a short time and one will be forgotten fast again, one rather rips off than really helps the culture. But if you are doing your own stuff nobody can be better in that as it is something different and new which is nobody else doing and with that you are also inspiring again other dancers for doing things that might inspire you again!