We come across them all across the globe; dancing on the street, practicing off mall window reflections and even in movies, commercials and music video clips of sorts! We take notice of them for their amazing talents and ability to do these crazy stunts... but not often have we stopped to wonder; but ... why? why is he doing that? where did that come from?
I used to go "COOoooLLL!" and think nothing about it after; but spending time around them made me realize.... Hey! All this is more than just crazy stunts! It's hard work, determination, perseverance and understanding of it's history. Hours and hours of practice, days and months of training to achieve new moves and techniques. It means more to them because they know it just isn't 'some-dance'.
Yea.. they pretty much spoke a language I'd vaguely understand or recognize.
I always understood a "gangster" to be a bad person who ran around in groups of other bad people. But apparently how wrong was i??? Here, to be "gangster" was a good thing!... ? It meant that he/she was "dope" or "down with it"... yeap; I didn't know what to think of that either.*laughs*
For years, I stuck out like a sore thumb....i didn't dance, i didn't understand, but I felt pleasantly welcomed into a community much like me in their day to day. University students, working professionals, teachers, chefs, accountants, scientists... wow.. you can always expect them to be more than the 'gangters' they call themselves haha! I see breakdance to them as a means of representing themselves, showcasing their talent, to inspire and be inspired, to have a creative outlet or to express their emotions and thoughts. It's a cool thing to have in your life!
I find it highly commendable; for them to spend time doing what they love and continuously pushing themselves to be stronger, fitter and better for the next time they throwdown in a cypher. ... kay; I was speaking in my awkward bboy-talk *LOL*
What's Cypher? I did the classic thing. I wiki-ed this. And yea; it probably explains it better than i ever can. ;)
Informally b-boying began with the cypher, the name given to a circle of breakers (and casual onlookers) who take turns dancing in the center. There are no judges, concrete rules, or restrictions in the cypher, only unspoken traditions. Although participants usually freestyle (improvise) within a cypher, battling does take place. This was the origin of b-boy battles and it is often more confrontational and personal. Cypher dancing is more prevalent in communities with an emphasis on what is regarded as authentic and traditional hip-hop culture. Battling "in the cypher" is also a method of settling differences between individual dancers or crews. (LINK)
I've watched many cyphers since and it remains my favourite part of going to bboy battles and competitions. I like to think of it as an opportunity for breakers to show their passion for the music and dance. I wish I had photos of some cyphers and not just battles to post; but it often gets too crowded and the energy from everyone around makes it complicated to snap pictures. :(
bboys in 2007.
haha at that point; i remember making a mental note to never attempt figurines of awkward positions ever again. I take that back now. Bring on the next one! Any Malaysian bboy's out there who need a cake?! *grin*