Illustration of a person wearing a hat long sleeve shirt, pants and sneakers break dancing on an orange background with black text above and below and a black ring around the outer edge
Breakdancing is a style of dance that emerged in the 1970s in the Bronx, New York, as part of hip-hop culture. In 1973, DJ Kool Herc developed the musical technique that would typify hip-hop music. By isolating and looping short, percussive sections of funk and R&B records he created extended instrumental beats, known as the breakbeats, which provided a rhythmic base for emcees and dancers to perform and improvise. Breakdancing pioneers Richard "Crazy Legs" Colon and Kenneth "Ken Swift" Gabbert, cite James Brown and martial arts films as stylistic influences.
The television show Soul Train and the 1980s films Breakin', Beat Street, and Wild Style showcased breakdancing and other dance styles, giving hip-hop mainstream exposure. Since then, various styles and variations have developed, and breakdancing competitions continue to be held worldwide.