In 1984, every high school in America had this guy. He was the one guy who was really good at breakdancing.
After every home football game, we surrounded this guy at the Huxford Center as he moonwalked and wiggled and spun and gyrated on the floor to “Rapper’s Delight.”
Unfortunately, the 1990s came, and robot dancing, popping, and having what looks like a seizure on the dance floor fell out of favor in pop culture. Until NOW!
Well, actually, 2024. That’s when breakdancing will morph from a strange 1980s pop-culture fad into a strange 2024 Olympic sport.
Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee approved breakdancing as a medal event for the 2024 Paris Games. Please remember this happened in 2020 — when all things satirical became real.
According to a story from ESPN, the IOC executive board also approved skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing as Olympic “sports.”
Breakdancing will be called “Breaking” in the Olympics, according to the story, and was added by the IOC in an effort to add “urban events to lure a younger audience.”
I’m not sure what “younger” means in that sentence, since most people who were involved in breakdancing during its heydey are now either in their 50s or dead.
To be honest, I’m just happy the octogenarians on the IOC think I’m young, and hope they will consider adding more activities from my youth in the 1980s as Olympic “sports.”
Just off the top of my head, if “Breaking” can be considered an Olympic sport, I don’t see why they can’t consider Cow Tipping. Or Crank Calling. Or Rolling the Yard of the Family That Gave Out Crappy Halloween Treats. Or Ringing the Doorbell and Running. That’s sort of like the Decathlon, involving multiple athletic acts (1. ringing the doorbell; and 2. running). If you really wanted to add more athleticism and dexterity to that event, you could make it: 1. finding some dog poop; 2. wrapping it in toilet paper; 3. setting it on fire on the front porch: 4. then ringing the doorbell; 5. and running. That was basically the Juvenile Delinquent Decathlon from my youth (from what a friend told me).
Which brings us back to the 1980s and a little history lesson. Breakdancing started as “breaking” in the 1970s, reaching its zenith in popularity with the release of a trio of major motion pictures about breakdancing in 1984: “Beat Street” which was also the nickname of my high school basketball teammate, Kenneth “Beat Street” McNeil; “Breakin’”; and its sequel, “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.” Yes, both “Breakin’” and its sequel were released in the same year.
At that time, “Breakin’” and “Electric Boogaloo” were considered the “Godfather” and “Godfather II” of breakdancing movies by virtually everyone who had seen all four of those films — which was no one. To this day, I’m still miffed that Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers’ portrayal of “Turbo” in those films was shunned by the Oscars.
For some reason, Hollywood hasn’t made any major breakdancing movies since then. Perhaps it had something to do with no one wanting to watch breakdancing movies.
But that could change with “Breaking” joining the Olympics in four years.
I can see it now: 50-something guy who was the breakdancing king at his high school gets his second chance at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Against his old nemesis, Alfonso Ribeiro. He reconciles with his older, kindly Japanese mentor who taught him the ancient art of breaking. A training montage ensues with songs by Survivor, Run DMC and Men Without Hats.
Box office gold, I tell ya. Remember that guy from your high school? The breakdancing guy?
Get in touch with him. Tell him his time is NOW! Well, actually, 2024.