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East Coast Vs. West Coast
By this point, nearly everyone familiar with breaking knows its origins are clearly defined by the most prominent east coast city in America, New York City. It isn't much of a wonder then that as breaking rapidly spread throughout the media and across the nation that another domineering city incubated breaking as a powerful way of life, on the opposite side of the country. However, even though Los Angeles has always been a harboring city of the arts, breaking's style was not completely preserved once it reached the west coast.
East coast breaking, the original style, can be described in comparison to west coast breaking, as funkier, having more soul, and truer to the art by many old school b-boys and those who have taken an interest in breaking's history. It usually holds an essence that seems to resonate a voice of the streets and is a profound reflection of the pent up energy of its creators.
On the other hand, the west coast enveloped breaking as a hip new dance, and soon it was being practiced with a rise of inspiration to adapt and evolve moves. The blind intent of these newcomers caused a transition of the dance to take place, leaving many fans oblivious to the changes. Even still, it was, coincidentally, breaking.
With the new fashion of breaking's popularity, many other styles emerged such as Popping, Locking, Electric Boogaloo, etc. Breaking still remained true to its original form in the sense that it held its unique style of toprocking, footwork, freezes, and power moves, however; its overall presentation was slightly skewed. Many dancers, either set on innovating the new dance, or simply unable to invoke the raw spirit of b-boying from the streets out of hardship and repression, used what they could to "enhance" their dance skills and elaborated its spectrum. The purity of east coast breaking soon became laced with styles of jazz, gymnastics, and other dissimilar forms of dance. This infusion eroded some of the aggressive ruggedness from the powerful, yet still agile, form of expression danced on the east coast; and replaced it with more tricks and blowups (impressive moves thrown into a round of dancing). These blowups became a greater focus than regular ground power (continued various spins featuring speed, control, and combinations of power moves), and gave the dance a more acrobatic feel.
All in all, breaking has remained breaking, but just as it has become a universal language of expression that has reached across the world; it has also developed many forms of dialect in which it is communicated through. There are several opinions favoring the contrasting styles between east coast and west coast, and there may also be controversy of which side has in fact contributed to the dance more. The fact is, breaking was born in the Bronx, NY, the epitome of "east coast". True b-boy style should give merit to where it comes from, and whether it includes amazing tricks or other aspects of movement or not, b-boying with the fundamentals of the art still conveys the greatest unspoken message.
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