What’s In a Name?

If you search the great old World Wide Web, you may run into a mass amount of young b-boys and b-girls desperately seeking advice in choosing a name for themselves. Once entering the b-boy world, it is evident that as a dancer reaches a certain level of comfortability and devotion to the art; he usually attains a name other than his biological one. This name should ideally last a lifetime and often assumes the transition from a simple nickname to the first name chosen upon any introduction.

There are no specific qualifications one must meet prior to attaining a b-boy name, however there are general “understandings” that go along with such a lifestyle that merits such a chosen name. B-boys and B-girls are not just people that have recently begun taking an interest in the art form of breaking. Those individuals would be on the surface of what the media blankets as “breakdancers.” They don’t need a name, and in many respects are not “deserving” of one as of yet. Like any practitioner of extreme arts, an interest is just the beginning, and it may take months or even years to fully delve into adapting the lifestyle and passion of such art form. It takes time. Especially with breaking, there are so many aspects for one to learn and conquer: the toprock, footwork, freezes, power moves, etc are just the foundation. Upon growing and maturing as a b-boy; originality, style and flavor, creativity, and a die-hard love of the art begin to evolve a person into a true b-boy. By this point, most b-boys and b-girls will have their name.

Just as there are no written qualifications or standards one must meet, there are also no specific time requirements. There are times that a teacher will name his students off the bat if something comes to mind. Sometimes this is because a b-boy can relate more to b-boy names, or perhaps it is simply easier to remember than having to painstakingly learn the real names of all his students. Of course, an eager student usually feels great about having a name given to him and may overzealously use the name immediately. Others, who tend to respect the art a bit more, may reserve the name for a while until they have reached a level that comfortably makes them feel they have actually earned it. Other b-boys, depending on their standpoint, will yield the initiation of b-boy/b-girl names until the student has proven himself as apt, devoted, and in it for the long haul.

Here is a general rule of thumb. Traditionally, a b-boy name is given to you by another b-boy or b-girl most often more advanced than you are. This is the most genuine origin of a b-boy name and the most meaningful, appropriate initiation. While some people cling to the attachment of wanting something specific that pertains to who they feel they are; self appointing a name definitely does not have the same overall effect as a name being given as a statement of acknowledgement or respect. All in all, if you are a true b-boy or b-girl at heart, your name will come. Being involved in such a unique community, around incredibly creative artists, you can be rest assured that you will eventually pick up a name that sticks to you for life. So what’s in a name? For a b-boy, it is a step in the evolution of breaking. It is a maturity into the world of b-boying, an identity, and in a way it is a level of accomplishment. It is an original establishment that you are not simply a breakdancer, but a b-boy; the transition from one who practices the dance to one who lives it. To answer all of those who desperately seek to attach themselves to a b-boy name: be patient. It will come. When you least expect it.

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