Street Performer vs. Breaker

One may easily carry the misconception that if a b-boy can break, and is talented enough to be a b-boy, then he can surely hit on the streets to make a living. Hitting is a term used when b-boys “hit the streets” and dance for tips and donations from the crowds of people gathered to watch these street performers display their talent. It may come as a surprise to some, but hitting has the potential to make a very descent living. But, of course, it requires the right group of b-boys, a well thought out, entertaining show, and ultimately the true ability to showcase breaking as a raw and influential art form. Sounds great, right? Just another reason to begin practicing the amazing art form of breaking. Well, it should be made very clear that just because a b-boy can dance does not at all make him able to street perform.

Contrarily, many b-boys are terrible street performers. They lack the showmanship and audience awareness to truly reach out and relate energetically to the crowd. B-boys are often lost in their own amazing world of talent and funky expression. They can just as often (if not always) forget to reach within themselves and offer a piece of their own essence to the people they expect a donation from. It is far less appealing to watch even a great talent from someone who possesses no showmanship than it is to watch an entertainer with perhaps a bit less b-boy talent while exuding an enormous crowd invoking energy.

Like anything else, street performing does come naturally for a handful of fortunate individuals. But to many, especially introverts, hitting/street performing can appear to be a talent just as seemingly unobtainable as the dance form itself. It requires an individual to step outside of his comfort zone and into a spotlight of ultimate vulnerability. Not only is he eye level, and just a few feet away from potentially very ruthless critics, he is asking for a donation based on what the crowd feels he is worth. This is a harsh reality that few are gutsy enough to brave. Furthermore, breaking is not typically categorized as a dance made for recitals. Usually performed on the streets as a practice or pastime amongst friends or fellow b-boys, “street performing” mandates the transformation of self-fulfilling dance to audience-enthralling extraordinaire. Eye contact is huge! Humorous and entertaining jokes require impeccable timing and deliverance. Crowd building, audience-exciting, people interaction is a honed skill necessary for success.

Another important factor is the choice of displayable moves. Separate from the ultimate foundation of breaking, a b-boy must select his most show worthy moves when hitting for money. While crazy tops (toprock) and intricate footwork will impress other b-boys who are aware of the skill and creativity it actually takes; the layman crowd member has been calloused by the film/entertainment industry to expect to see over-the-top, unrealistic moves, simply by default. Power moves, aesthetic and awe-inspiring freezes, and high energy dance routines are great assets.

Once a b-boy has decided he wants to hit for some extra cash, he must truly take the job seriously. At the same time, it is important not to feel obligated to street perform; that would erase the element of fun that amps a b-boy into bugging out and fully dancing to the best of his ability. A wise street crew will hold practices and script out their show with jokes and comments that are crowd pleasing and attention keeping. Once the moves are solidified, the personality must be tweaked to truly reach out and interact with the crowd. These aspects are crucial in transitioning the talent of a b-boy into a great entertainer. After all, as with anything else; you get back what you put in. In terms of hitting, that means a bucket filled with fives, tens, and twenties.

Other Pages of Interest

Step by step breakdancing
Breakdancing moves
Free breakdancing videos
How to break dance

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