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Famous Breakdancers of All Time

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Famous Breakdancers
12 Jun, 2024

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Breakdancing, a dance form where rhythm meets athleticism, originated in the streets of New York in the 1970s. It gained popularity instantly and became a global phenomenon. With their unique styles and signature moves, breakdancers have added flair to this art form.

This article delves into the journeys of some of the most iconic and famous breakdancers of all time, highlighting their contributions to the dance culture.

10 Famous Breakdancers

1: Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon

Richard "Crazy Legs" Colon
An image credit example from a Billboard

Date of birth: January 1, 1966, The Bronx, New York, United States

Best performances:

  • So! What Happens Now? (1991)
  • Concrete Jungle (1992)
  • Jam on the Groove (1995)

Richard Colón is a popular American b-boy who is known as “Crazy Legs” because of his talent and influence in the industry. In 1983, he popularized breakdancing in London and Paris as the Rock Steady Crew president. Crazy Legs is also a founding member of the Rock Steady Crew.

He has appeared in fiction films and documentaries, including Charlie Ahearn’s independent release Wild Style (1982) and the early documentary on hip-hop culture Style Wars (PBS, 1983). Today, he actively participates in community outreach, dance instruction, and dance theater productions.

2: Ken Swift

Ken Swift
An image credit example from a Hip-Hop Education Center

Date of birth: August 13, 1966, New York, United States

Best performances:

  • Flashdance performance
  • Beat Street

Kenneth James Gabbert goes by the stage name Ken Swift. Widely hailed as “the Epitome of a B-boy,” he is credited for his role in the Rock Steady Crew. His footwork and “freeze style” are foundational to break dancing. He has also appeared in influential hip-hop films such as Style Wars and Flashdance.

He has won numerous battles, such as V1, and has been featured in movies like Beat Street, Planet B-Boy, and music videos. These achievements cemented Gabbert’s name among the most famous breakdancers in the hip-hop industry.

3: B-Boy Junior

B-Boy Junior
An image credit example from a Pro Dance

Date of birth: March 10, 1981, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Best performances:

  • Dance City Guide Paris
  • The Notorious IBE 2017
  • Red Bull BC One Cypher France 200

B-Boy Junior, also known as Junior Bosila Banya, is an iconic figure who is known for his superhuman strength and handstand acrobatics in the breaking scene.

By defeating early-age polio, Junior developed his unique mix of gymnastics and martial arts-inspired moves. At the age of 13, he officially became a B-Boy. After that, he quickly gained traction and joined the Serial Breakers crew in 1995.

Junior’s crowning efforts resulted in his winning the World Champion title at Germany’s Battle of the Year competition. He has also won numerous battles with crews such as the Wanted Posse and Red Bull BC One All-Stars.

Junior remains one of the most famous breakdancers, continuing to teach, judge, and inspire the next generation of B-girls and B-boys worldwide.

4: Ronnie Albadonado

Ronnie Abaldonado
An image credit example from a The New York Times

Date of birth: October 9, 1983, Las Vegas USA

Best performances:

  • RED BULL BC ONE WORLD FINAL 2007
  • Circle Industry 2019
  • RED BULL BC ONE WORLD FINAL 2013

Ronnie Abaldonado is an internationally renowned breaker and a Red Bull BC One All-Star.

He received his training with Full Force in Las Vegas, where he remains a member to this day. Abaldonado is also the co-owner of District Arts, a dance studio in Las Vegas. As a member of the Super Cr3w crew, Abaldonado has been praised for his precise and technical style.

Furthermore, Abaldonado garnered multiple world championships, including the 2008 America’s Best Dance Crew as part of Super Crew, the 2007 Red Bull BC One World Final in South Africa, and the 2016 UK B-Boy Championships crew battle with Red Bull BC One All Stars.

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5: Ali Ramdani

Ali Ramdani
An image credit example from a wikipedia

Date of birth: April 18, 1984

Best performances:

  • Midnight Madness Music Video
  • StreetDance 2
  • MDNA Tour

Lilou, aka Ali Ramdani, is an Algerian-French breakdancer who rose to fame at the dawn of his career in 1999.

Ramdani’s career wins include numerous international prizes, both solo and with his crew, Pockemon Crew. He holds the distinction of winning the Red Bull BC One competition in 2005 and 2009, Battle of the Year in 2003 with Pockemon Crew, and the Chief Rocka award at the UK Bboy Championships in 2005.

Lilou also appeared in the 2006 video game B-Boy and the 2008 Chemical Brothers music video Midnight Madness.

His achievements extend to the film industry, where he appeared in Street Dance 2 and joined Madonna’s MDNA Tour as a dancer and choreographer in 2012. In 2014, he won Undisputed, further establishing himself among the most famous breakdancers of all time.

6: Omar Delgado Macias

Omar Delgado Macias
An image credit example from a Wikipedia

Date of birth: April 6, 1982, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Best performances:

  • Break’n Reality
  • Crew Code

Omar Delgado Macias is a well-known competitive b-boy with an impressive track record of 100 titles, including victories at prestigious events like the UK B-Boy Championships (2005) and Red Bull BC One (2011).

Macias’ unique style earned him the moniker ‘Roxrite,’ symbolizing his ability to always dance the right way. He is one of three American dancers to claim the Red Bull BC One title and became a member of the Red Bull BC One All-Stars crew.

Macias has also appeared in documentaries like “Turn It Loose” (2010) and reality series like Break’n Reality (2012, 2014). His creative and dynamic style continues to elevate the art form, making him one of the most famous breakdancers in the dance world.

7: Kim Hyo Geun

Kim Hyo Geun
An image credit example from a Press Reader

Date of birth: September 23, 1984, South Korea

Physicx, born Kim Hyo Geun, is a South Korean-descendant B-boy and street dancer. He earned his nickname from Johnjay, a b-boy from Circle of Fire.

Geun is a member of the esteemed Rivers Crew and Juice Crew and is one of the key figures in the Korean dance crews. He is known for his smooth and precise style, which has earned him acclaim worldwide.

The name Physicx swept around the world when he performed and won the solo tournament at the UK B-Boy Championship, where he showcased his extraordinary dance skills.

8: Kim Hong-Yul

Kim Hong - Yul
An image credit example from a The Korea Times

Date of birth: February 16, 1984, Seoul, South Korea

Kim Hong-Yul, who goes by the name Hong 10, is a part of the Korean crew Flow XL (formerly Drifterz) and 7 Commandoz. He is known for his innovative and futuristic style.

Being a Red Bull BC One All-Stars member, Hong-Yul displays his talent and skill on numerous international platforms. He has earned many accolades in his career journey, including winning the prestigious Battle of the Year title in 2002 with the crew Expression.

His popularity and influence beyond n-buying put him on our list of the most famous breakdancers of all time.

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9: Salah

Salah
An image credit example from a Pro Dance

Date of birth: June 28, 1979, Saint-Denis, France

Best performances:

  • “The Dream of Gluby” at Breakin’ Convention
  • Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour 2012
  • Rencontres de la Villette 2007

Salah Benlemqawanssa is better known by his stage name, Salah the Entertainer or Spider Salah. He gained widespread recognition by winning prestigious talent shows like La France Unenjoyable Talent, Arabs Got Talent, and Tú Sí Que Vales.

Salah is celebrated for his unique dance style, P.A.B.E. (Popping, Animation, Boogaloo, and Effects), which shows his versatility and creativity. Apart from his popping skills, Salah is also proficient in b-boying, demonstrating his diverse range as a dancer.

As a French breakdancer, Salah has won multiple world championships, such as the first season of Incroyable Talent and the fourth season of Arabs Got Talent.

10: Thias Lopez

Thias Lopez
An image credit example from a and8.dance

Date of birth: December 26, 1991, Tucson, Arizona, United States

Best performances:

  • Battle Of Honour 2019
  • The Notorious IBE 2018
  • Battle Of The Year 2010

Thias Kem Lopez, aka THESIS, found solace and freedom in hip-hop from a young age. His dance style is marked by experimentation, incorporating elements from house dancing and capoeira to enrich his B-Boying technique.

Thesis is also a member of renowned crews like Knuckleheads Cali, Fresh Descendants, and Massive Monkees.

Since 2005, Lopez has earned titles in various competitions worldwide, including Tucson, Arizona, The Netherlands, and Seattle. His achievements include winning titles such as the Top 16 1vs1 Undisputed USA Solo Battle in 2017.

His achievements and passion for B-Boying have established his status as one of the most famous breakdancers of all time.

FAQs

Who invented breakdance?

Breakdance emerged in the 1970s in the Bronx, New York, evolving from various street dance styles. If you need a name behind the emergence of break dance, it is DJ Kool Herc.

Who is the famous black break dancer?

Don Campbell, known as “Campbellock,” is a famous black breakdancer who popularized the locking dance style in the 1970s.

Who is the world's oldest breakdancer?

At age 65, Ben Hart (AKA Benihana) is the world’s oldest actively competing breakdancer and performed live on Good Morning America after going viral in 2018.

Who is the father of break dance?

DJ Kool Herc is thought to be the ‘Father of Break Dancing.’ He was a Jamaican deejay in New York who mixed percussion breaks from two identical records to create the right music for breakdancing and bring it to the forefront.

Who were the famous breakdancers in the 80s?

Famous breakdancers in the 1980s include pioneers like Crazy Legs, Rock Steady Crew, and the New York City Breakers.

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