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Jossie Harris exhibit the new fall fashions of 1992

Posted Apr 28 2013 2:40pm

Rock Steady Crew and Jossie Harris are turning break dancing into an art

 

``A LOT OF PEOPLE think that rap alone is hip-hop, and it's not,'' says twenty-five-year-old Kenneth Gabbert. ``The hip-hop culture as a whole includes not just DJ'ing and MC'ing but also graffiti and B-boying.'' Gabbert, a.k.a. Ken Swift, has been a B-boy for thirteen years and thus has seen the rise and fall and inevitable resurrection of the art of break dancing. ``The B is for break,'' he says. ``And what a B-boy does is break on the floor.''

 

That's not to say that any break dancer who can wow an audience with back spins or windmills qualifies as a B-boy. ``B-boying is based on style and finesse,'' says Swift's partner, Richard ``Crazy Legs'' Colon. At twenty-six, Crazy Legs is himself a sixteen-year veteran of breaking, and he helped lend appeal to the form in the early Eighties by incorporating flashy acrobatic maneuvers. But he insists that break dancing involves artistry, not just athleticism. ``The acrobatics of it is fine, but if you have the moves but not the style, you're just one of those sell-out dancers that wanted to get into a Burger King commercial,'' Crazy Legs says. ``Middle America sees that sort of flamboyant stuff and thinks that's all there is to our dancing, but that stuff has no real meaning in the hip-hop world.''

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