break dancing

a style of acrobatic dancing originating in the mid-1970s, often performed to rap music usually by teenage males in the streets, and characterized by intricate footwork, pantomime, spinning headstands, tumbling, and elaborate improvised virtuosic movements.
Also, breakdancing.
Also called break, breaking.

sense of break unclear; cf. breakdown (def 6)

break dancer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

break dancing
1982, but the style itself evolved late 1970s in South Bronx, and breakdown "a riotous dance, in the style of the negroes" is recorded from 1864. The reference in the modern case is to the rhythmic break in a pop-dance song (see break (n.)), which the DJs isolated and the dancers performed to.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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