Sunny Choi, a 34-year-old American breakdancer, is on a mission to prove herself on the world stage as breakdancing makes its debut as an official sport in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris. Choi’s journey to the Olympics represents the evolution of breakdancing from its humble beginnings in the streets to a global cultural phenomenon.
“Breaking” Into The Olympics
Bridging the gap between urban hip-hop communities and the mainstream, breaking competitions have captured audiences since the 1990s. This dance form, now officially named “breaking” by the International Olympic Committee, has transcended its origins and gained popularity among the general public.
With breakdancing becoming a sport in the Summer 2024 Olympics, it’s essential to know where breakdancing started and how it came to life. Gaining rapid popularity by the late 1970s and beyond, B-boys danced on cardboard at parties, as it substantially evolved.
As the hip-hop culture celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, breakdancing’s inclusion in the Olympics marks a significant milestone for the art form. Sunny Choi, one of the top 10 B-girls in the world, has already made waves in the dance community, winning a silver medal at the 2022 World Games.
Sunny Choi’s Rise
Choi’s passion for breakdancing stems from her desire to express herself and break free from the monotony of routine life. Initially a quiet observer, she found solace and empowerment in the breaking scene, using it to discover her true identity.
“A lot of my journey through breaking has been figuring out who I am, being confident in my skin,” Choi explains. Now, at 34, she is determined to fulfill the childhood dreams she once had of becoming an Olympic athlete.
Choi’s rise to prominence mirrors the growth and commercialization of breakdancing as an art form. With the stakes higher than ever, the once underground dance style has evolved into a global phenomenon.
What started as a creative outlet for Black and Latino kids in the 1970s represents a sprawling industry and a testament to hip-hop’s cultural impact.
The Evolution Of Hip-Hop Dances From 2000-2010
While building on the legacy of breakdancing, the 2000s saw the emergence of new dance forms within the hip-hop genre. As hip-hop artists began reaching a younger audience, new dances took hold.