Breakdance Korea: R16

Written by Chris

June 2014

Breakdancing (or b-boying) is a style of street dance originating in NYC in the early 1970s. Due to media, the dancing style rapidly spread worldwide – including to Japan and South Korea.

Danced to breakbeats, hip-hop, or funk music, it typically consists of four movements called toprock, downrock, power moves, and freezes. Toprock is a string of steps in which the breaker is in standing position. Downrock describes movement on the ground with both feet and hands supporting the dance. Power moves are acrobatic in which the breaker is supported by his upper body and limbs moving in a circular motion (i.e. head spin). Finally, freezes emphasize strong beats in the music with suspended poses.


Due to the presence of American soldiers in South Korea, breaking was introduced and took hold in the 1990s. “Year Zero of Korean breaking” was 1997, and only a few years later, the government backed the trend, promoting it alongside Korean culture. One such event is R-16 Korea – a government-sponsored breaking competition with participants from all over the world. This event features regional elimination rounds with the final tournament including 16 b-boy crews from 15 countries competing for the world championship title. The Korean elimination tournament was held on June 14, 2014 with the winners being Gamberlz for crew, Poppin DS for popping, and Locking Kahn for locking. The R16 World Finals will be held in Seoul’s Olympic Park from July 5 to 6. Check out more at It is sure to be a must-see event like the Korean elimination!