The film that spawned a sequel and cemented itself in pop culture turns 40

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Breakin’ became an instant hit in the Hip Hop world for putting the dance culture on the map. The film features a storyline that captured audiences even outside of the Hip Hop world and some of the greatest music written at the time that was being included in the world of breakdancing.

With a cast made up of Hollywood elite and established Hip Hop players like Ice-T and dance sensation Michael Chambers, a.k.a ‘Boogaloo Shrimp’, the film follows Kelly (played by Lucinda Dickey), a young jazz dancer who struggles with her style and takes it to the street with the help of her friend Adam (Phineas Newborn III). Adam introduces Kelly to two street dancers, Ozone (Adolfo Quiñones) and Turbo, who was played by Chambers, who in turn show her their dance crew and ways, and the endless competition they have with rival crew Electro Rock.


The crews in the film struggle with both their rivals, and also acceptance by Kelly’s dance instructor, who disapproves of the hybrid style the dancers perform alongside their street affiliation. Still, through it all, Kelly soon becomes a sensation with the crowds and finds success.