“Out in the streets/you won’t survive by being weak/this is our time/walls were made for us to climb. All 80’s kiddies out there should be familiar with the lyrics of this popular chart topping street-soul ditty. Entitled ‘There’s No Stoppin Us’, the track was performed by Ollie & Jerry (Who? I hear you under 30's cry) and was the theme track to the wonderful, remarkable, super dupa cinematic classic - Breakdance. Oh how I love that film. I can recall the first time I set eyes on it clear as yesterday. It’s Catford, South London, 1984. Me, my bro and my cousin all head down to the local cinema to check out this new flick called Breakdance. It’s a scorching summer’s day. You know, one of those gorgeous, sweltering types that we used to get back in the day. So we purchase our tickets, popcorn and drinks and head towards our seats. For 90 minutes I am awestruck. I’m inspired. Heck, I think I’m in love. The film was designed to showcase and celebrate street dance, specifically breakdancing and body-popping. The storyline was typical Hollywood triumph over adversity fodder. Main protagonist Kelly or Special K as she was later christened, is an aspiring jazz dancer who befriends a couple of street dancers named Ozone and Turbo. Together they form a dance trio and aim to enter a prestigious dance competition but are vetoed by their elitist dance rivals. Okay so the storyline is as simplistic as it gets, but along the way you have many a golden screen moment. The electrifying dance sequences, the awesome soundtrack which includes the stellar soul classic Ain‘t Nobody by Rufus and Chaka Khan, and just the general tongue in cheek humour, really appealed to my pre teen self. Oh, and did I mention that I fell in love? The supremely talented dance sensation that was Turbo (played by Michael Chambers) absolutely blew me away, and was probaly one of my first crushes (altogether now, awwww). What I also remember about that day was how hyped everyone was after the film finished and the credits rolled. Guys were rushing to the front of the cinema to show off their locking and popping skills. It was just general pandemonium but in a fun and harmless way. The film was hugely popular in the UK and was really the first time mainstream audiences were exposed to the phenomenon of breakdancing and body-popping. Although there were other films that were deemed as more authentic to the art of street dance such as Beat Street and Wildstyle, Breakdance, or Breakin’ as it was known in the States, was by far the most accessible.
Now check out the B-Boy Battle