Teaching Students About Breakin Movie
The 1984 film “Breakin'” is more than just an entertaining dance movie; it is a cultural phenomenon that helped introduce breaking, popping, and locking to the masses. By teaching students about this iconic movie, educators can provide valuable insight into the history and development of street dance, as well as encourage them to explore their own creative expression through movement. Here, we outline how educators can inspire students by incorporating “Breakin'” into their curriculum.
Integrating the Breakin’ Movie into Classroom Lessons:
1. Begin with a background on street dance and hip-hop culture
Start by teaching students about the origins of street dance and its evolution alongside hip-hop culture. Explore its roots in African-American and Latinx communities, discussing the various styles that have emerged over time. This will provide context for understanding the significance of “Breakin'” in popularizing these dance forms.
2. Analyze the movie’s plot and cultural impact
Have students watch “Breakin'” to familiarize themselves with its storyline and characters. Then, facilitate a discussion around the film’s depiction of dance battles, team dynamics, and creative self-expression. Dive into how the movie contributed to bringing street dance into the mainstream and its influence on subsequent films within the genre.
3. Discuss representation and diversity in Breakin’
Highlight how “Breakin'” showcases diversity among its characters, exploring crew members’ unique styles, talents, and backgrounds. Encourage students to reflect on how representation in media can affect our perceptions of certain art forms or groups of people.
4. Create a Breakin’ Dance Workshop
Invite a local breakdancer or professional instructor to teach your class some fundamental moves featured in the film. Students can learn basic breakdancing techniques while applying their newfound knowledge of the movie’s historical significance.
5. Encourage Creative Expression through Dance
Challenge students to choreograph their own street dance routines, drawing inspiration from “Breakin'” and other relevant films within the genre. Share videos of popular dancers and encourage students to explore a variety of styles and techniques. Provide opportunities for students to perform and share their creations with their peers.
6. Explore Breakin’ in a broader context
Finally, guide your students in examining “Breakin'” within broader topics such as urban culture, resilience, and the transformation of art forms. Encourage them to research similar artistic movements across different disciplines and identify parallels or contrasts to deepen their understanding.
By integrating lessons around the Breakin’ movie into the curriculum, educators can provide students with a unique opportunity to connect with and appreciate an influential aspect of 20th-century pop culture. By fostering discussions about diversity, representation, preservation of cultural heritage, and creative expression through movement, teachers will inspire young minds to explore their own creativity while building confidence and promoting teamwork in the process.