New Five-Borough Dance Style - Bone Breaking: Where Flexing Makes New Moves

By Ian Holubiak on May 26, 2015 05:19 PM EDT
New Five-Borough Style "Bone Breaking" Contorts the Belief That Dancing is Singular The young performers who go by name 'MM and J' perform a rap for passengers on the 7 train in Queens on August 13, 2014 in New York City. As part of his controversial 'broken windows' policing policy, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton has been having officers crack down on subway performers. Dancers, musicians and other subway performers gathered on City Hall steps yesterday to protest what they called heavy-handed policing. The performers, who usually ask for tips after their show, have been a constant presence in the trains for decades. (Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

While it may look like a unique special effect straight out of a horror film, the New York City-inspired dance technique of "bone breaking" isn't as painful as it looks. Actually, the dance has become a popular style across the five boroughs and is now a force of habit for all that participate.

It's as extreme as one would imagine--double-jointed dancers contorting their limbs, appendages, perhaps even fingernails to produce moves that look so excruciating, even Hitchcock would make a movie about it.

As The New Yorker points out, it has roots as a technique in flexing (which they will cover in a future episode to date), but in recent years, has "flourished as it own distinct dance form."

The article followed two young dancers, Khalil (Killa) Williams and Xavier (X) Days, who are nineteen and twenty one respectively.

The article continues: "They are champion bone breakers, undefeated in dance battles throughout Brooklyn. Killa began dancing Bruk Up, using its glides and glitchy pops to enliven traditional bone-breaking moves; X has focused on a purer version of the style. The two best friends are members of Next Level Squad, a Brooklyn-based group of élite dancers who specialize in bone breaking. Recently, they traveled from Bed-Stuy to lower Manhattan to dance through the bone-white World Trade Center Transportation Hub."

Check out the "Bone Breaking" episode below and if you're in the greater metropolitan area, be on the look out for the duo.


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TagsFive-Boroughs, New York City, Bone Breaking, Khalil Killa Williams, Xavier X Days, Bruk Up, World Trade Center Transportation Hub, Next Level Squad

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