Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
B-boys pose. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
You don't have to know how to do a head spin to get a good workout from B-boying. (Just don't call it breakdancing.) Arguably the most famous form of American street dance, B-boying incorporates explosive but fluid steps marked by swinging arms, cross-stepping feet and floor moves that contort the body in seemingly impossible positions. Not surprisingly, the music that B-boys and B-girls dance and battle to is almost always forceful, percussive and, above all, funky.
As Joseph Schloss details in Foundation: B-Boys, B-Girls and Hip-Hop Culture in New York, B-boying is deeply steeped in tradition, especially around its musical anthems. Aspiring B-boys and B-girls inevitably encounter a core canon of anthems that have part of the dance's practice since the 1970s. These Afro-Latin-influenced funk songs, discovered and popularized by hip-hop's pioneering DJs such as Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa have fueled the kinetic dance for the last 30-plus years. Even if you can't tell the difference between uprocking and top rocking, they're good inspiration to put your own body in motion.