State of Break Dance in Zimbabwe

Dance & Theatre | By Plot Mhako, Artist | 23 June 2013

Hip hop dance popularly known as breaking has grown tremendously over the past seven years. The creation of dance competitions like Undisputed, Jibilika, Breakdown and the Zimbabwean edition of the international b-boy championships Battle of the Year (BOTY) have immensely impacted on the development of the dance form.

The digital age and easy access to international dance material has also played a major role with movies such as You Got Served, Stomp the Yard, Planet b-boy and Step Up beings tops. In major town and cities you now find a number of dance crews most majoring in new school and a few taking up b-boying.

Only a handful of dance crews have managed to go professional and dance for a living and majority struggling with lack of originality, support and proper management. This has been further compounded by promoters who have failed to fulfill their promises after organizing events leading to the diminishing morale amongst dancers.

Since 2007 when I decided to promote dance, hip hop has been our major area of focus and strength since it’s the most popular youth culture. We have been involved in a number of projects and helped develop a lot of crews and our efforts continue unabated. Recently I took part in a three week Hip hop and Civic Engagement program in the United States which brought together 20 hip hop leaders from Africa. The program centred on how hip hop has and can be used for the positive engagement, development and empowerment of young people and children. The experience was wonderful. It opened my mind to various opportunities that lie in our young people and hip hop being the vehicle.