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BreakIn The Ropes

The late 20th century African American and Latinx communities of New York City faced widespread discrimination due to a lack of governmental support and pervasive economic disenfranchisement. These communities created the Hip-Hop movement as a means of self expression, knowledge production, social identification, and political mobilization. Key to the Hip-hop movement were breakdance and double dutch, as they allowed for diverse crews to practice nonviolent forms of competition. These activities took over a large part of street life, and they were performed simultaneously until two police officers turned double dutch into its own structured and competitive sport to create a positive community and creative outlet for young girls. The officers formed the American Double-Dutch League while breakdancing continued on separated from its initial connection to double dutch. Nowadays, breaking and double dutch are recognized as two distinct sports seldom associated with one another. My project explores what remains similar between the experience and nature of double dutch and breaking, given their shared origins but separate evolution.

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