Contest spins off an '80s craze

Everyone knows that The Breakfast Club is the place for people who love the '80s to gather and hear Duran Duran and old-school Madonna.

Perhaps what may not be as well known is that the Uptown club also pays homage to street dancing popular in the '80s, most notably breakdancing and popping.

This year, The Breakfast Club will host the fifth annual “Who Got Served?” contest Aug. 31.

Breakdancing crews of two to three will compete for a $500 prize, while individual poppers can compete for a $100 prize.

Both dance forms were believed to have originated in the early '70s, with breakdancing rising to prominence during New York's hip-hop evolution and popping growing out of the “locking” dance style found in Fresno, Calif.

In the '80s, breakdancing moved from street corners and clubs to TV and the movies (“Flashdance,” Beat Street” and “Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo”).

Breakdancing lost its mainstream audience in the '90s. “Mainstream breakdancing was killed out by club managers who wouldn't let people perform,” said Tom Hill of Queen City Bounce Squad Entertainment. “I think owners mistakenly associated both dances with aggression and were afraid of it.”

However, with movies such as '06's “Step Up” and '07's “Stomp the Yard” along with dance competition shows on TV, breakdancing is looking to recapture the spotlight.

“I think shows like ‘So You Think You Can Dance' and ‘America's Best Dance Crew' are definitely bringing breakdancing back, but I think it still has a long way to go before everyday people recognize it,” said Jody Sullivan, owner of The Breakfast Club.

A veteran of breakdancing and popping, Sullivan always wanted to support the local alternative dance scene, which is why he came up with the Who Got Served? competition.

What started as a chance for local breakdancing crews to compete and showcase their skills has grown into a costal competition, drawing people from Florida and Maryland.

In response to the growing popularity of the annual competition, the club will host another one on Oct. 12 called Fresh Fest 08.