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On the Spot: Originality for the Sake of Originality
Breakers often preach original movement. Makes sense. Originality is scarce and therefore has value.
Originality, however, should not be the end goal.
Here’s an example.
Scenario A. An individual demonstrates outstanding achievement as a result of outstanding dedication.
Scenario B. An individual garners mass attention through performing acts of randomness and ludicrousy.
The individual in both scenarios are original. They’ll both stick out among the average person. Whether it’s breaking or anything else in life, however, we should strive for the traditional path of Scenario A as opposed to the modern path, which largely reflects the digital age, of Scenario B. Our dance should be a showcase of discipline, order, balance and a high level understanding and mastery of technique that we cultivate over our career. Put differently in a way all breakers can understand, the end goal is to be dope af. In contrast, our dance should not be the reason we sacrifice our dignity and become a clown just to solicit reaction from an audience.
Another point that some don’t seem to quite understand about originality. Everyone on this planet, to a degree, is already original. We’re all born with innate genetic differences. Atop of that, over the course of a life time we accumulate completely unique life experiences. By default, everyone’s interpretation and execution of a three-step will be different. Further, if you want to SIGNIFICANTLY distinguish yourself among your peers, you don’t achieve this by actively thinking about originality (unless you choose the path of Scenario B described above). Rather, if you study and train three-step for thousands upon thousands of hours, then chances are you reached a profound stage that the average dancer simply hasn’t. Originality is just a by-product.
As an aside – biting. Within the framework of originality that’s been discussed until now. Part of the reason that e.g., airflares are so cool is because the average breaker can’t do them. Again, part of being dope af is making others aware of how capable you’ve become because you’ve dedicated effort that the average person hasn’t. So if you have a signature move but the average breaker can readily pick it up, then is your signature move trivial? Is it worth disputing the point that you created it and someone else is stealing the credit? Personally, maybe it’s more productive to instead think, “there’s more work for ME to do.”