The Problem with Terminology

Our dance style is still a young art form with a history of 40+ years. As a result our terminology is not yet really set to stone. That sets challenges in teaching and recording the history of the dance.

Hopefully in the future we can synchronize the terminology, the names of the basics and get a general understanding of the development of the dance. This way we would all speak the same language on the same lifestyle that we all love so much.

Here’s an example (true story)

CC’s, the basic shuffle in footwork in the front. Commonly known as the CC’s worldwide, everywhere I’ve been to I’ve heard the name used. Derived from the name Crazy Commanders, a famous crew from the 70’s with b-boys like Spy and Shorty Rock.

Pioneer nro 1: I won’t call it CC’s anymore, to my knowledge the original term is switches. We should call it switches from now on.

Pioneer nro 2: Focus you got it wrong, stop teaching this as the CC’s and get your facts right. The original them is Salsoul Shuffles.

Pioneer nro 3: I call it Kick outs, I always called it that. I didn’t hear the name CC’s until later so I go with the term I always used.

Aaaand a student of the game gets confused. We do wish to cherish the original terms as much as possible. The creators must get credit for their work. But if the pioneers can’t have a common view of the origins/history/names then we as students have to use our own brains and find a solution.

Generally used terms are good! They create a common understanding between both sides.

Crazy Legs doesn’t insist people calling the windmill the continuous backspin. Poe One doesn’t insist people to start calling the airchair the Cobra Attacking the Eagle.

So our advice is to listen the stories and learn about the original terms. Yet at the same time every OG has a different experience and many times the stories don’t add up. At some point as a scene we have to unite and settle for a widely used language and terminology. Otherwise our teaching will always be a mess and won’t/can’t be taken seriously.

-Focus / bboydojo.com

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