Top 10 B-Boy Films

Emerging in 1970s New York to ease boredom and gang tension, B-boying (a form of street dance) grew to prominence in film thanks to Flashdance…

What is “B-Boying”:

It is a style of street dance that grew in popularity during the 1970s amongst African-American and Puerto Rican-American youths in New York City. Spreading worldwide, with many young people in the United Kingdom, Germany and France taking up the style, b-boying is typically performed to hip-hop but modern interpretations have introduced varying tempos and beat patterns.

The History of B-Boy in Film: From Flashdance to Planet B-BOY.

It’s ironic how an aggressive form of street dance from the Bronx—created to ease off gang violence—made its official spark on the world through Flashdance, a film we hope you’re familiar with! Regardless of how it was initially introduced, thanks to its visual appeal, B-Boys (wrongly known as breakdancers) quickly found themselves performing at presidential bowls, in television ads, and even Hollywood films. Unfortunately, as anything that gets over exploited, the art form soon lost its limelight by the late ’80s, and was played out like polka dots.

Now nearly two decades later, street dancing and B-Boying is back, and continues to win with films like Step Up 3D, the third instalment of the popular franchise featured more than 200 dancers, and B-Boys showcasing headspins and flares in 3D. To commemorate the ongoing influence B-Boys have on dance flicks and to mark the 10th anniversary of the biggest 1-on-1 B-Boy competition: Red Bull BC One we’re downrockin’ it out with our 10 Favourite B-Boy Movies Of All Time…

10. You Got Served (2004)

you-got-served_street-dance-b-boyDavid (Omarion) and Elgin (Marques Houston) are dance homies that push for a drug lord on the side, but face challenges when series of unexpected events occur. In the end, they take back what they deserve, and forever embeds the corny phrase “you got served” in pop culture Rosetta Stone.

9. B-Girl (2009)

b-girl_street-danceAngel (Jules Urich) is a certified B-girl who has no choice but to leave her home in Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Having difficulty adjusting to a new environment, she mingles with local b-boys and attempts to start a new beginning.

8. Warring Factions (2008)

warring-faction_street-danceAn American born Iranian B-Boy sets out to his motherland and battles local b-boys. During his stay, he discovers aspects of Iranian culture commonly misconstrued by the American public.

7. Breakin’ (1984)

breakin_street-danceKelly (Lucinda Dickey)—a struggling jazz dancer—incorporates street dance elements to her routines after she befriends Ozone (Shabba Doo), and Turbo (Boogalo Shrimp).

6. Style Wars (1983)

style-wars_street-danceA documentary directed by famed photographer Henry Chalfant, it chronicles the stories of young graffiti writers from New York City when mayor Ed Kosh implements new graffiti laws.

5. Street Dance 2 (2012)

streetdance2_b-boyGathering the greatest streetdancers from around Europe to battle it out to become the World’s best dance crew in Paris, whilst hoping to add a Latin element. Featuring Red Bull BC One All Star and previous BC One world champion B-Boy Lilou.

4. Beat Street (1984)

BeatStreet1984_street-danceA group of friends from the Bronx—all active participants of hip-hop culture one way or another—attempt to build their reps in ’80s New York City.

3. Wild Style (1983)

wild-style_street-danceFollowing the life of graffiti writer Raymond Zoro (Lee Quiñones), the film showcases scratching from Grandmaster Flash, rapping from The Cold Crush Brothers, and b-boying from the Rock Steady Crew.

2. Flashdance (1983)

flashdance__street-dance_b-boyAlex (Jessica Beals) works as a welder by day, and an exotic dancer by night. She hopes to get accepted as a student at a prestigious dance school, and eventually gets to audition.

1. Planet B-Boy (2007)

planet-b-boy_street-danceSeparated into four segments, the film takes a look at the lives of five different b-boy crews from various countries (Korea, Japan, France, and U.S.A) as they share their stories that lead to one of the world’s biggest b-boy competitions — Battle of the Year.

Watch the Red Bull BC One World Final live on the 30th November at

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  1. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    Yeah, I’m not that familiar with ANY of these films. Guess B-boys aren’t really on my radar (although I think I caught the last half of You Got Served on late-night TV several years back). Nice idea for a list, Dan!!

  2. Avatar
    Evan Crean Reply

    One of the most interesting topics I’ve seen you guys come up with for a Top 10 List. Like Rodney, I’m not really familiar any of the films on this list, aside from just one. I have seen the cinematic classic Breakin’ haha. Glad that showed up here. Definitely heard of Flashdance, but I have never actually watched it.

  3. Avatar
    Neal Damiano Reply

    Cool list………I haven’t seen some of these, including the number 1. I would like to of seen Krush Groove squeezed somewhere in here, though. An 80s hip hop classic.

  4. Avatar
    Stuffy Reply

    Alex from Flashdance was played by Jennifer Beals (not to be confused with Jessica Biel) and Alex’s dancing was done by Marine Jahan (pictured) the leap in her audition was done by gymnast Sharon Shapiro, and the breakdancing was by Crazy Legs.

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