Radio 790 Break Dance Contest marks 40th anniversary

Brampton will honor the achievement with The Canadian Break Dance Community Builders Awards

By Stephen Weir

Wizards Of Funk Break City Crew

Was it really 40 years ago that people in Brampton first witnessed a break dance contest?  Yes, sir. And to mark that important momentous occasion in Hip Hop history, some of the originals are back to do it all again.

Breakdancing was initially seen as a form of rebellion against mainstream culture, originating from underprivileged and marginalized communities in the USA. It allowed young people to express their creativity and individuality outside of traditional dance forms. In 1983, a public outdoor competition in Chinguacousy Park marked the emergence of a new dance culture in Brampton. Teenagers suddenly began spinning on their heads instead of their toes, and breakdancing gained an instant rabid following among the youth.

“In June 6th of that year, the local radio station AM 790 sponsored the Radio 790 Break Dance Contest Inside Chinguacousy Park,” said Mark Johnson, founder of the 5 Wizards Of Funk. “It was estimated 6,000 people filled the park for over four hours to watch 26 crews and 7 solo dancers compete.”

Wizards Of Funk Break City Crew

The emergence of breakdancing in Brampton was significant in terms of multiculturalism. The city had a growing population of immigrants, and breakdancing allowed young people from different cultural backgrounds to connect through a shared interest in hip-hop culture. The dance style became a way to bridge cultural differences and create a sense of community among young people.

To celebrate this historic event, Johnson and the rest of the Funk Break City Crew are staging the first Canadian Break Dance Community Builders Awards on June 3rd in Brampton. The event will be held at the Lions Banquet Hall on 45 Avondale Blvd and will feature dance performances and awards to notable figures in the community, including Evanov Radio Group, DJ Ron Nelson, Nainesh, Injury Law, Scot Turner Radio personality, and photographer George Bishiri.

“Everyone will be there, and yes, I will be dancing too,” Johnson continued. “Not everyone will be dancing, as age and health have taken their toll. Original dancers from the other crews will be dancing too. It will be fun! And befitting the year of that first event, the evening menu serves popular dishes from the 80s!”

Wizards Of Funk Break City Crew

Breakdancing has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Brampton in 1983. Today, it is recognized as a legitimate dance form and has become an integral part of hip-hop culture. The Canadian Break Dance Community Builders Awards is a celebration of the impact that breakdancing has had on the community and a tribute to the pioneers who paved the way for future generations.