Made at a time when you saw breakdancers pulling windmills and body popping on their cardboard everywhere you turned in NYC, The Big Break Dance Contest is a wonderful time capsule of the early days of hip-hop. Produced locally by WABC, it’s literally a breakdance contest from 1983 with the top prizes being $2500, an appearance on New York Hot Tracks and a role in the movie Beat Street. Hosted by actress Leslie Uggams and the host of NYHT Carlos De Jesus, the B-Boy crews seen here include the Magnificent Force, Uptown Express, the Fantastic Duo, the Flash Dancers, Larry Watson and Jason Twigg, the Heartbreakers and the Dynamic Breakers.
After a short introductory documentary on early hip-hop culture with Afrika Bambaataa and other members of the Zulu Nation, the contest begins. There’s a even a goofy Burger King commercial with a hip-hop theme that was recorded during the airing that they purposefully left in.