Tuesday, December 13, 2011

80s Video Archives Pt 1: The Big Break Dance Contest 1983 Live at the Roxy

Related to Elements: B-Boy, Old School, True School

Digging through my old Hip Hop DVD-Rs, I stumbled upon this historic gem from 1983; The Big Break Dance Contest Live at the Roxy 1983 Full Video!  This is the complete historical performance remastered from the original VHS recordings it was taped to.  It's over 21 minutes of ground breaking live footage featuring 1983 B-Boy crews, the Magnificent Force, Uptown Express, the Fantastic Duo, the Flash Dancers, Larry Watson and Jason Twigg, the Heartbreakers, and the Dynamic Breakers.  This B-Boy contest was hosted by Leslie Uggams, co-hosted by Carlos De Jesus, and includes celebrity judges Anita Morris, football great Hershel Walker, All My Childrens' Debbie Morgan and Darnell Williams, Earl 'the Pearl' Monroe, Disco Fever Owner Sal Abbatiello, WABC News Anchor John Johnson, Saturday Night Fever and Beat Street Choreographer Lester Wilson, and artist Lillo Thomas.  Also features a short introductory documentary on the early Hip Hop culture featuring interviews with Afrika Bambaataa and other members of the Zulu Nation.  On top of all that it includes a 1983 Burger King Hip Hop commercial from the airing, which was purposefully included to complete the throw-back vibe.  The winners of the contest received $2500, an appearance on New York Hot Tracks, and a key roll in the movie Beat Street.  If you know the movie, you know who won the contest!  Enjoy!

I'm relieved I finally rediscovered this footage, because the DVD-R was fading fast, so I knew the program had to be rescued and shared for prosperity.  Unfortunately, the sound was barely audible and only on the right channel.  I had to remove a lot of tape noise and duplicate the right channel to the left and I significantly boosted the volume and bass.  The recording had a pause-button break in the middle of it right near the end when the winners were being announced that needed editing.  After hours and hours of playing around with the audio and video editing it, I'm proud to share it with all the B-Boys and B-girls looking to reminisce.  

While the Roxy may have closed its doors a few years ago, as long as footage like this continues to be shared, its legacy to Hip Hop and pop culture will never be forgotten.  Please share this video with those who will appreciate it and as always feel free to comment on it. 


If you aren't already a member, please JOIN US and discuss it in more depth on this THREAD at Official Periodic's Crate Digging: Hip Hop Music Forum.  Any information and discussion you can bring to the table will be greatly appreciated!


  1. thanks for posting this amazing piece of hip-hop and break dancing history..this brought back so many priceless and timeless memories..thanks for also spending countless hours cleaning up the footage and really making it shine again!

  2. looking for a documentary from the same time period that was shown on PBS I believe. The documentary chronicled the hip-hop and b-boy/b-girl scene in Milwaukee at the time. It featured the Magic Breakers and Lady Breakers from Milwaukee. If anyone stumbles across this or has this on VHS, please let me know. Thanks!

  3. What was the name of the song when dynamic duo performed