‘Each One Teach One’: B-Boying and Ageing
The dance practice—or ‘b-boying and b-girling’ in the terminology preferred by dominant figures in the current scene—has become well-established, with high-profile international competitions, theatre shows and documentary accounts of its history. Since hip-hop culture consists of more than breaking, constraints resulting from the ageing of participants often lead to alternative modes of expression within the culture. The early subcultural studies neglected ageing participants in their considerations because age was already a factor in the distinction they were making about the value of studying youth practices. The involvement of older participants in hip-hop culture is often maintained through the efforts of youth participants. Older members of crews are encouraged by younger b-boys and b-girls to remain active, as their knowledge and expertise are valued. Top-performing b-boys and b-girls, aged between 30 and 40, are quick to pull out their iPhones and show footage of themselves dancing, but of the students they teach.