The Dynamic Rockers
This group (along with the Rock Steady Crew) was largely responsible for breakdance’s entry into the mainstream and international notoriety, yet they are often overlooked when discussing the history of Hip Hop culture.
Hailing from Queens, the Dynamic Breakers were actually a spin-off group from the larger Dynamic Rockers crew. It was the Dynamic Rockers who had the, now legendary, battle with the Rock Steady Crew in front of Lincoln Center; as well as the U.S.A. (United Skates of America) battle seen in the documentary, Style Wars. The group was formed by Eddie Ed (Osvaldo Luna).
The Dynamic Rockers’ style of b-boying incorporated gymnastics and acrobatics, as well as the traditional footwork and uprocking styles of their Bronx counterparts. It was something that (even to this day) some b-boy purists say is not “true” b-boying…but it was to be precisely this style, which had more visual appeal (particularly to the uninitiated), that would later propel the art form into the mainstream.
They also had a spin off crew of female dancers called the The Dynamic Dolls who pop up in the movie Beat Street.
Four of the Rockers, Airborne (Jose Lopez), Spider (Cliff Lyons), Kano(Milton Torres) and Flip (Juan Barranco), decided to form their own crew when the opportunity to sign with a management company (Breakdance Int’l.) came up. They called the crew the Dynamic Breakers. It was these four who had been largely responsible for the gymnastic and acrobatic elements that the Rockers were known for, as they were all teammates on their high school gymnastics team. They also added a breaker from New Jersey named Duce (Julio Martinez), whose signature move was the doo-rag-enhanced extra long headspin.
Under their new management, the group began putting together choreographed routines and getting booked for club shows. Their first big break came when a popular network television show called, “That’s Incredible” did a segment on the crew. It was that show, along with Rock Steady’s appearance in the film, “Flashdance”, that first brought b-boying into national focus.
Although Rock Steady Crew was recognized by those inside Hip Hop culture as the premiere b-boy crew, it was the Dynamic Breakers who gained the national spotlight early on with appearances in movies like “Delivery Boys”, “The Exterminator” and “The Last Dragon” and television gigs like NBC’s “The New Show”, where they actually had actress/director Penny Marshall bust a headspin in a sheepskin hat with some help from the crew.
They also appeared on ABC’s local New York affiliate, WABC-Channel 7 in a televised talent contest sponsored by Swatch (who would later go on to sponsor the ground-breaking Hip Hop tour, “Fresh Fest”). Dynamic won 1st place in the contest. The grand prize was supposed to be a role in Harry Belafonte’s upcoming film, “Beat Street“, however, they never appeared in the film due to a financial dispute between their management and the film’s producers.
Dynamic also recorded two singles for Sunnyview Records, “Dynamic (Total Control)” and “Kim”. The song “Dynamic” was actually supposed to be a duet with a rap group Total Control. The members of Total Control (emcees Dynamike, Frankie Dee and DJ Johnny Juice) all attended Hillcrest High School with Dynamic. Dynamike was teammates with the four original Rockers on the gymnastics team and wrote the song after seeing the crew win the contest on TV. Before the song was released, Total Control had a dispute with Breakdance Int’l., who had arranged the original record deal. This resulted in the record being released with the Dynamic Breakers being listed as the artists, even though Total Control was responsible for most of it’s content (the music was done by Cozmo D of electro/hip hop band, Newcleus). Eventually, Dynamic went on to record “Kim” on their own and Total Control dissolved when Dynamike and Johnny Juice joined Newcleus.
Interestingly, another one of the Breakers’ gymnastic teammates was Lindell Blake, who went on to form his own group called Break Machine; they hit with the single, “Street Dance”.
The Dynamic Breakers would go on to be one of the featured acts (along with Run DMC, Whodini, Kurtis Blow, Fat Boys, Newcleus, Grandmaster Flash, a very young Jermaine Dupree and fellow breakdance crews Magnificent Force and Uptown Express) in the pioneering arena-sized Hip Hop tours, Fresh Fest and Fresh Fest 2.
Dynamic’s popularity was eventually overshadowed by the New York City Breakers, who had begun to get national recognition of their own, which culminated in their performance for President Ronald Regan.
By the time Fresh Fest 2 came around, a couple of the original members had left the group and had been replaced. Eventually, breakdancing itself had burned out on the national scene and Dynamic faded into obscurity.
Their presence, however, lives on. The acrobatic style that they pioneered is very much evident in the styles of today’s b-boys/b-girls, but more importantly….b-boying was truly the first element of Hip Hop to be openly embraced by the mainstream…rap music came through the door opened by the b-boys…..the Dynamic Breakers had a lot to do with the opening of those doors.
Info submitted by EyeGetzRaw and Eddie Ed
Check out some rare Dynamic Rockers Footage!