Uprock

I have been thinking about my ‘breakdance’ period a lot recently for no apparent reason, except for that it was triggered by the song ‘Uprock’ from the Rock Steady Crew (DailyMotion video and my own sample on this server in the traditional 30+ seconds). This song actually was the staple song for our (me and my twin) breakdance affairs: it was the song we practiced on and the song we performed on. This was actually the only break dance record we owned: that is besides the many mix-tapes we had (recordings from the radio mostly). Mix-tapes, of course, were frowned upon. A lot, I remember.

Anyway, “Uprock” was released in 1984, a year after the Crew’s breaking hit ‘Hey You’ and (despite the fancy clip that came with it) it hardly made it to the hit charts, much to our displeasure. The song has a more distinct hardcore sample feel to it and obviously, it’s the better song to dance on (compared to ‘Hey You’). The 12-inch record itself came with the ‘extended version’ (7 minutes long?) and the ‘single version. Most likely, there was an instrumental version on the B-side (Just checked “discogs”: looks like I was fairly close).

Good old times right? I’ve mentioned my breakdancing on this blog before (notably here and slightly less here). We used “Uprock” at one time to disrupt a (history) project week where we danced on the ‘extended’ version of that song, much to the pleasure of the classes and teachers (surprisingly). This event led to the invitation for that infamous school night for students 1 or 2 grades below us (mentioned in that first link) where we basically outdanced and shocked the audience with headspins (shocked I tell you), turtles (sideways), handspins and backspins. We were proud breakdancing nerds and fearless dancers with the right ‘I don’t care what you think of us’-attitude.

This school night was also our very last public breakdance performance, which made the event all the better and bittersweet at the same time. Homework was obviously getting more important: when I look back to the days after that night, it’s almost like we shrugged it off. I don’t recall we made a decsion or something and our parents didn’t really care if we were breakdancing or not. However, I guess, we just knew that it was time to grow up and go on with studying. At the age of 14 or 15: that was probably the best assessment teenagers can make.