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Emmys 2017
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Article

Guilty Pleasures: Break-Dancing Movies

Dalton Ross on Mr. Wiggles, Boogaloo Shrimp, and Shabba Doo

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Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey may have sashayed off with all the box office glory, but the real geniuses of the ’80s dance-movie craze went by names like Mr. Wiggles, Boogaloo Shrimp, and Shabba Doo. They were the moonwalking, pop-rocking, windmill-spinning stars of break-dancing films like Breakin’, Rappin’, Beat Street, and, of course, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Sure, the plots are predictable (ultra-limber kids save the community from greedy real estate developers), but when you can watch a whole crowd doing the Robot, nothing else matters. Also, where else can you see the antiviolence message of street gangs settling a beef via a well-choreographed ”break-off”? Plus, check out the star power: Eriq La Salle gets down alongside Mario Van Peebles in Rappin’. And yes, that is Jean-Claude Van Damme in that beach scene from Breakin’. Hey, if the Muscles From Brussels is involved, what more convincing do you need?

Guilt-o-meter: 8