- Associated Press - Saturday, January 14, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Breaking hit the streets of New York City in the 1970s, and five decades later, the hip hop dance form is continuing to thrive and evolve around the country.

In Minnesota, many dancers - known as b-boys and b-girls - say the local breaking community is built on collaboration. While other cities can be territorial, and dance crews keep to themselves, in Minnesota different crews support one another.

“This scene often makes me forget about my age and my skin color and all the other factors that regular society makes you think about,” said dancer Annie Aldag, known as AnnieUP. “You can just go and be with a bunch of people who like to dance and nothing else matters.”

Lisa Berman, who goes by MonaLisa when she dances, said that collaboration has led to a unique regional style. Berman received a 2016 McKnight Fellowship for dance.

While breaking is traditionally a male-dominated form, the number of women in the Twin Cities dance scene continues to grow. Women breakers say they often struggle between honoring the history as a young man’s art form, and finding their own place in the dance.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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