Fresh Paint – Flexing by Michael Jagdharry

As we’ve progressed into the future, dance styles have become decreasingly orthodox. We’ve gone from traditional ballroom dancing, ballet, and even flamenco baile to breakdancing, robotic techno dance (here’s an example, and just completely random and unique dances such as gangnam style. But recently a new style of dance has emerged called “flexing”.

Flexing, also called Bone Breaking, is a form of dance in which flexors (those who practice flexing) perform rhythmic contortionist movement. That is, they bend and flex their bodies beyond human’s normal range of flexibility in rhythm with whatever music is playing. Typically hip-hop or rap music accompanies flexing, however the dance style did not emerge from this genre of music. Flexing originates from a Jamaican style of dance called brukup, which is characterized by popping and locking, and is accompanied by dancehall and reggae music. Brukup also incorporates flexing; here is an example:

At the Dumbo Arts Festival in Brooklyn, a flexing event was held called “Flex is Kings Live”, in which 20 dancers showed off their flexing skills. Flexors often perform shirtless for showmanship. One dancer aliased “Flizzo” removed his shirt to reveal his name, which was tattoed across his belly.  Flexors also incorporate hats in their performance to add zest and give a new flavor to old flexing routines. Some hat tricks include spinning the hat around one of the fingers, throwing the hat up into the air so that it can be caught in rhythm with an elbow or knee, and simply transferring the hat to different parts of the body in a smooth, fluid motion that is in rhythm with the music.

So what are your opinions about flexing? Or about the general evolution of dance? Will there be a limit to how strange and odd these new styles may become? Will older styles of dance such as ballroom dancing one day become extinct? Interesting things to ponder.


Michael J

Me in a Cherry Blossom Tree at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

My name is Michael Jagdharry. I like to climb things and explore new areas. And if I can’t climb it, I’ll find a way to.
Things I like to do in my spare time are exercise, play handball, longboard, and sometimes play guitar or piano (although I never formally learned how to play an instrument). But right now all my time is being invested into college, which is pretty scary to me, since it’s a whole new environment with new people, new students, and new teachers with different styles of teaching and greater expectations than I’ve encountered hitherto.