A #BoneBreaking Insta-Takeover

June 5, 2015

Who are your favorite dancers to follow on Instagram? Juliet Doherty? Miko Fogarty? Sophia Lucia? Ashleigh Ross? Maddie Ziegler? Chloe Lukasiak? (Obviously, you follow @dancespiritmagazine on Instagram, where you get daily pics of all these gorgeous dancers and more. #shamelssplug)

Next question: What do all these Insta-famous bunheads and contemporary queens have in common? They post drool-worthy photos featuring their incredible lines.

at the top of the 600 yr old St. Elizabeth’s Church in Wrocław!

A photo posted by Juliet Doherty (@julietdoherty) on

May 28, 2015 at 4:32pm PDT

But unbelievable lines—as in “no way,” “how’d-they-do-that,” “OUCH” lines—aren’t reserved for ballerinas and contemporary dancers, alone. Yep, there’s a new troupe of dancers taking over Instagram, wowing the interwebz with out-of-this-world shapes they make with their bodies. And they call themselves bone breakers.

The Black Swan #ballet #pointe #bonebreaking #art #amazing #dance
A photo posted by Andrew “Drew Dollaz” Boyce (@drewdollaz) on

May 30, 2015 at 1:12pm PDT

Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of bone breaking. It’s been featured on “So You Think You Can Dance” (Steven Ban for “SYT” Season 12’s #TeamStreet!), and The New Yorker‘s webseries “Five-Borough Freestyle” recently released an episode about two NYC BBs, Khalil “Killa” Williams and Xavier “X” Days.

The style developed out of Bruk Up, a form inspired by Jamaican house dance. (“Bruk Up” means “break up,” so you can totally see the connection there.) A lot of the work is focused on the upper body, specifically the shoulder sockets. Bone breakers appear to dislocate their shoulders, elbows, wrists, etc., creating shapes that you really don’t expect to see on a human body.

Just last week, Business Insider published a story on bone breaking’s growing popularity on Instagram. Apparently there are over 7,000 posts with #bonebreaking and an additional 4,000 with #bonebreak. Here’s just some of what you can find when you search #bonebreaking on Instagram:

‘The ghost inside of me.’ Photo by: @eibidi

A photo posted by Alessio Campanelli (@alecampa95) on

Apr 8, 2015 at 1:24pm PDT

“A picture can hold more words; However a song can recreate every emotion”.
A video posted by Alessio Campanelli (@alecampa95) on

May 22, 2015 at 7:47am PDT

New Dance Video Brought To You By @drewdollaz and @blackadidanca …Link In Bio #dancehall #flexing #bonebreaking #drewdollaz #blackadidanca

A video posted by Andrew “Drew Dollaz” Boyce (@drewdollaz) on

May 18, 2015 at 12:24pm PDT

#dancer #bonebreaking #flexing #леопард

A photo posted by Ратушев Даниил (@daniil_ratushev) on

Jun 5, 2015 at 7:58am PDT

Some people prefer not to watch bone breaking, because its extreme nature makes them uncomfortable. Others even say it’s “gross.” But we should really think before we make such sweeping generalizations. Is bone breaking really “gross,” or is it just something we’re not accustomed to seeing? One of the reasons we love dance is because it pushes the human body to the extreme. I mean, just think about pointe shoes. Dancers standing on their toenails?! You could say “ew” to that, too. Once we get passed that original, unnerving feeling, we can see bone breaking for what it really is: an incredible, and sort of totally beautiful, style of dance. #SaturdaySoapBox #MicDrop

(PS: Click here to watch “Five-Borough Freestyle: Bone Breaking.”)