The dance style “bone breaking” is just as eye-catching as its name suggests, and it’s exploding on Instagram.
Bone-breakers are known for dislocating their shoulders to create fluid movements that are spectacular to watch — but also might make you a bit squeamish.
Instagram users are loving it, though. Dancers have uploaded more than 7,000 posts under the hashtag #bonebreaking, with 4,000 more under #bonebreak.
Bone breaking has its roots in Brooklyn, where young dancers regularly compete in dance competitions such as Battle Fest, according to a blog post from Opening Ceremony. It is a type of flex dancing, which is a contortionist style of dance.
While many hold the misconception that bone-breaking evolved from hip hop dance, it actually emerged from a Jamaican dance style called bruk-up, according to a recent video exploring bone breaking in The New Yorker.
One of Madonna’s dancers, Jahzrel “Vibez” Henderson, told Opening Ceremony, “I’m double-jointed so I’m a natural bone breaker.”
Fellow Madonna dancer Stanley Mondesir isn’t double-jointed. He told Opening Ceremony that it took plenty of stretching and practice to build up his skills.
Either way, bone-breaking isn’t exactly easy on the body. Henderson recommends using tiger balm to ease soreness. He also takes baths in Epsom salt.