Breakin’ Convention is back in Charlotte for the third straight year, courtesy of Blumenthal Performing Arts. The weeklong celebration of dance and hip-hop culture includes local and international dance crews, graffiti writers, DJs, emcees and more.

If you’ve never experienced Breakin’, we’ll break it down for you 

What is Breakin’ Convention? 

The festival is straight outta London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Since 2004, founder and artistic director Jonzi D. has staged this event all over the world. It represents the origins of hip-hop culture from Bronx, N.Y., to its evolution as an international force.    

What should you expect? 

On Friday and Saturday, international hip-hop dancers will grace Knight Theater in what has been called  “Charlotte’s most unique festival.” Outside, on the Levine Center for the Arts plaza, local groups will provide FREE entertainment for all ages before the main show inside and during intermission.


You can check out some of Charlotte’s dynamic DJs and dancers. Or try your hand at graffiti painting. The fun begins at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday with main stage performances at 7:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.  

Who’s performing on the main stage? 

This year’s lineup includes Soweto Skeleton Movers, amazing B-Boys from South Africa; Protocol, one of the U.K.’s top street dance groups; Salah, a master popper from France; Femme Fatale, an original female collective from Los Angeles; along with dance groups from North Carolina and Georgia. 

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How much does it all cost?  

Tickets to the Knight Theater performances start at $20. There also will be some dance workshops on Saturday for $10 each. 

What if I’m looking for something more in the price of FREE.99? 

The festival concludes with a free Street Jam at Spirit Square on Sunday, starting at 11 a.m. There will be food trucks, live entertainment with DJ Nervex, and outside activities such as mega chess, a workout area, and a graffiti zone. There will also be inside activities including a DJ workshop in Middleton McMillan Gallery, a dance workshop in Duke Energy Theater, and a fashion freestyle in McGlohon Theater.

And every day this week, Monday through Friday from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 a.m., you can grab your lunch (or stop by one of the food trucks) and enjoy free entertainment out on the plaza near Knight Theater.

For a complete schedule of events, visit the Blumenthal website. 

Photo: Paul McFadden Jr.

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