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Abstract

This project examines the oral history of the original dance style of Hip Hop, breaking. Breaking is performed to music in sequences of movement while standing, on the floor, and in the air. There is minimal quantitative or qualitative data about the practitioners and scholars in its culture. Most of the information regarding its history is spoken orally or locked away in Video Home System (VHS) tapes. This impacts future generations who want to learn the culture and dance because primary resources are limited and fragmented on the Internet. A hundred VHS tapes, encoded in analog frequency modulation (FM) on magnetic tape, were transcoded into 10-bit uncompressed and H.264 digital file formats over a 3-month period. Social media was used to crowdsource metadata on selected video clips. It was predicted that metadata collection would contribute to annotating video clips where supplemental explanations were nonexistent on the Internet or inaccessible to noncommunity members. Established community members collectively identified and verified people, places, and back stories in the video clips. This suggests that memories of moments are still shared orally in the culture but not widely known or documented.

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