How to Breakdance

Breakdancing, a form of dance that originated in New York City during the 1970s, is an intriguing form of self-expression to many people. While the dance style originated in New York, it grew quickly and rapidly, eventually spreading worldwide. There are traditionally four types of movement in breakdancing, although there are variations. The four movements include the “toprock”, “downrock”, power moves and freezes. Every breakdancer, or troop, will have their own style and way of teaching, but the four basic movements are what truly make breakdancing what it is today.

The toprock is a string of steps that are performed while standing up. Footwork, and hand movements are all considered “toprock” moves as long as the dancer is in the standing position. The dancer can then transition into “downrock” movements. “Downrock” moves are also called “floorwork”, and includes movement on the floor. Dancers are supported by their hands and feet, either simultaneously or individually, as they carry out the moves. Power moves are the acrobatic moves commonly associated with breakdancing. In these moves momentum, speed, endurance and strength are combined to create flips and other feats of strength. In power moves the dancer is supported by their arms while creating circular motions with their feet and torso. Finally, there are “freeze” moves. These moves are commonly associate with breakdancing, as well. The moves are characterized by the dancer “freezing” in place, often with their upper body supported by their lower body. Freeze moves are often executed to strong beats in the music, and string of freeze moves are common in more advanced troops or dancers.

So, how do you learn to breakdance? Learning to breakdance generally consists of learning the 6 fundamental steps. The first step is to stand with the legs in a V-shape while standing, placing your hands in the center of your “v”-ed legs. Once you’ve done this, the next step is to bring your left leg around, under your right arm, Allow the fall back leg to support the rest of the body. The goal is to create a circular motion with the body. Once that is done, pull the legs back to the center. Bring your left leg in front of your right, to create a “criss-cross” appearance. Switch to alternative hands to create a further “criss-cross” motion. The hands will be used as a means of support for the rest of the body. These are the fix initial steps to break dancing.

One of the easier power moves is known as the flare. The flare requires you to gain momentum and to pull the left leg around the right leg, while picking up the right arm. The left arm will support the rest of the body, as you place your right hand down after the legs have made the loop through. This is known as a flare. This movement is common, and while an easier advanced move, it still requires a great deal of momentum, power and strength.

Power moves and freezes will require significant work and strength. Most breakdancing enthusiasts begin by learning the traditional 6 step, and then start to develop their upper body strength. Upper body strength is necessary for both power moves and freezes, these moves cannot be completed without appropriate upper body strength. Once a person has learned the traditional 6 step movement, it is advisable to begin looking for a troop or breakdancing group or class. These groups can be found throughout major metropolitan cities. Some dance studios also offer classes in this form of dancing, although it is a niche market and may not be particularly easy to come by.

Learning from the masters of the dance form is probably the best bet for someone looking to develop more advanced moves, including flares. Many who are looking to hone their craft make the decision to watch videos online. Many tutorials exist that help teach power moves and freezes, as well as the basic moves. Learning the basics, then seeking out the company of other dancers, however, is the traditional way that breakdancing was taught, learned and passed down. In fact, it can be argued that this movement was passed around the world through the grassroots effort, so keeping with tradition is always preferable.


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