Breakdancing is a combination of stylish dance moves that b-boys and b-girls perform in a rhythmic flow. It’s an eye-catching art that is even sometimes incorporated into the choreography of films that feature martial arts. Learning breakdancing is challenging because it requires practice and perfection of various dance moves to deliver a good routine. The four elements that make up a breakdance routine include transitions, footwork, power moves and freezes.
Breakdancing has a wide variety of footwork moves. It’s one of the most important elements of breaking, and it is often used to distinguish a good breaker from a bad one. Footwork consists of a variety of moves that are performed with the feet and hands low to the ground. It can include knee rock, back rock, sitting threads, certain spins, and slides.
A breaker’s goal is to move as gracefully as possible while also maintaining balance and power. Many b-boys and b-girls develop elaborate tricks, which add another level of skill and creativity to the dance. The float or turtle, for example, is a footwork move that requires immense strength and balance to pull off. It is a popular move for showcasing the strength of a breaker, and it can be used to transition into other moves such as top rocks or freezes. The float can also be used to add more style to a freeze or power move.
Top rock is the element of b-boying where breakers dance while standing. It is the first display of style that a breaker performs and is the bridge to other parts of breaking such as footwork, freezes, power moves and downrock.
The tempo of top rock changes with the music and it is a time for breakers to show off their sense of rhythm and their ability to perform while remaining standing. It is complemented by arm and hand motions. Before top rock there was Brooklyn uprocking which was more confrontational and resembled dance fighting without any physical contact. However, uprocking never gained the same popularity as b-boying.
Transitions are crucial in breakdancing as it glues different elements together. These include spins, sweeps, pretzels and Thomas flare (reduced and written flare in breakdancing). The more a breaker masters these the more fluid their routine will be. You can also play qwirkle for mind exercise. They are often influenced by gymnastics and martial arts. Power moves are high-impact acrobatic techniques that require a lot of strength, endurance and flexibility. Examples of power moves are windmill, swipe and rear spins.
While not essential, power moves and transitions hold the flow of a breaker’s routine. They glue together the different elements and show off a breaker’s skill level by adding style, flair and surprises to their performances. A go down is the move that a b-boy or b-girl does to smoothly transition from their top rock to the floor. It’s best done in a seamless transition that keeps to the rhythm of the music. A breaker might do a simple go down like the Knee drop, or a more complex spin down or hook drop.
A power move is a gravity-defying acrobatic movement that showcases a breaker’s superior strength and balance. These are usually the most dynamic element of a breaker’s performance and can involve spinning their entire bodies while balancing on their hands, elbows, head or back. Common power moves include the air flare, head spin and windmills.
A Freeze is when a B-Boy or B-Girl stops and holds a solid position to hit a prominent sound in the music. It is also used as a way to conclude their sequence of movements (a set). Freezes display strength, confidence and musicality. While freezes show a breaker’s skill, tricks showcase their personality and creativity. They are done by taking a standard breaking move and adding something unusual. A popular trick is the “suicide.” While it looks painful and dangerous, a breaker can do these moves with minimal injury if they know what they’re doing.
Power moves are acrobatic maneuvers that require momentum, speed, endurance, flexibility and strength to execute. These moves are often combined into a sequence with one flowing into the other. Some examples of power moves include head spins, swipes and air flares. Blow-up is a style where breakers do a series of power moves and finish with a skilled freeze or suicide.