When we think of breakdance, the image of a cool, hip-hop dude, doing extremely acrobatic, hot moves on the dance floor comes to our minds. The history of this dance form has many versions just like the dance and dates back to as far as 1969. With the growth of the hiphop culture, this dance form and its twin the 'electrical boogie' grew leaps and bounds in America. It even featured in many Hollywood movies produced in the 1980s. Then suddenly after 1984, the culture of breakdancing began to fade away. Slowly, it has again gained momentum and many dance videos and shows have begun to showcase it. The hip-hop, ultra cool culture of breakdancing is back and many want to attempt to learn this dance form.
If you wish to stretch your body to its limit, then try to learn breakdance. B-boying the other term used for it, consists of top or up rock, footwork, power moves, and freeze. It has originated from Bronx, NY and the name B-boyin was created by Kool Herc. He was a DJ spinning for block parties in Bronx. The term B-boys means to break boys. It is a so-called boys dance to break parts of music. A movie produced in 1983, 'Flashdance' was the first major movie that featured B-boying. It had a great impact on the young minds then and led to the production of many other movies, like 'Breakin', Breakin 2', and 'Beat Street'. Beat Street created an even major impact and the media popularized the dance moves as 'breakdance'. The excessive media coverage led to its saturation and it became a fad in the minds of people. Soon media got over B-boying and people thought it was a dead art. Then, soon after 1985, came the long winter years of breakdancing. Then around 1997, slowly but steadily the winter years began to lift from it.
Well, the most basic moves to learn to breakdance involves a 6-step and toprock. As you move further and as you master these basic steps, you will discover that the rest of the dance is based on these two elements. When starters learn to breakdance, they usually begin with toprocking and then continue to go down to the floor performing a 6 or 4 step move. These moves can be heavily 'teched'. The base for other complex moves and other power moves is also formed with 6 steps.
The dance usually begins with a 6 step, then the power moves, and ends with a 'freeze'. The freeze is a move in which the dancer contorts his body to a strange position and literally freezes and stops all dance moves. He remains in this position for a second or more, and different freeze styles enhance the style of the dancer. The following are the basic dance moves that help you warm up on the dance floor. These moves also help you catch your breath between different moves and are the basic dance steps of breakdancing.
You should be standing and begin on your left foot with your right foot back.
Now, jump forward with the right foot and simultaneously send your left foot back. Your feet should not touch the ground till they are to step on the floor. Also do not drag them as you would in a moonwalk.
The next move is the transition, where your left foot comes forward halfway and the right foot swings back halfway. The right foot should swing back in an arc.
The right foot should swing in place of the left as the left foot rears back.
With your left, foot kick forward and back with your right. The body weight should land on the left and arms should be swung back to balance the motion. As you get hold of the motions, swinging your arms will come naturally to you.
Step forward halfway on your right and swing the left back in an arc. Now, switch from right to left and begin the dance counterclockwise.
Step by Step Instructions
We will cover the 6-step dance move in how to break dance step by step. This will help you establish momentum and put you in position for more complex moves. You need to use your arms to support the body and legs to walk around in a circle. Lets begin to groove:
Start from the push-up position.
Bring the right leg forward and extend it in front of the left. Your left leg should not be moved and lean on the outer side of your right shoe. Your left hand should be taken off the floor.
Pull the left leg forward till it bends and touches the back of your right leg. The right leg should by now be wrapped around the left leg. You will find yourself in a tilted cross-legged position and your left hand still in air.
Now move into a crab position by bringing your right leg out from around left leg. Then plant the right foot down, next to the left foot that is shoulder width apart. The left hand should be placed on the floor behind you.
Keep you right hand up and move your right leg behind you.
Then extending your left leg back, put your right hand down and go back into a push up position again.
These are the simple moves of breakdancing. You can even try a variation on the above steps that involves the crab position. You can just put your right hand on the floor behind and not both your hands, thus, not getting into the crab position. As you get into the next step, switch your hands quickly, that is, lift off your right hand and put the left hand on the floor, as you move your legs. You need to remain light on your feet and once you master these moves, try doing it counterclockwise.
Dos and Don'ts
Please do not think that these are very easy moves to learn. You will need your joints to be strong enough to withstand the power moves, and after months of brushing you can do these steps as a pro. The following instructions need to be followed by children, and need to be practiced by adults as well, before trying the above 6 step dance moves.
- Always warm up before you begin. You should carry out some stretch exercises before and after to help increase flexibility and reduce risk of injuries.
- Practice on a smooth, large floor and make sure you have plenty of crush pads, cushioned surfaces, and wrestling mats for cushioning your fall during practice.
- Never ever booze and do the breakdance. This will ultimately result in only broken bones and not the actual breakdance.
- Never attempt to do it in public before reviewing yourself in a self video. You should first be confident of your moves and show the video to close friends and take their opinion.
The Basic Moves
This is a simple dance that is done standing, to help begin with breakdancing. It is an obvious dance move, as it is very unorthodox looking.
This is a type of top rock that looks very rhythmic. Do not confuse top rock and up rock. You can refer to the basic dance moves mentioned above for moves related to up rock.
This is one move where the dancer slides back while the legs look moving forward. Observe Michael Jackson do the ultimate moonwalk for some inspiration.
A dance move in which the dancer lies on the floor and a rippling motion is formed through his body. You can do this move forward or backward and shift your weight from the upper body to lower body or vice versa.
This is an interesting form of dance and needs a lot of practice and patience to master. You should observe other break dancers carefully and then attempt the moves. This dance form is full of fun and risk. If you have the urge to taste excitement and danger in one go, then breakdance is your answer. It is not only breaking the music, but it may also result in breaking bones. So, practice, practice, and practice your dancing moves and show off your cool self on the dance floor.
If you try these breakdance moves, it is at your own risk. In case you are a beginner, learn the basic moves well, then move on to the advance form. Warm up before you begin breakdancing. Always practice on a soft, cushioned floor, to minimize the risk of injury.