How to dance like a bboy
How To Bboy: The Complete Beginner Guide | by BreakDance Decoded
You are confused right?
You watched a few videos of those athletic guys busting out moves after moves on YouTube — and you’re all fired up now.
You really, really want to pick up this dance known as bboying. You want to learn how to bboy.
You don’t even know where to start.
A quick search on YouTube gave you hundreds of tutorials and playlists.
But you’re a complete beginner.
Where should you begin? What should you start with? What do you need to prepare before you begin learning?
Are you even strong enough?
Questions, questions, questions.
I have received questions like these countless of times. And despite being asked so many times, there was no definitive resource I could point someone to to kickstart their bboy journey.
I’ve put together a complete beginner’s guide (broken down into multiple sections) that will guide you EXACTLY on how to start.
It is what I call the “Ultimate List of Bboying Tutorials”. It contains every resource or tutorial that I think is good enough to teach you the basics of breaking.
After going through all these tutorials, you can pat your back, start practicing, start creating and becoming good.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Before we even begin on what to learn in bboying, you need to be part of the culture.
Do you know what is the easiest way to be part of a culture?
Learning the terms and vocabulary.
Being able to identify yourself as a bboy, and use the correct language at the right time welcomes you to the family of hip hop. After going through the resources below, you’ll be able to hi-5 any bboy and communicate with them in bboy lingo.
Bboy Sign Language: A Guide to Battle Gestures
Guide to the 25 Most Popular Powermoves And Their Names
Break Terminology 101
It’s Breakin, not Bboying/Bgirling
List of All Hip Hop Terms
Concept of Biting
PoeOne Explains Importance of Sweep
What’s next after you’ve learnt the language of the dance? You have to immerse yourself into the culture.
Not the moves, not the terminology, not the fashion.
But the knowledge that is deep inside your head.
Only by understanding the culture and attaining the knowledge of hip hop will make you a true bboy.
What is Bboying?
The Roots of Bboying
History of Breakdance
You’re already impatient, aren’t you?
3 chapters in and I haven’t even touched on a single move.
That’s because the fundamentals of breaking isn’t the moves.
The fundamentals of bboying is the music. And that’s true for any dance.
Without music, there can be no dance. No physical expression. No artistry.
To learn the dance, you need to learn the music. Learn what is old, what is classic and what is new and modern.
And enjoy your time grooving and jiving to it.
157 Bboy Tracks You Must Listen To Before You Die
This Playlist of Bboy Songs Will Make You Move Your Feet
DJ Lean Rock
DJ B Ryan
DJ Four Eyez
We’ve finally reached the first lesson, the first movement of the dance.
The Toprock is the upright portion of the dance. It’s where you step to the beat, play with your hands and just enjoy being groovy and cool.
6 Point Toprock
B.yu Video Series on Toprock Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Ynot’s Toprock Workshop
Before you can get into your footwork, you have to do what we call a transition.
A transition is some move or movement you do to change from levels to levels (e.g from toprock to footwork).
A get down (also known as a go down or a drop) is a method of transiting from your top rocks to your footwork.
Here are a few examples of the commonly used get downs you must know to change from the top level to the footwork level.
Coffee Grinder Get Down Tutorial
Knee Drop Tutorial
Cork Screw Tutorial
Indian Step Get Down
30 Drops in 60 Seconds
The footwork is mainly what differentiates us from other dances and sports.
Let’s be honest.
We are quite possibly the only dance in the world to have developed such sophisticated movements at this level.
The footwork is what it describes — doing moves using your legs and arms and creating patterns of movements that are unique to yourself and breaking.
Watch to see what I mean here:
How to Choose Your First Footwork Direction
Basic Footwork Mechanics
Keebz — Steps 1–6
How to Coffee Grinder
How to 2 Step
How to 3 Step
How to 6-Step
7 Conditioning Exercises To Improve Your Footwork
How to Instantly Improve Your Footwork
What is a freeze? A freeze is what it implies — you act like you are frozen.
It serves like a punctuation in your dance. Imagine the various moves and movements like the words in a sentence and the freeze a full stop.
That’s how a freeze is.
Sharp, and locked tight to (usually) signify the end of something.
How to Baby Freeze
How to Turtle Freeze
How to Chair Freeze
How to Shoulder Freeze
8 Freeze Conditioning Exercises
How to Make Your Freeze Sharp
This is the part you’re probably most excited about.
It is the most physically challenging — and rewarding part of the dance. Many of the moves here require you to practice harder than you thought you ever would, as well as get the particular technique right.
It is not surprising to see people take a few months to learn any one of these moves.
But do not be disheartened — because the rewards will be well worth it.
How to Swipe
3 Swipe Mistakes
How to Windmill
3 Windmill Mistakes
How to Flare
How to Backspin
How to Cricket
How to Halo
Remember I mentioned that transitions are ways for you to get from one level to the other? They are also ways to get from one move to another.
In fact, you can count them as moves on their own.
And here are some common transitions used by bboys (some bordering on difficult) to get from moves to moves.
How to Kip Up
How to Valdez
How to Grub
How to Backspin Kick Up
How to Coin Drop
You’ve finally reached the last chapter of the complete beginner guide to bboying.
By now, you should have a clear idea of what the fundamentals of bboying are — and where you should start.
And if you’ve been diligent, you would have already been practicing the moves listed above.
Once you get your fundamentals down pat, you are ready to develop it a step further — and create your own moves.
You do this by employing creativity.
Employing what we call concepts or mental models that you can apply to change up your dance and to switch up your moves.
And where can you get these concepts?
You can either 1) think of it yourself or 2) use concepts that have already been used by other bboys.
And here, you can choose from a variety of videos where some bboys have willingly shared their most ingenious concepts with you.
Concepts for Breaking
How to Flip a Dance Move and Not Bite
3 Original Ways to Create Moves and Movements
Roxrite’s Bboy Concepts
Korean Footwork Dictionary: Penny | Rhythm Gate | 2Touch | TinoRoc | Fleta | Knukl
How’s that for a guide?
Now, you no longer have any excuse to not know where to start. Just follow through the Chapters, consume the knowledge and practice everything inside.
And you’ll be well on your way to learn how to bboy.
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Originally published at breakdancedecoded.com on November 30, 2016.
B-boying | Dance Wiki | Fandom
in: Street Dance
- 1 Terminology
- 2 Dance elements
- 3 B-boy styles
- 3.1 Downrock styles
- 3.2 Power versus style
- 4 Music
The terminology used to refer to b-boying (break-boying) changed after promotion by the mainstream media. Although widespread, the term "breakdancing" is looked down upon by those immersed in hip-hop culture. Purists consider "breakdancing" an ignorant term invented by the media that connotes exploitation of the art and is used to sensationalize breaking. The term "breakdancing" is also problematic because it has become a diluted umbrella term that incorrectly includes popping, locking, and electric boogaloo, which are not styles of "breakdance", but are funk styles that were developed separately from breaking in California. The dance itself is properly called "breaking" according to rappers such as KRS-One, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC.
The terms "b-boy" (break-boy), "b-girl" (break-girl), and "breaker" are the original terms used to describe the dancers. The original terms arose to describe the dancers who performed to DJ Kool Herc's breakbeats. DJ Kool Herc is a Jamaican-American DJ who is responsible for developing the foundational aspects of hip-hop music. The obvious connection of the term "breaking" is to the word "breakbeat", but DJ Kool Herc has commented that the term "breaking" was slang at the time for "getting excited", "acting energetically" or "causing a disturbance". Most b-boying pioneers and practitioners prefer the terms "b-boy", "b-girl", and/or "breaker" when referring to these dancers. For those immersed in hip-hop culture, the term "breakdancer" may be used to disparage those who learn the dance for personal gain rather than for commitment to the culture. B-boy London of the New York City Breakers and filmmaker Michael Holman refer to these dancers as "breakers". Frosty Freeze of the Rock Steady Crew says, "we were known as b-boys", and hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa says, "b-boys, [are] what you call break boys... or b-girls, what you call break girls." In addition, co-founder of Rock Steady Crew Santiago "Jo Jo" Torres, Rock Steady Crew member Mr. Freeze, and hip-hop historian Fab 5 Freddy use the term "b-boy", as do rappers Big Daddy Kane and Tech N9ne.
There are four primary elements that form breaking. These include toprock, downrock, power moves, and freezes/suicides.
Toprock generally refers to any string of steps performed from a standing position. It is usually the first and foremost opening display of style, though dancers often transition from other aspects of breaking to toprock and back. Toprock has a variety of steps which can each be varied according to the dancer's expression (ie. aggressive, calm, excited). A great deal of freedom is allowed in the definition of toprock: as long as the dancer maintains cleanness, form and the b-boy attitude, theoretically anything can be toprock. Toprock can draw upon many other dance styles such as popping, locking, tap dance, or house dance. Transitions from toprock to downrock and power moves are called "drops".
Downrock (also known as "footwork" or "floorwork") is used to describe any movement on the floor with the hands supporting the dancer as much as the feet. Downrock includes moves such as the foundational 6-step, and its variants such as the 3-step. The most basic of downrock is done entirely on feet and hands but more complex variations can involve the knees when threading limbs through each other. Power moves are acrobatic moves that require momentum, speed, endurance, strength, and control to execute. The breaker is generally supported by his upper body while the rest of his body creates circular momentum. Some examples are the windmill, swipe, and head spin. Some power moves are borrowed from gymnastics and martial arts. An example of a power move taken from gymnastics is the Thomas Flair which is shortened and spelled flare in b-boying.
Freezes are stylish poses, and the more difficult require the breaker to suspend himself or herself off the ground using upper body strength in poses such as the pike. They are used to emphasize strong beats in the music and often signal the end of a b-boy set. Freezes can be linked into chains or "stacks" where breakers go from freeze to freeze to the music to display musicality and physical strength. Suicides, like freezes, are used to emphasize a strong beat in the music and signal the end to a routine. In contrast to freezes, suicides draw attention to the motion of falling or losing control, while freezes draw attention to a controlled final position. Breakers will make it appear that they have lost control and fall onto their backs, stomachs, etc. The more painful the suicide appears, the more impressive it is, but breakers execute them in a way to minimize pain.
Although there are some generalities in the styles that exist, many dancers combine elements of different styles with their own ideas and knowledge in order to create a unique style of their own. B-boys can therefore be categorized into a broad style which generally showcases the same types of techniques.
- Power: This style of b-boying is what most members of the general public associate with the term "breakdancing". Power moves comprise full-body spins and rotations that give the illusion of defying gravity. Examples of power moves include headspins, backspins, windmills, flares, airtracks/airflares, 1990s, 2000s, jackhammers, crickets, turtles, hand glide, halos, and elbow spins. Those b-boys who use "power moves" almost exclusively in their sets are referred to as "power heads" or power movers.
- Abstract: A very broad style of b-boying which may include the incorporation of "threading" footwork, freestyle movement to hit beats, house dance, and "circus" styles (tricks, contortion, etc. ).
- Blowup: A style of b-boying which focuses on the "wow factor" of certain power moves, freezes, and circus styles. Blowups consist of performing a sequence of as many difficult trick combinations in as quick succession as possible in order to "smack" or exceed the virtuosity of the other b-boy's performance. This is usually attempted only after becoming proficient in other styles due to the degree of control and practice required in this type of dancing. The names of some of the moves are: airbaby, airchair, hollow backs, solar eclipse, reverse airbaby, among others. The main goal in blowup-style is the rapid transition through a sequence of power moves ending in a skillful freeze.
- Flavor: A style that is based more on elaborate toprock, downrock, and/or freezes. This style is focused more on the beat and musicality of the song than having to rely on "power" moves only. B-boys who base their dance on "flavor" or style are known as "style heads".
In addition to the styles listed above, certain footwork styles have been associated with different areas which popularized them.
- Traditional New York Style: The original style of b-boying from the Bronx, based around the Russian Tropak dance, this style of downrock focuses on kicks called "CCs" and foundational moves such as 6-steps and variations of it.
- Euro Style: Created in the early 90s, this style is very circular, focusing not on steps but more on glide-type moves such as the pretzel, deadlegs, undersweeps and fluid sliding moves
- Canadian Style: Created in the late 90s, also known as the 'Toronto thread' style. Based upon the Euro Style, except also characterized by elaborate leg threads
Multiple stereotypes have emerged in the breaking community over the give-and-take relationship between technical footwork and physical power. Those who focus on dance steps and fundamental sharpness are labeled as "style-heads." Specialists of more gymnastics-oriented technique and form—at the cost of charisma and coordinated footwork—are known as "power-heads. " Such terms are used colloquially often to classify one's skill, however, the subject has been known to disrupt competitive events where judges tend to favor a certain technique over the other.
This debate however is somewhat of a misnomer. The classification of dancing as "style" in b-boying is inaccurate because every b-boy or b-girl has their own unique style developed both consciously and subconsciously. Each b-boy or b-girl's style is the certain attitude or method in which they execute their movements. A breaker's unique style does not strictly refer to just toprock or downrock. It is a concept which encompasses how a move is executed rather than what move is done.
The musical selection for breaking is not restricted to hip-hop music as long as the tempo and beat pattern conditions are met. Breaking can be readily adapted to different music genres with the aid of remixing. The original songs that popularized the dance form borrow significantly from progressive genres of jazz, soul, funk, electro, and disco. The most common feature of b-boy music exists in musical breaks, or compilations formed from samples taken from different songs which are then looped and chained together by the DJ. The tempo generally ranges between 110 and 135 beats per minute with shuffled sixteenth and quarter beats in the percussive pattern. History credits DJ Kool Herc for the invention of this concept later termed the break beat.
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Breaking Terminology Guide: Basic Styles
© Aliasgar Bharmal/Red Bull Content Pool
Time to learn the basic terminology of hip-hop's coolest dance from the pros!
Author Asel Shabdanova
Read 2 minPosted on
Few of us haven't heard or are not fond of breaking. The street dance of hip-hop culture, which was formed in New York in the 60s of the XX century, has grown to a global scale. This is a spectacular direction that combines complex acrobatic movements and demonstrates the excellent physical shape of the dancer.
Lil Zoo vs Killa Kolya – B-Boys Round of 16
B-Boys aus aller Welt treten an, um es ins
Three-time champion of Red Bull Bc One Cypher Kazakhstan and one of the best b-boys in the world Killa Kolya will talk about the main styles in breaking.
B-Boy Crazy Legs explains the importance of good footwork in breakdancing.
Top rock - a style that is danced at the top, without particularly spectacular elements - this is the dance itself to the music. The main factors that distinguish a good toprock from a bad one are the sense of rhythm, coordination and flexibility, and most importantly, style. Usually Toprock is used at the beginning of an exit, as a dance and initial show of his style. It serves as a transition to footwork or more acrobatic breaking elements.
Go down - how you go down to the main dance. There are a number of entries that are used to get to the bottom.
Break Advice - Lesson 03, Original Go Down
© Break Advice
Footwork is a style that is performed squatting on all fours. These are fast and dynamic foot movements.
Break Advice – Lesson 07, Footwork
© Break Advice
Floor rock is a style that is done down on your back or stomach. Similar movements as in foot work, but already lying down.
The Breakdown – Episode 6 – Power Moves
Making the impossible possible, power moves are the very foundation of the b-boy scene Cico and Lil G give us the breakdown.
Power move - this is the most spectacular and complex style, consisting of elements such as helicopter (gelik), turtle (turtle), headspin (rotation on the head), backspin (torsion on the back), etc. The basis of Power Move is the legs, which perform swinging movements in order to spin, the arms perform another function: to hold the body in a certain position, lower and raise.
The Breakdown – Episode 4 – Freeze & Tricks
Taisuke and Hong 10 breakdown the importance of freeze and tricks in a battle.
Freeze or freeze. Any stop in any figure can be a frieze. Freezing on the arm, head, elbow and other parts of the body is already considered as a more complex freeze element. Any freeze is always performed under an accent in the music to put an end to the dance.
Tricks - all kinds of tricks performed effectively and spectacularly. This includes unusual jumps or somersaults, as well as combinations of friezes in several actions.
In this articleAll series
I am a B-Boy or What does Break Dance mean to me.
I'm a B-Boy or What does Break Dance mean to me.
Two of our readers have written very interesting articles on "What Break Dance means to me." And now we want to share them!
Breaking is more than just a dance or a dance style, it is my soul, my thoughts, my mood. With it, I can relax and throw out energy and anger. If it wasn't for breaking, I'd be an ordinary guy. Thanks to him, I forget insults, conflicts and defeats. Some say: ''It won't do you any good! Who will you be in the future? How will you earn? '' And I will answer: Maybe I will not make much money for this, but I will be able to know myself better, learn to control myself, feelings and emotions. The future is ahead and we don’t know what will happen, we can’t affirm or set goals for the future, time will pass and everything will happen on its own, but all this is not without difficulty, and the break again taught me how to work. At first, breaking was like a regular section or a circle for me, but over time everything fell into place - this is one of the most important hobbies of my life and this is my love!
Author : Evgeny Zavyalov