How to flare dance

Step-by-step guide to the move

© Christian Poschner


B-Boy Flying Machine explains why this simple powermove is very important with tips on how to practice it, and what to avoid while doing it.

Written by Divya Naik

4 min readPublished on

Read this article in Hindi.

According to B-Boy Flying Machine, the flare is a classic powermove that all breakers should perfect.

It is an acrobatic move that is sometimes called the ‘Thomas Flare’ after its originator, Kurt Thomas. The move requires a lot of strength and many months to master, but it is one of the beginner level powermoves that most breakers should learn early in their dance journey.

For Flying Machine from Mumbai – a three-time Red Bull BC One Cypher India Champion and the first Indian to participate in the Red Bull BC One World Finals – the flare is a basic move he is able to combine with several other powermoves.

Flying Machine was recently part of the Red Bull BC One Local Hero Tour, conducting workshops in cities across India. Here he explains what it takes to perfect the flare, adds some pro tips, and also warns on how to avoid injury while practicing the move.

Flying Machine conducting a workshop in Guwahati

© Focus Sports


Understanding the flare

B-Boy Flying Machine says that every dancer has a base set of moves they would have practiced to the point where the move becomes second nature for them.

“For me, it is the flare. Powermoves are too dynamic and there have to be moves in between that give you a chance to recover your energy. The flare really helps me to centre myself again,” he says.

Flying Machine says he will drop a flare into his routine if he is losing momentum, taking time to think up his next move, or blacking out because of over exertion. He says the flare is a saviour and helps him easily transition.

A B-Boy doing flares

© Annika Wallis/Red Bull Content Pool


Basics for the flare

Flying Machine says it is important to work on your arm, leg and core strength before practicing the flare.

“Flexible legs are a plus, but hip flexibility is of utmost importance as that would allow you to rotate your whole body better,” he says, adding that swinging your body in circular momentum is the main element of the flare, hence hip flexibility being important.

Flying Machine suggests warming up your body properly to avoid injuries. Simple running can help warm up your body, and basic hamstring and butterfly stretches can help get your muscles and joints ready.

4 min

Flare fundamentals

B-Boy Lil G gives advice on how best to do a flare. He shows you how repetition and practice will help you.


Step 1

The starting position is the suplex where your hands are on the floor balancing the weight of your body. Your feet should hang just wide of your arms. Your hands should be pointing out at 45-degree angle.


Step 2

Kick your left leg around, towards your face. Simultaneously lift your left hand and swing it up over your body and under. As your left leg swings up and in front of you, naturally let your right leg follow in the same motion.


Step 3

As your right leg completes the rotation in front of you, your left hand should make contact with the floor behind you, and you shift your weight to your left hand. Continue the momentum of your legs, swinging them under your body and returning to the starting position. Keeping the momentum going and continuing the circular movement with your legs will let you keep doing multiple flares.

Flying Machine conducting a workshop in Pune

© Focus Sports


Pro tip to help you practice

Being able to do multiple flares is about keeping the circular movement going with your legs and shifting your body weight on your hands.

“You start the move by having one of your hands on the floor, pushing down on the floor and then continue maintaining the momentum with your other hand. No other parts of the body should touch the floor. I would suggest practicing planking to help build your core strength to maintain your momentum,” says Flying Machine.


Common mistakes to avoid

  • Don’t place your master hand (right hand in this tutorial) too far ahead, too far out or too far into your body. This will cause you to use more energy to bring your body in control and can also risk injuries.

  • Don’t kick outwards with your left leg. You are ideally looking for rotational or circular movement. Kicking out rather than around will through you off balance.




How to Flare – Breakdancing Ninja

A very cool move that is a sticking point for most breakdancing careers. Most breakdancers train until they can do half or one flare but do not put in the work to do continuous flares which places you in the advanced category. Flares are difficult because you have to be very good at a couple of things at the same time; strength, flexibility and technique.



Wrist / Forearms

You need handle your bodyweight on your wrists. Learning flares is harsh on your wrists and weak wrists get injured. This is the most common injury when learning flare and not all breakdancers overcome it. Get your wrists strong do these exercises:


Once your wrists can handle your bodyweight the next higher up muscle needs to support your bodyweight, your shoulders. I’ve previously covered shoulder strength so to summarize be proficient in handstands and handstand presses. If you don’t know what that is you aren’t ready for flares yet. Below is the shoulder training to be injury free and strong for flares.

Flare Exercises


Can be done on the ground, strive to hold your feet above your belly button. Do 10 second holds 3 times a week. This will strengthen your hip flexors so you can raise your legs high in the front position of flare.


Lack of flexibility limits your ability to perform the correct flare technique. This makes the move alot harder to perform, under rare circumstances bad flexibility can be compensated with great strength, however its harder to perform the flare this way and it doesn’t look good. You need enough flexibility to raise your knee your face and shoulder to get really clean flares.

Shoulder flexibility is overlooked in flares. You need to be competent at skin the cats so you have the shoulder flexibility to raise your hips high in the front part of the flare.


The best way to practice the flare is start double leg circle training with the bucket. This cuts the move in half. When you first start training there is a lot happening at once in the flare. Double leg circle training reduces what you have to think about so you can focus on hand placement, keeping your legs straight and pushing with your shoulders. This video shows double leg circles:

Once your hands and shoulders know what to do, the last step is controlling your legs. Your legs kick again and again in a flare at different times. You can practice leg control by trying the move, but this is the most frustrating way. You can practice parts of leg kicking with your butt on the floor, this is good for the front portion of the move in the beginning but not helpful as you advance. There is a flare drill for working the rear part of the flare that is real good and shown below.

The best way to work the legs is to use a flare trainer that holds your legs then you can perform many repetitions and learn the technique.

What isn’t mentioned in the video is the amount of time it takes to get flare. If you are a beginner it will take at least 6 months to get decent strength and flexibility. From there another 6 months to get enough repetitions to be able to do a few rounds of flare. This is the best case scenario and it is common for breakdancers to dabble in flares for years and not be able to do more than one or two.

Department of dance sport - Municipal budgetary institution "Sports school "Fakel" of the city of Chelyabinsk

Ballroom dancing is a group of various pair dances, some of which have folk origins. They were performed at balls, which were held in rooms covered with parquet. From the huge variety of both elite (historical and everyday) and folk dances, dances were included in the ballroom group, characterized by two features: all ballroom dances are paired and a man and a woman make up a couple.

"Ballroom dancing" currently refers to the phrases "sports dancing" (SBT, "sports ballroom dancing") and "dancesport". This is reflected in the names of various dance organizations, for example: "Moscow Federation of Dance Sports" or "Moscow Federation of Dance Sports". Throughout the dance world, dancesport competitions are divided into 3 programs: European (Standart or Modern), Latin American (Latin) and ten dances (“ten”). The European program includes: slow waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slow foxtrot and quickstep (fast foxtrot). In Latin American: samba, cha-cha-cha, rumba, paso doble and jive.

History and definition
The term "ballroom" refers to paired non-professional secular dances that originated in medieval Europe. These dances changed very much: any era of European history - Renaissance, Enlightenment, classicism, romanticism - gave rise to a kind of dance complex. Throughout European cultural development, ballroom dancing has been influenced by a wide variety of ethnic sources as well as professional dance. Ballroom dancing of the 20th century was formed on the basis of European dance, which at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries was breathed new life by African and Latin American musical and dance culture. The vast majority of modern ballroom dancing has African "roots", already well disguised by the technical processing of the European dance school.
In the 1920s in England, a special Council for Ballroom Dancing was established under the Imperial Society of Dance Teachers. English specialists standardized all the dances known by that time - the waltz, fast and slow foxtrots, tango. This is how competitive dances arose, and since then ballroom dance has been divided into two areas - sports and social dance. At 19In the 1930s-1950s, the number of standard ballroom dances increased due to the fact that five Latin American dances were added to them (in this order: rumba, samba, jive, paso doble, cha-cha-cha).
Now there are competitions in dancesport. Several programs have been formed: European, Latin American, biathlon (ten dances), European and Latin American sequoia (three-minute show to original music), European and Latin American formation (competitions of ensembles of 8 couples). Amateur world championships are held under the auspices of the WDSF (formerly IDSF), and professional ones are held under the auspices of the World Dance Council. English competitions continue to be the most prestigious in the world, in particular, the UK Open and the Blackpool Dance Festival. Another direction of competitive dance is the competition of mixed pairs Professional-Amateur (Pro-Am), this direction is especially developed in the USA and Canada.
In the United States of America, a peculiar national version of both some ballroom dances and competitions in them - "American Smooth", "American Rhythm" - is preserved.
The word “ball” came to Russian from French and comes from the Latin verb ballare, which means “to dance”. From a huge variety of both elite (historical and everyday) and folk dances, dances characterized by the following features fell into the ballroom group.
All ballroom dances are in pairs. The couple is made up of a gentleman and a lady, dancing in compliance with the points of contact. In the European program this contact is closer. It persists throughout the dance. In the Latin American program, the contact is more free, most often carried out due to joined hands and sometimes it can be either lost altogether or strengthened due to tension during the execution of figures. Since the performance of ballroom dancing requires certain skills and training, its popularity in society has declined over time. Twist's appearance at 19The 60s marked the end of pair dancing. Such dances as the waltz, tango, foxtrot, etc., actually ceased to serve for mass entertainment. A new page has been opened in the history of ballroom dancing.

Classification of dancers by skill level
H class (letter “H” means “beginner” or “zero class”) or SBT school of ballroom dancing. There are no competitions in this class, the class is included in the system of mass sports.
H-3 - starter class where slow waltz, cha-cha-cha and polka are performed. The set of elements is limited to the most basic movements[1]. H-4 is the next class in which only 4 dances are performed: slow waltz, jive, samba and cha-cha-cha. In H-5, a quickstep is added, in H-6 - the same dances as in the E class. There is a term "Hobby-class". It is applied to beginner adult athletes who would like to dance more dances and with a greater range of movements than beginner children. Often in this case, the organizers of the competition do not impose restrictions on costumes and elements performed at all. This Hobby class has a semi-official status.
E class: a sport class that can also be a starter class.
D class: to advance to the next class, you must score points in competitions.
C class: choreography not from the basic list of figures is allowed.
B class: athletes of this class get the opportunity to perform poses, lifts.
A class:
S class: From Zonder - "special" - is assigned by the decision of the Presidium of the national federation based on the results of the national Championship or Superiority.
M class: international class - the highest in dance sport.
Classification of dancers by age groups
• Beginners 5-7 years old - the oldest turns 6 years old and younger this year (by year of birth) P.S.: There are no official competitions for this group.
• Children 0 — the eldest turns 5-7 years old this year (by year of birth)
• Children 1 — the eldest turns 8-9 years old this year (by year of birth)
• Children 2 - the eldest turns 10-11 years old this year (by year of birth)
• Juniors 1 - the eldest turns 12-13 years old this year (by year of birth)
• Juniors 2 - the eldest this year turns 14-15 years old (by year of birth)
• Youth - the eldest turns 16-18 years old this year (by year of birth) year of birth)
• Seniors 1 — the youngest in the current year is 35 years old and older (by year of birth)
• Seniors 2 — the youngest in the current year is 45 years old and older (by year of birth)
The second partner in a couple can be younger than the lower age limit of their age category: in Children 2, Juniors 1, Juniors 2, Youth by a maximum of two years, in the category of adults by a maximum of five years.

Department of Dance Sports School "Fakel"

Dance sport department (ballroom dancing) has been open in our sports school since January 2011. The department employs highly qualified coaches, professionals in their field: Khaysarov Garifyan Galimyanovich - President of the Dance Sports Federation of the Chelyabinsk Region, judge of the international category IDSF, coach of the highest category; Urvantseva Svetlana Yurievna - judge of the FTSR of the All-Russian category, coach of the highest category; Andrievsky Lyudmila Rashitovna - dancer of the international category, judge of the FTSR of the second category, coach of the first category; Vasina Elena Vladimirovna – coach of the first category.

Our coaches conduct their training sessions on the basis of the beautiful, one of the best arenas in the country - the Traktor Ice Arena. Athletes and coaches are provided with two halls with a total area of ​​500 sq. m. Children involved in elementary training groups are just beginning to acquire their first skills in dance sports. They learn the basic steps and elements of ballroom dancing. For them, a program of phased training has been developed. Those children who do not yet enter the big competitions quarterly show their results in an open lesson to parents, coaches of our department and other older children. Participants of such attestation lessons receive impromptu conditional prizes not lower than the third, after which the working capacity and sports aspirations of children increase. Teachers and parents draw their own conclusions based on the results of such lessons. In the groups of the training stage, many have I, II, III adult sports categories, and some already have the title of "Candidate for Master of Sports". They successfully represent and defend the honor of our sports school at tournaments of various levels, including city, regional, all-Russian and international, take part in various Championships and Championships. The group of sports improvement is attended by the oldest guys who have received the title of "Candidate Master of Sports" or already "Master of Sports". The guys are playing at the highest level.

Torch from the ass - Dmitry (mitjaj) Martirosov

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Our dances originated in the English-speaking culture, and often there are contradictions or just funny situations, from incorrect translation. Let's say a simple word STEP - STEP, it would seem. But! Americans often use the word STEP to refer to what we call figures: Swing Out,...

Bad technique is not a Style

One day, Vaugre and Coplan were arguing about the then popular phrase: Bad technique is not a Style! Vogr's idea was: Any Style was once a Bad technique! There is a sound idea in this, but how can you still distinguish them, because not every Bad technique becomes a Style? And me then. ..

Chester and Jazz

I was late for Chester's class by five minutes, and they managed to learn a piece of the jazz routine. There were a few moves I knew, but there was one thing I couldn't figure out. It was all done to fast music, and Chester didn't explain much of anything. And every time on this...

Hustle is an exercise

The first time at the dance, I could not understand: why the continuation group dances in a completely different way. It turned out that Metelsky gave beginners Hustle as an exercise in rhythm, the basics of leading-following and just coordination. And then we switched to Single time boogie and...

Thinking is harmful

Blogger theperfectfollow's post about sexism in dancing was very popular. The first example was the council of teachers: LADIES, DON'T THINK, JUST FOLLOW. Say, it means that women are fools, but men can think. Not really! Thinking on the dance floor is harmful regardless of gender!...

Listen or hear

Somehow Fedya comes out of a lesson for absolutely beginners, I decided to joke: what new did I learn for the hundredth time from Lenart? And he’s like: no matter what time it is…. Teachers of this level say the same thing from lesson to lesson, they have a set of texts that they simply repeat. You...

Ksyusha Apozyants is an ideal partner for tricks

At one of the first Swingfests, Katya Avlasevich gave a master class on tricks with some St. Petersburg rock'n'roll player. For some reason, we ended up there with Ksyusha in a pair. I then danced with her friend Lena, and we did a lot of tricks. But we didn't know how to pancake. The lesson was so...

Donnie Burns tripped

At swingfest 2004 Fedya told me a story about Donnie Burns, which sounds very plausible, I don't know how true it is. Donnie Burns has been the champion of all ballroom dancing an incredible number of times, for many years in a row. All our dancers tried to copy it...

Stop, I'll do everything myself

I didn't have a partner, but Katya Avlasevich's partner disappeared somewhere, and we got into a pair - they didn't know the rotation then.

How much to hang in grams

No one knows "how much to hang in grams". .. The amount of information for each lesson or for a series of lessons is quite difficult to choose so that everyone is satisfied. Once, after a lesson on Carolina Shag, Pasha and Tanya asked if there was enough material or if more was needed. All...

Technique and vocabulary

Linguists often talk about aspects of language: phonetics, grammar, vocabulary, and so on. Social dances are very similar to languages. There is technique and vocabulary here, both aspects are closely related and each of them consists of its own aspects. A set of figures or footwork variations is...

Case management

Once upon a time, Fedya said in a lesson that if a girl has never seen a swingout, she will not fall for it, no matter how cool you are. There must be a precedent. And there is. There are basic figures that you need to know. But it is impossible to know all variations. Once they had a lesson with Nastya Murashko...

Whether to open windows

Before I started teaching, I was surprised that many teachers teach in sweaters and jackets. But then I noticed when you stop to talk, the warmed-up muscles cool down sharply and then start to hurt. The same thing happened before, just considered this state...

Fedya sorry

When all Lindy Hoppers in Russia knew each other by face and by name, Fedor taught his teammates that a partner should not wave his hand at once in a swingout... Such a characteristic movement of Frankie Manning. Just then, for some reason, everyone did it without really understanding why, and it often ...

Routine music

I don't like it when routine is put on mixed tracks. Usually we choose some worthy song, and it seems to me that no DJ can make a song better than the author who won a Grammy or somehow distinguished himself. And it's just a crutch for a choreographer who...

Social dance choreography

In social dances, this concept is a synonym for a previously invented bunch. Although in fact the meaning of the word is much broader. Now they are increasingly replacing it with the word routine - routine. Which I think is more accurate. Never liked this term - choreography - in relation to...

The only Count I know is Count Basie!

When Frankie Manning started teaching Lindy Hop at a dance school at the very beginning of the Swing revival at 90e, after his retirement from dancing and working at the post office, as he described in his book, he was often asked: "Is this figure 6 or 8 - is it 6 or 8 counts?" He is very...

We are from St. Petersburg - we do not stomp

I don't remember what year it was... It seems that it was a lesson from Lennart, and in the routine that he gave, it was necessary to stomp. It was dangerous to stomp in Casa Latina then - the disc with music was jumping. And Fedya just didn’t like it when they stomp, so he taught his people not to be elephants ....

Bluesnight in Herrang 2001

My first bluesnight happened in 2001 in Herrang. I did not know what Bluesnight was, but I heard such a bike. When people came to the hall for classes in the morning, some couple continued to dance. Everyone stood quietly along the walls, and only when the teacher came in and turned on his music...

Adequacy of refereeing

I came to dance in the fall of 1997, and I think in the spring of that year there was one of the first boogie-woogie competitions. The organizers did not know who to put in the judges - they decided to put the deputy director of this very Palace of Culture, it is clear, of course, that the aunt does not understand anything, but it was necessary ...

It would be strange if it weren't for...

One day, I received a letter from a friend. There was something like: - I'm 37, I've never danced, and now I'm going to you tomorrow for an open lesson. Cho something I piss ... what could be answered here? A man who didn't dance and lived in Russia for 37 years... It would be strange if he didn't...

Fifth interaction

The first bluesway took place in some kind of loft where there were a lot of installations - in a strange room with strange things. Ron and Sharon hung up a sign in the first lesson, with two men and arrows, which explained that in the blues there should be a connection with gender, music and ...

About changing attitudes towards dance styles

I usually teach lindy and boogie, but I've tried blues, balboa, vks, and carolina shag. All dances are the same, however, in each there is an emphasis on something different. And thanks to these accents, it is easier to present some common aspects using the example of this particular dance....

Oh, I forgot the words, I usually lie...

When I taught Ksyushich, preparing for the lesson, we made several versions of the program in order to take into account possible scenarios. And in order to be able to agree on a change in the concept already in the lesson, they decided to simulate sclerosis, so it will be more fun for the students. On...

Types of dance teachers

There are different dance teachers. There are talkers who explain everything in words. A silent person can be a narcissist or a bore. The first ones just show, and you repeat as best you can, usually it turns out completely different. The bore will stand next to you and silently repeat until you at least...

You should guess sometimes

In 2001 I visited Herrang Dance Camp for the first time. Lenart is teaching a lesson with Hannah (I think it was Lundmark), and they show some kind of variation. Suddenly a question from a girl from the audience: - How should I understand that I am being led to this particular variation, and not to some other one?...

Fake or make it

There is an expression: Fake it till you make it. This principle is often applied in social dance training, but the catch is that you can stop at a good fake and never do the right thing. Often people just pretend to lead and follow. All techniques...


Once upon a time, the Christmas camp introduced bracelets for level identification. Now this is the norm. So, the colors of the bracelets were chosen by the girls, and there was salmon! For me, it's pink, but it went to group A, plus it's not a question. And after the selections, everyone shared their emotions in ...

A plus no question

Once at a meeting of the Christmas camp orgs they were discussing how to organize the levels in order to avoid the negativity of the participants. Then they only tried to introduce selections at the beginning of the event. And there were a lot of tantrums: I've been dancing for a year already, I want to be in A, why am I in B? And here at the meeting someone ...

To dance or get married

In conversations about pair dances, the topic of acquaintance with the opposite sex often flashes. The other day, a marketing genius suggested the topic of advertising: if you want to get married - you should come to us! It seems to me that such a slogan will not be fair: there are much more girls here than boys, just like ...

To a bar or to a dance?

I have one “non-dancing friend”, I myself don’t know how it happened, we’ve known each other since the second grade . .. We go to bars to chat, he is surprised every time that I rarely go to bars, in fact, almost never without him: how Are you meeting girls or making new friends...

Dances for Introverts

- Why learn to dance? - First of all, it's beautiful, but it's not accurate or it doesn't matter... *** Have you ever experienced this? A neighbor at the counter in a bar or a colleague at a nearby computer, or in a smoking room, or in a cafe at lunch... In general, does someone... tell you something? And you can't get up...

Comfortable vs Habitual

Often in class, in response to: “it’s more convenient to do it this way”, I hear: “no! I feel more comfortable like this.” Here is an example. If you give a musical instrument into the hands of a person who has never studied music (like me, for example), he will somehow take it incorrectly and say that ...

No, just a "successful dancer"

I think it was 2004, there were less than 100 people at the Swing fest, but then it was a lot.

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