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Breakdance: B-boying

B-boying
What is a b-boy you ask? A b-boy stands for boys that break. "B-boy" was the original term for urban style dancers, though "breakdancer" is now better-known because it has been used more commonly by the media. B-boy & Breakdancer - most people think both mean the same thing, but they aren't. A breakdancer is someone who breaks, but doesn't know anything about the culture itself, and doesn't care about it. A b-boy is someone who breaks, but at the same time, they stay true to the culture, and have respect. B-boying is an art form, not just a dance, or an extracurricular activity.

It is believed that "breakdancing" implies some form of bodily injury, which does seem more likely, but in reality is not, should you take the appropriate steps. Breakdancing is NOT inherently dangerous to your body.

There are series of elements using which in appropriate order one can learn how to do breakdance. Breakdancing incorporates a wide variety of funky and impressive moves that can vary.

Footwork is what you mostly see how some b-boys start off. Some either do footwork throughout the whole thing, and end it with a freeze, or do footwork to get momentum for the power they are getting ready to bust. Those are the two main ways b-boys use footwork. When you think of footwork, you also think of style, simply because style is more common with being incorporated with footwork, than power, and freezes, although they can be easily be in all.

Footwork is when the b-boy starts walking his legs on the floor (hard to explain). The most basic, and most heard of footwork move is the 6-step. There isn't as much footwork move since it has more style. The amount of style, and made up moves people have in footwork, is too much, and somewhat too complicated to be made a move. That is why there are very few footwork moves, which include: 2-step, 3-step, 4-step, 6-step, helicopter, sweeps, and pompo. Those may not be all of them, but it is the majority of them.

There are many other types of steps, most of which you can pick up by watching professional b-boys in videos. It is OK to copy steps when you start out, because you will probably start adding your own bit of flair to them as you progress. Do you know who biter is? A biter is simply someone who bites, copies (almost exactly) a move from someone else. But of course nowadays it is very hard not to bite, since so much has already been done.

Everybody has their own variations of an uprock, and there is no such thing as a standard uprock. It simply a little dance where you are hopping around or jumping around moving side to side. Some people just stand in one spot and just hop for a couple of seconds until they feel that their ready to get down. Uprocks really aren't that important, create your own variations. The more interesting your uprock is - the better. However, avoid making an uprock that's similar to a subtle dance routine.

Toprock and Uprock don't really have their own category since there's just not enough of it. But it is one of the most important factors of b-boying. It is for starting your circle, or getting ready to bust your move. But truly this is where most of the style goes. This is your dance. The dance you do without getting down on the floor, without flipping around, and without standing on your arms. Toprock is still different than Uprock, but not in many ways. It is mostly different, because Uprock is truly a completely diff. form of dancing, out of b-boying. Toprock is how a b-boy or b-girl introduces his/her set. It frequently includes elements or influences from uprocking and other street dance styles.

Drops are techniques that allow breakdancers to transition down to the floor and begin performing downrock. Drops may be designed to look flashy, painful, or both. A wide variety of other movements can serve the same purpose, and others such as the kip-up can work in reverse, moving the breaker up from the floor. There's "knee drop" (breaker kicks himself down onto one knee), "sweep drop" (breaker sweeps one leg in a flashy arc while dropping), "coin drop" - a momentum-building move similar to a windmill).

Now about Common Downrock Moves (Downrocking is also known in the breakdancer environment as "Boing Oing"): Downrock is a series of steps you do with at least one of your hands on the floor. The most common of these series is the "six-step." There are three categories, freezes, power, and blow-ups. Freezes are what you should start with. Power is what you see gymnasts do, aka all the spinning moves. Blow-ups are just the miscellaneous rolls, extensions and hops that define you as a b-boy.

Power is what you would probably see on television more than anything else of the aspect of b-boying. Power are moves that involves skills, and knowing the basic concept of the move. The most common powers are: Windmills, Flares, Headspins, and Swipes.

Spins form an integral part of many breakers' routines, while others eschew them in favor of more complex-looking moves. It is possible to perform a spin on virtually any part of the body, but bare skin often causes painful friction with the floor. To solve this problem, many breakers employ pieces of cloth or wear long clothing, pads, or caps. When the dancer uses his hands to aid in speeding up the spin, it is called tapping. A dancer may tap for a few rotations and then glide for as many as 15 rotations.

Back Spin - a spin with a portion of the back in contact with the floor and the body clenched into a ball. Butt Spin - a spin with the butt in contact with the floor and the body clenched into a tight ball. Elbow Spin - similar to a 1990, this is a spin on the elbow with the body balanced in an invert position. Hand Glide - a one-handed float in which the breaker spins on the one hand. The free hand usually pushes off to begin the rotation. This move is a combination of a float and a spin.

Here are those basic moves and some of their description:

Six Step - It is the foundation downrock move of breakdancing. Start with both knees bent, you are almost sitting but your butt is off the floor, and you have both hands down on the ground. From here, lift your right hand and swing your right leg around so the bend of your right knee wraps around your left ankle. Next move your left leg back to directly behind you and straight, where you would put it if you were going into a push-up position. Now move your right leg behind you so that you are in a push-up position, except your legs are a little spread out. Now lift your right hand and bring your left leg to where your right hand had just been placed. Now bring your right leg into the crotch of your left knee so that your right kneecap is in the bend behind your left knee. Finally move your left leg back to the position you started in, the squatting position.

Hand-spin - This is another relatively simply move. This move involves a lot of balance so it may take some time for you to be able to do it well. This move is performed by tucking your left elbow into your stomach with your fingers pointing to the left side. Now you should use your right hand to spin yourself on your hand. In order to decrease the amount of friction between your hand and the floor you should use a glove or something like a kneepad/elbowpad placed over your hand also works well. The balance takes time and practicing.

Swipes - The Swipe is one of the most recognizable power - the breaker leans back, whips his arms to one side to touch the ground, and his legs follow closely behind, twisting 360 degrees to land on the ground once again. Swipe has many variations. It started from the crab position which is with your arms behind you on the floor, your legs in front, your stomach pointing to the ceiling, but not arched, and your knees bent. From here (this is for a swipe going to right, for left switch everything) throw your left arm across your body so it lands on the opposite side of your body about a foot or two farther away from your body then your right arm. Now throw your legs into the air and allow them to untwist themselves. If you did it right when you land you will be in the same position you started from. The body should naturally untwist itself, if you are having problems try to help your body along. The hard part of this move is connecting the swipes. There are two ways to do this move. The first involves having both legs on the ground when you land, and the second has only one leg on the ground, the other elevated off the ground stretched straight out. With the one-legged you should try to rotate around the elevated leg and end up with the same leg elevated as you started with. Also this move should not require much room, if you are moving over try adjusting your hand position.

The Windmill (or briefly Mill) is one of the most well-known power moves in breakdancing. The breaker rolls his torso continuously in a circular path on the floor, across the upper chest/shoulders/back, while twirling his legs in a V-shape through the air. There are several windmill variations that have earned a name of their own. Most involve placing the hands in different positions for style, since the hands are not essential if a stab is not employed.

The float is a balance - intensive breakdance move in which the body is held parallel to the floor while balancing on one or both hands.

The Flare (sometimes called "Thomas" after Kurt Thomas) is a higher-difficulty-level breakdancing power move borrowed from gymnastics. The breaker supports his body with his arms and swings his legs around his stationary torso in continuous circles.

Kicks are the moves that generally constitute one-handed handstands with the legs and free arm in some stylish position. Kicks can be executed quickly and powerfully to impress onlookers or they can be employed as freezes (held as long as possible). Kicks are often named after letters or symbols whose form they imitate: G-Kick (the free hand grabs either foot, which is bent backwards so the back forms a G shape), K-Kick (the free leg is held vertical, with the free arm held flat along the side, the standing leg is held straight at an angle like the letter "K"), L-Kick (the legs are together in a 90 degree angle at the side of the body), Nike (the free hand touches the straight free leg's toe while the standing leg is bent, mimicking the Nike sign), V-Kick (the breaker jumps back onto both hands and kicks his legs in front in a V shape). The hand used for the stand is the "standing hand" and the leg on the same side of the body is the "standing leg." The other pair of appendages is the "free" hand and leg.

Turtles - these moves are useful in freezing and help develop muscles for most difficult moves in the future (this move should be mastered before trying: flares, crickets, and other moves that require upperbody strength).

A suicide is a sudden drop to a breakdancer's butt, back, belly, etc. They are frequently employed as finishing moves. Ideally, suicides are very flashy and painful-looking moves. They usually end with the breaker perfectly still, enhancing the image that he has injured himself. Despite appearances, different training and techniques are used to minimize the pain of suicides.

Freeze are what you see when someone gets into a certain position and holds it. It may not be held for at least 2 seconds, but it is still a freeze. This category can have style just as well as power and footwork.

1990's/2000's - are spinning power moves, these moves are pretty easy if you can walk on your hands. They are really good in a battle when you are tired and you need to keep with the pace.

Flares - This move is hard, it requires a lot of upper body strength and momentum, but its well worth it because they look really cool.

Popping - these are body illusions type dancing like "the robot" "Moon walk" "Wave"

Headspin - is not a simple move to learn and it takes time and practice to get. It involves spinning on your head, and only your head. The body is balanced vertically with only the head in contact with the floor. Thus this move is also dangerous since all your weight is placed on your neck. People very rarely do get hurt.

All these steps are merely guidelines for beginners, and once you are fluent with these, you will begin developing your own forms and your style. Style is the way you dance, the way you move. It is a unique way people express himself or herself through the dance. Be creative, and be yourself. Don't forget, the floor is yours once you step on it, so do anything and everything you want to do while you are on it.
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