Breaking Down the Dance . Basic Moves For Your Next Battle

Every dance genre has essential elements that contribute to successful execution. Breaking is no exception to this universal dance truth.  Mastering the basics by breaking down the dance, is a critical first step to becoming truly battle ready.   

Top rocks 

Every breaker begins with the basics by standing on two solid feet before dropping down to the next level.  Foundational and essential, top rocks become battle worthy when unique and creative twists are taken in their execution. Top rocks promote playfulness, showcase musicality and harness the energy of the crowd as the gateway to all things breaking. 

F is for Footwork 

What does your footwork say about you?  Do you consistently produce distinguished shapes and positions with originality?  Is your balance coupled with enough strength and precision to truly set you apart from the rest? While footwork might be considered foundational, it’s really so much more than that.  Bboy Ken Swift said it best. “The most important thing is footwork. If you take footwork out of the Bboy equation, you don’t have Bboying.”


F is also for Freeze. 

Nothing seems to get a stronger reaction from the crowd than the sudden arrest of movement like a musically enhanced freeze. Freeze combos don’t just stop the dancer, they suck the oxygen out of the air for just a split second so that everyone in the moment shares the same sensation. Suspending the crowd and the dance enhances any battle performance. How  will you freeze the room at your next jam? 

Power Moves 

Explosive, palpable, combustible energy that applies speed and control are the elements of power moves that facilitate the flow and progression of a killer breaking combo. Flares, head spins and windmills require serious training and significant strength.  Make sure you are working in enough conditioning to secure the difference between classic execution and partial proficiency. 


Go Downs 

We’ve all seen the awkward transitions. Avoiding them by mastering the go downs can make or break a battle. From simple to complex, go downs transition the dancer from top rocks to footwork through smooth level changes, promoting the move and the groove.  What do you know about your transitions and how they impact the flow and energy that keeps your routine moving seamlessly forward?


Breakin’ is about real dancing, period. Tricks are entertaining but are a small part of a true dancer’s repertoire. Tricks are controversial and can be thrown in for flare and originality but should be used with caution or else you might just look like an over enthusiastic gymnast grooving to the music. 


An appreciation and study of the basics can make all the difference between the bgirls and bboys who win battles and those who hover at the edge of the cypher.  Spend some time investing in the core moves; building your foundation will only serve to enhance your performance in the end. 


By Polli Ring

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