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?
Understanding the Language of Bboying: Terminology
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.
The Fifth Element of Hip Hop : Knowledge
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.
Music: All The Songs You Need To Know As A Bboy
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.
Groove, Rock and Exude Style With Toprock
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.
Change Levels Quickly With Get Downs
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.
Mastering Your Footwork Fundamentals
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:
Freezes: Adding A Full Stop To Your Dance
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.
Power Moves: The Athletic Aspect Of The Dance
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.
Switching Up From Move to Move: Transitions
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.
Innovate Your Own Style and Personality Using Creativity
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.
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.