Although Breaking seems to be very complicated with all kinds of moves, there are some basics on which most is builded.
The basic top- and downrocks with which everything has started and which are the actual dance elements of Breaking, were more and more mixed with complicated and acrobatical freezes and moves to evolve the dance to a wider and higher level.
To give you an overview and some idea of the most common Breaking moves, we have built a B-Boying dictionary. Note that this Dictionary is about Breakin. Popping and Locking are totally different dance styles with further terms and expressions.
UPROCK (aka Brooklyn Rock)
Uprocking is a dancing fight, in which the dancers are very close but do not touch! Holding the rhythm and acting to and with the music is the most important thing. Nowadays this dance style is often mixed within the Toprock of B-Boys.
TOPROCK (aka Shuffle)
The dance, the basic upright footwork. It can be based on many different influences and is different in each individual. The transition from Toprock into Downrock is called the GODOWN.
DOWNROCK (aka Floorrock, Footwork)
The rythmic weaving of legs and feet in a circular motion back and forth low around the axis of the hand that is carrying the dancer’s weight. Performed with body close to floor.
Stopping all movement during any sequence of moves. Freezes are often executed from the most impossible positions so as to be another means of showing skills.
The name says it all. You spin around on your back. Spin is initiated through a circular drive of your legs in the direction you want to spin. All weight is balanced on the upper back, and your legs should be tucked close to body. The less of your body that touches the ground, the easier it is to spin fast.
You can get out of a Backspin by doing a POP OUT – pushing you up on your feet without using your hands.
Variations: Windmill, Neckmove, Bellymill, Munchmills, Tracks
This move is a continuous flow of circular motion that takes place in the upper back and shoulder area. When you spin on the ground turn on your hands then back to your shoulders keeping your legs in the air.
When you get better you can do the Continues Backspin without your hands by just pushing/hopping from shoulder to shoulder, or by using your head without hands. There are many different ways to place your hands in a Windmill as you are not using them anymore.
Only one turn of a windmill.
Instead of turning over your hands or head you turn over your belly.
MUNCHMILLS (aka Babymills):
Windmills with totally crossed and folded legs.
TRACKS (aka Halos):
Only the hands and your head (around which you spin) are touching the ground.
Variations: By spinning 2 or 3 times around without using your hands you are doing DOUBLES or TRIPPLES. When you are spinning your whole body in the air without touching the ground you are doing an AIRTRACK.
Variations: Sideglide, Fistglide, Elbowglide, Headglide, Donut
Similar in position and motion to floats, but differs in execution. All weight is balanced on one hand on the floor, with elbow bent and tucked under body, and with legs extended in the air. The circular motion is executed by pushing with free hand whenever necessary. Having your hand and elbow properly positioned in the center of your body and good balance is essential for this move.
You can vary the Handglide to the Sideglide where your body is facing sidewards. The elbow is lodge at the hip and the legs are one over the other.
Like Handglide but instead of turning on your hand you turn on your fist.
Like Handglide but you put the hand in your stomach and spin on your elbow.
Like Handglide but your head grinds on the floor (you aren’t anymore in a totally horizontal position, your balance point is a bit nearer to your head).
The difference to Headglide is that you put on your supporting-hand directly next to your head and you balance with your forearm and elbow. Because of the shorter radius more spins are possible.
Same motion as a hand glide, but hopping up and down on your wrists. You keep one hand in the middle and the other is used to help gain momentum by pushing.
One handed Crickets. Therefore you keep the balance without the help of your other hand.
Another pretty self explanatory move. You spin around on your head. From a headstand, split your legs apart, and drive them around in a circular motion using the same amount of drive in each leg. If you are balanced properly you will be able to spin on just your head, and should not need your hands at all, though you can use them to help start the spin and for balance until you can do this well.
(Variations: Chairstyle, Bowl, Pill, Drills, Countdown, Tutts, Double U, Slomo, Bicycle, Skrew, ..)
This move is done like Headspin but you spin on your elbow (and forearm) which is between your head and the floor.
Swirls are spins in the “elbowstand” (no support with your head).
ONE HAND 99 (aka 1990, 1999)
Variations: 2000, 2001
Basically this move is spinning around on your hand in a one-handed handspin. Start off from a handstand and drive your legs around, putting all of your weight onto the hand you want to spin on. Continue to spin by driving your legs around, using both legs equally to maintain balance. It is essential that the hand you are balancing on is directly underneath and in line with the center of your body.
Spin in the handstand on one hand but you use both hand for support.
Spin in the handstand on the back of one of your hands.
Spin of body performed down on the floor, facing downwards. Whole weight of body is balanced in the air only on hands There are several possibilities to do that motion by balance the weight of body on the elbows or not:
TURTLE (aka Tabletop)
With elbows bent and tucked under body for support, and with both legs raised off the ground. Rotation performed by remaining in this position spining around and transferring all weight from one hand to the other while using wrists to turn.
UFO (aka Buddha)
Same motion like Turtle but your body is in the air without any balance on your elbows. Your legs are further away of your body than your arms.
Like the UFO but your legs are between your arms.
Using your hands to support yourself, a single rotation of the legs around a horizontal plane. From all fours on your back, reach over your body with one arm, twist your body slightly in that direction, and plant your hand next to your hand that is still on the ground, but about a foot away, so that you will have enough balance. Spin your whole body in the direction of your hands, using the closest foot to push off, drive your outside leg up and around followed by your second leg (both feet leave the ground and rotate). If you push off hard enough, you should have no trouble rotating your body 360 degrees to end up back on all fours on your back.
You can do Swipes by using both feet to push you up or by using only one. You can cross your feet or you can do Swipes on your Elbows.
A further Variation of Swipes are the so called HEADSWIPES: A mixture between a Windmill and Swipes.
FLARES (THOMAS -)
Similar to the move performed by gymanists. Keep your hips high and at the same height , keep your legs spread, drive with the leg which is nearer the ground make fast changes in the front and in the back with your legs and your hip: the leg which was nearer the ground is after the change high in the air.
B-Boy drops to the ground from midair freeze, landing flat on their front or back, as if they have died.
Connected or/and executed movements done by several dancers together.