If you think you’ve seen the best dance moves, then think again. Breakdancing utilizes elements of martial arts, gymnastics, and even yoga. Today, break dancers, better known as Bboys or Bgirls, have pushed the limits of the human body to the point of almost defying gravity. Straight from the underground dance scene, get ready to witness the top 25 craziest breakdance moves!
We start with the most recognizable move- the windmill. Originally borrowed from Kung fu, this move was used to spring up from the floor without using your hands. Now, the move has evolved into a continuous motion in which the dancer can perpetually rotate around his or her upper body. You can use your hands, forearms, elbows, or head to propel your momentum. The variations are endless!
Warning: Do not do this move on concrete… for obvious reasons. The headspin is probably the most iconic and most unnatural move in breakdancing. Although its origins are derived from capoeira, Kid freeze has claimed to have invented the ‘continuous headspin’. Today, the move has been mastered by bboys around the world. In fact Bboy Aichi, from Japan, holds the Guiness World record for 135 rotations in 1 minute.
You’ll come to find that many bboy moves do not actually look exactly like they sound. Such is the case for the jackhammer. This move may look impossible, but it’s actually just a matter of manipulating balance. It utilizes a technique called “stabbing, in which you support your entire bodyweight by placing your elbow on the stomach at a 90 degree angle. With the proper set up and a little leg push, the jackhammer is born.
Beginners, do not try this move without proper training and supervision. The headslide is an unnatural move and requires a lot of strength and support from the neck muscles. Just keep one thing in mind when doing this move: make sure you have hair.
This move is new. In fact, it’s so new, I had to make up a name for it. The ‘baby’ comes from a baby freeze, one of breakdancing’s most basic freezes. Basically, you quickly move in a circle while in this freeze. Not many bboys consider this a typical powermove yet, but it sure is becoming popular.
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This move originated in Capoeira, a traditional Brazilian martial art. Both hands push off the ground while the legs kick back and forth in a scissor-like motion to a simulate hopping. This may be a surprise, but holding a one-hand handstand isn’t a prerequisite. The key to this move is the ‘push and catch’ of each hop. As long as you master this, you can simply redistribute balance for a split second in between each hop before pushing off again.
Borrowed from gymnastics, this move requires a lot of upper body strength, relying on the arms, back, and core. Basically, the legs move in a circle around the body without touching the ground. The wider the legs are, the easier it is to carry momentum and to keep the hips high. So, just a helpful hint: having a wide straddle split will make this move a whole lot easier.
If you performed this move 20 years ago, people thought that you could defy all laws of physics. But today, it is regularly practiced powermove. It originated from doing a flare with the body almost inverted and hips exceptionally high. A little hop when traveling from hand to the other is what makes this move extraordinarily different. There are many variations, from keeping the legs piked together to catching with the forearms. It’s such a beautiful move that even gymnasts have begun adding it into floor routines.
Buddha spins are another recently invented move. People used to think this move was athletically difficult. Yet, it is becoming more and more common for bboys everywhere. You actually shift your body weight from one hand to the other. The hands control the rotation while the core is kept tight throughout the entire move.
Another gymnastics based move, the deadman float relies on momentum more than strength. The prerequisite is the UFO float, a similar move where the knees are bent and closer to the arms. However, the deadman is different because it takes a lot more core strength. Imagine doing a planche, but instead of holding the position you move your entire body in a circle. Sounds difficult right?
Instead of using the palm of the hand to support your weight, someone thought it was a good idea to use the entire forearm instead. You get slightly better balance, but the shoulder now absorbs more shock. As depicted above, variations can make this move look really cool.
This move is an illusion. Instead of both hands being flat on the ground, one hand supports all of the weight. While spinning on the palm of this supporting hand, the other hand is placed conveniently on top. You need two things in order to maintain momentum- one is a strong set-up initiated by the swinging of the legs and the other is a stable handstand in order to stay in the upright position. To generate even more momentum, bboys tighten the core and gradually bring the legs together.
The name of this move comes from the ‘V’ shape made by keeping the legs afloat. You need both quad muscle strength and a lot of hip flexibility to support your weight on your hands while bending forward. Speed is what makes boomerangs dynamic. So, most bboys use other powermoves to transition into this one.
Have you ever wondered what ballerina pirouette looks like upside-down? Well, wonder no more. The 1990 is a spinning one-handed handstand. Bboy Cico is famous for cranking out these spins almost effortlessly. In fact, he holds the world record for 27 spins.
Air Chair Spins
The air chair is exactly what it sounds like. But instead of “sitting” on an actual chair, you hold your body up with one hand while in mocked seated position. If you transition into this move from a windmill with enough momentum, you get the air chair spin. Some bboys like to wear a smooth cloth or glove covering the palm to maintain momentum.
Leonard graduated with a B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Florida, and is currently a pharmacy student. Amongst being a student and worker, his hobbies include fitness, breakdancing, yoga, reading, memorizing, and learning. While he plans to complete a residency and become a hospital pharmacist in any field relating to nutrition or diabetes, his life-long goals include optimizing mental, physical, and social health and implementing this mindset in practice.