One of the most effective ways to improve your breaking is to seek advice from those who have achieved a high level in the art. We collected some great gems of advice to help you improve physically and mentally, to become the best dancer you can be.
I can’t do crazy moves, I’m just dancing
1. Kastet says to keep things simple
When Katest won the 2019 Red Bull BC One B-Girl Championship she was very honest when she said, “I can’t do crazy moves, I’m just dancing.” Her advice to up-and-comers is simple: “Make your moves creative and don’t just think that if you do crazy, big moves you’ll win.”
By becoming the second B-Girl to win the Red Bull BC One B-Girl title, Katest showed how powerful creativity and dancing is in breaking, especially when going up against opponents who love to throw crazy, difficult moves that not everyone can do.
2. Neguin recommends to master your technique
In one of his many workshops Neguin stressed how important it is for B-Boys and B-Girls to “take their time and get the right technique.” Neguin also said that getting correct technique will help a breaker feel more comfortable when performing their moves, and he gave two tests that B-Boys and B-Girls can use to check if they have the correct technique in a move:
“Can you do the move both ways when practising?”
“Is the move so easy for you that you can talk to someone while you’re doing it?”
Get inspired by the source and the real essence of breaking
3. How to stand out, according to Menno
Menno is known as one of the most original breakers on the scene.
“First get inspired by the source and the real essence of breaking, and then add your own twist to it,” he says. “Look up old-school breakers like Maurizio, Ken Swift, Crazy Legs, Storm, Swift Rock, Aktuel Force crew and New York City Breakers. Also be critical with yourself and really honest. If someone else is doing something similar to what you are practising, you need to say to yourself that you’re not going to do or use that anymore as it will make you look like everybody else.”
Final Battle: Wing vs Menno
Menno has used his original style to not only become one of the best breakers in the world, but to also become the only breaker to win the Red Bull BC One World Finals three times, showing his method towards originality is a tried and tested way of improving and standing out with your style.
You need to change up your routine in order for you to do something different
4. Lean Rock says you should practise with different music
The music you chose to practise to also plays a big part in helping to improve your breaking, as part of dancing is being as in sync with the music as possible, and is also about who can express the music best through their dance.
“New music is new inspiration,” says Lean Rock. “If you’re practising to the same thing over and over I feel you can kind of get stale with your movement. You need to change up your routine in order for you to do something different and I think new music helps with that a lot.”
5. Logistx advocates the help of a mentor
One of the most important components needed to improve your breaking is a teacher or mentor who can guide and educate you in the physical and mental elements of the art, as well as giving you honest and trustworthy feedback on your progress.
“Find people who’ll want to take you under their wing,” says Logistx, ” and really dedicate yourself to the craft and culture, as then you can find people who’ll want to guide you in the right way.”
If you crash it’s OK, just play it off, and just have fun
6. Victor wants you to get comfortable with pressure
Learning to deal with nerves and the pressure of competition is something all breakers realise is an important part of improving their dance.
“I watched a lot of Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, and a lot of other boxing stuff, and I took that mentality and put it into breaking. It makes you feel better and helps out a lot,” says Victor.
Round of 16: Victor vs Leony
“I just don’t listen to the expectations of others, I block them out, clear my mind and just kind of meditate. I say in my head, ‘Vic, calm down, you’re good, don’t worry. If you crash it’s OK, just play it off, and just have fun. If you crash just go to another move. That stage is yours.
“I am still nervous before every big competition. The hard battle is the first one because the mind is still with things outside of the dance. After the first battle, I am good.”
7. Ami wants you to be authentic and enjoy what you do
B-Girl Ami has won dozens of big competitions and is the first ever Red Bull BC One B-Girl World Finals Champion. She trains hard and brings a strong mentality to the dance floor whenever she battles, but in the end her advice is a simple reminder of one the most important aspects of training to improve in your dance, and that is:
Be yourself, do the thing that you want to, and enjoy it.
If you’re not enjoying what you do, and you can’t be yourself in it, you’re probably not going to continue to work hard at improving in the art that is your dance.