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Breaking (breakdancing) is notorious for submerging from the streets of lower end neighborhoods, practiced on cardboard boxes or linoleum pieces back in the day. Many b-boys (break boys, breakdancers) attribute their entire slew of skills to the rudimentary style of intense training, strongly admiring the relationship between boom box and concrete. Nowadays, there are other methods to reaching expressional freedom. Considering the plethora of classes offered to provide America with interesting forms of exercise, it's not surprising that breaking has left the streets of New York and entered onto the polished hardwood floors of dance studios.
There is a common belief that someone interested in joining .Breaking 101. should already be in great shape, possessing strength, flexibility, and the ability to endure strenuous exercise. This notion, though well intended to prevent injury or more exertion than a beginner student can handle, can delay and even prevent an eager student to learn. The truth is, if taught the right way, breaking will afford any student the opportunity to build the necessary tools to graduate into a stronger, more fit individual, and ultimately into a real b-boy.
Beginner's classes should begin with the foundation of breaking: toprock (vertical dance moves that allow a b-boy to express himself while rocking to the beat) and footwork (the groundwork foundation that takes expression to the floor, beginning with the most important: six step.) They should also entail some simple exercises and stretches to begin building strength, agility, flexibility, and a more intuitive understanding of one's body. Though this in and of itself will be very grueling for the average Joe, this is the best form of introducing the body into such an extreme level of physical fitness. It is necessary to set the correct expectation that taking these classes will no doubt leave you sore, and quite possibly in moderate pain for days to come, as this art form is unlike many others and utilizes muscles many people are unaware they even have. While toprock can work up a great sweat and cause some tiredness, footwork takes this exercise to another level, typically cramping the lower half of the body and bruising the palms of one's hands within mere minutes. Pains such as shin splints, bruising or lactic acid buildup shouldn't come as a surprise, nor should deep muscle fatigue. A good teacher acknowledges these anticipated unwelcome visitors and adamantly reminds new students to practice at their own pace and take breaks when necessary. This is pertinent in one's progression. In an adverse scenario, if a student is diligently motivated to push past his physical capacity, he can actually set back his training by breaking down his muscles to the point of needing timely healing, or even injuring a part of his body.
Once overcoming the shock of breaking's introductory teachings, an apt pupil can look forward to consistently training in this manner for quite some time, allowing the exercises to build up the strength and extended capacity to move to the next level: freezes and eventually power. Within weeks, even one who has never experienced the familiarity of rhythm will begin putting pieces of the foundation taught from these breaking classes into combinations of creativity and self expression.
For those who stick to regular class attendance, the results will be invigorating. Newfound energy, a mental openness, core-deep strength and bodily control are amongst the positive signs that breaking is becoming an integral part of one's life. B-boys in training will enjoy a slimmer, more toned body, a more active imagination, and an excitement to continue learning. Ultimately, breaking class will guide its students from beginning to no end, and encourage the continuance of further self evolution, physically, mentally, and even spiritually.
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