Breakdancing moves for beginners

Hey, I'm Emeroy and if you'd like to learn a few breakdancing moves suitable for beginners, you've come to the right place.

A lot of people think breakdancing is pretty difficult when in reality it's fairly simple.

In this page, I'll be showing you how to create a simple combination of moves using top rocks and a simple freestyle formula you can use with any video you find on YouTube.

When it comes to breakdancing  moves, it's just a combination of many pieces being strung together.
But you'll see all these b-boys or b-girls doing flashy moves and tricks, and it makes sense to feel like it's not something for you. Or you say things like "I'll just fall over" as an excuse to not try.

Like many other dance classes, if this is your first time taking a class, it's normal to feel a little dumb with your coordination.   With breakdancing, you're going to find yourself moving in ways you never would have imagined and be amazed that you somehow accomplished it.

Breakdancing teaches you the art of not only dancing and self-expression, but the ability to push your body in ways you've never moved.

I like to think of it as a language.

You're putting a lot words (moves) together to create a sentence (your freestyle). How you deliver that message or sentence depends on how you feel and vibe with the music (character and concepts).

Learning how to breakdance is simple, just not easy.

For example, a top rock is a type of breakdancing move. It's the part of the dance where you're dancing on just your two feet.  Just within top rocks there are many types dance moves: indian step, kick and twist, apache, salsa step, hustle step, outlaw step, etc.

I'll be showing you how to create your own top rock combination in a little bit, but do you see how this can get overwhelming?

The reality is, you don't need to know a whole lot of moves to have a good top rock.  For beginners, you only need to know maybe 2-3 different types of top rocks and just practice mixing them around.

I personally use 3 top rocks with multiple variations: indian step, kick and twist, and salsa rocks.

Follow my Breakdancing basics moves now for some great tips and tricks to get you started…

Breakdancing moves for beginners - the warm up

OK, now you've warmed up like a pro, time to get dancing.  In the video below I'll cover not just the fundamental breakdancing moves, but I'll teach you a bit about dancing to the music, too.

B-boying moves: six step, arm wave, top rocks and more

Check out a few more moves on my YouTube channel How to Breakdance for Beginners

Breakdancing top rock combination moves

Depending on how you use these moves, you can mix them up in a way that it looks like you're doing a lot at once.

For example: in one top rock combination it can consist of moves such as the indian step, kick and twist, and a salsa rock.

An example of how you can put them together might look like this:
1 eight count of indian step, 1 eight count of salsa rock, 1 eight count of kick and twist.

This is great to start understanding pattern, technique and syncopation with the music, but it gets predictable and repetitive. This pattern or combo is recommended for first timers.

A much more complex combination will look more like this:
2 counts of salsa rock, 4 counts of kick and twist, and 2 counts of an indian step.

This is great because you're adding variety within the span of an eight count. This is where you get to start making those 3 moves you just learned look like more than what they are. This is recommended for those who've at least practiced some of these moves for 3-4 hours in total.

It's a matter of understanding how to flow in and out of each move because the moves by themselves are easy.

I believe anyone can learn this dance quickly depending on how engaged and determined they are to learn it. In my class my students learn an average of 5-6 moves with 1-2 different combinations and a freestyle at the end.

Whether it's their first time or not they're always challenged to learn as much as they can so they can put it to practice. Towards the end of the class, they're always given an opportunity to practice what they've learned on their own. This is where they take the thinking part of the dance and just put it into action.

You can watch and learn 3-4 moves from my videos and just keep repeating. Repetition is key when it comes to understanding the move and flow. Partner that with some feedback, and your progress can go twice as fast compared to someone who isn't getting feedback.

What's the quickest way to progress your breakdancing moves?

My biggest mistake when I first started was that I wanted to learn everything and I only ended up looking good at nothing. One of my mentors shared with me his practice method which was just practicing one move at a time.

The quickest way to progress in learning how to breakdance is to not do everything all at once. Just focus on a small set of moves (or one move) at a time.

There are a lot of moves and tricks out there that many of you may want to do.  Give it time.

B-boying freestyle

If you're learning how to put a freestyle together, just pick the few breakdancing moves that you like and then work with that.

A simple formula that I like teaching my students is (this is assuming that they have a little knowledge of the dance already)
2 Top Rocks + 1 Transition Move + 2 Footwork Patterns + Freeze = Simple Freestyle Formula

This formula is only effective if you have already practiced these moves for more than just 20 minutes. This means you understand what the move looks and feels like. This won't work that well if you don't even know what a top rock is.

When it comes to an absolute beginner, pick one move, work on it for a good week and then move on to another one. Spreading yourself too thin and focusing on too much at once won't result in a great dance.

If you're practicing at home this is what it may look like.

  1. 1 hour a day of practicing top rocks for a week. 20 minutes indian step, 20 minutes kick and twist, and 20 minutes salsa rock.
  2. 1 hour a day of practicing transitions and foot work for a week. 20 minutes transition move, 20 minutes C-Cs, 20 minutes Six Step.
  3. 30-40 minutes a day practicing a freeze for a week. Baby Freeze
  4. 1 Hour a day putting it all together for a week. 15 minutes top rocks, 15 minutes of transition and footwork, 15 minutes freeze, 15 minutes using the formula mentioned above.

And finally...

When it comes to learning how to breakdance, I understand how it can be intimidating at first because there are so many levels in this dance.

At first you're on your two feet, then you're on the floor, then you're on your back, and then you're holding your body up on a freeze.

In reality it's just a combination of moves weaved into one dance. Like I said, it's easy just not simple. You can learn the moves and the technique. The challenging part is learning how to create the dance into something that's your own. People get scared of this because they need to learn how to trust themselves without the guidance of an instructor or choreographer.

If it's one thing that I can give you from this it's to be open to it and to have fun. If you're too caught up with looking good or getting the move perfect, then you're robbing yourself the joy of the dance. You may not look or feel like you're doing it right the first time, but the fact that you're doing it is 100% more effort than anyone else who says "I would like to do that" but doesn't even try.

Now, if you're ready to progress and go a little deeper with learning your breakdancing moves, have a look at

  • the history of b-boying and what breakdancing music is best
  • find the answers to all your b-boying questions in my breakdancing basics section
  • or get my full 'How to Breakdance for beginners' course
Click to visit my Emeroy site
› Breakdancing moves