There are no fat b-boys.
Ok, there is this one guy. But seriously, nearly all breakers have ridiculous bodies.
Breakdance is like gymnastics or ballet — it’s just not physically possible to do what we do unless you are in a least good to very good physical shape. B-boying just puts so many demands on your body that there’s very little room for excess weight or lack of muscle tone.
I’m very much a beginner b-boy, and I’m in better shape than I have ever been in my life. Which as a 38-year old dancer and former martial artist is saying something.
It’s kind of ridiculous what breaking demands of your body.
involves complicated dance patterns that "set the stage" before you are
actually breaking. Toprock is the easiest aspect of breaking to pick up, since you are still on your feet at this point. Still, it is extremely aerobic and complicated to learn to do well.
Entering into a break pattern often means leaping
into the air and catching yourself before you hit the floor (i.e. a dolphin or bronco move). Then you
are on the floor, executing some break move, swinging your legs around as you engage your
core and hold yourself up with your hands, all in time to the music. This might last for under 30 seconds, but it’s the longest 30 seconds of your day.
The Windmill is the essential move every true b-boy must know. It that
involves swinging your legs around in a V-formation, which propels the
rest of your body around in a rapid but tightly controlled manner.
I’ve been almost a complete failure at it after several months of
Then there are the freezes. Pulling off a successful freeze involves
balancing for as long as you can your entire body weight onto a single
hand or elbow or head. It’s often what you see pictures of on movie posters and advertisements that feature breakers. It’s the punctuation of the dance, the move that gets the crowd cheering. And it’s hard as hell.
What is wonderful and scary about breakdance is that it meant to push the boundaries of what you thought was possible with the human body. You are attempting to briefly defy gravity, physics, and good judgment before a crowd of onlookers. Oh, and no matter how hard what you are doing is, your exit has to emphasis how extremely easy it was. You have to walk out of the cipher or battle zone looking like it was absolutely no sweat.
But trust me, no matter how bad-ass some b-boy looks, it’s A LOT of sweat.