Just had a fun practice session with some of my fellow breaking students at PMT Studios. We are getting to the point where we have enough of an initial vocabulary and confidence that we can try out new moves on our own and have our own unique styles and strengths. It’s a great feeling making some progress after months of just slogging along.
Breakdance (or b-boying to be most correct) is a vernacular street dance. That is, people learned it not through formal instruction or a set vocabulary of moves but through trial-and-error, play and improvisation in response to the music. Other vernacular dances are tap, salsa and lindy hop.
I’m of course learning breaking in a somewhat more formalized classroom structure, with a teacher teaching choreography and moves, breaking them down, and explaining them in various ways. But in tonight’s practice session, there was no teacher — just a bunch of us messing around by ourselves. Which is really where the dance came from.
Lots of the cool stuff we did came from one person trying something, another person imitating them, or adding something to it. Like a handstand to an elbow freeze. Then adding a shoulder freeze at the end of that. Or a kip-up to finish it. We cheer each other on when someone succeeds in hitting a hard move, or help each other out if we see ways to correct what someone is doing wrong. I had at least three minor breakthroughs just in the hour that we practiced together.
I love this dance.