Break dancing is a popular form of street dance that evolved in the early 70s. The moves are artistic, creative, full of power and simply amazing. Nevertheless, beyond these basic steps of break dance is a firm foundation on the principles of physics. There are different break dance steps that are considered basic such as top rock, power rock, freeze, power moves and suicides. Each of the dance steps have their own unique moves that when executed involves basic principle of physics. Among these basic steps, power moves involves the most movements that require balance and momentum.
These principles are exemplified by certain moves such as head spins, flares, and windmill. To better understand the physics of break dance, let us pick a move that can be analyzed. When break dancers execute a head spin, the audience is amazed by the balance of the head to sustain the body in air while a little support is extended by the hand by touching the floor. The physics of this break dance move involves the principles of circular motion and torque.
First, executing this move requires the break dancer to input a great amount of strength in order to keep in moving using the head.
At the beginning, the hand is used to push off the floor so the head would start spinning. Later, the legs are spread apart like a split which actually determines the speed of the head spin. Once the dancer contracts his legs, the spin gradually slows down which is actually the momentum. When a change in position occurs such as the extending of legs, there is corresponding change of speed which is known as angular momentum.
The dancer’s body ( mass) and the speed of the power move must fit into the radius of the head which is circular. In order for the head spin to stop, friction works by placing the hand on the ground. Watching a head spin being performed is not sheer talent for the dancer, it is a delicate combination of balance and spin supported by the hand. Break dance physics is important since physics is an exact science that has principles. If the principles of physics would not be followed by executing a unique move, there are many probabilities such as losing one’s balance and/or decelerating speed that could lead to physical injuries. It is for this reason that break dance needs practice as well as strength which would put power in the dance moves.