Introduction

The swipe is a dynamic and visually impressive power move in breaking (also known as breakdancing). It’s a fundamental skill that serves as a gateway to more advanced power moves, making it an essential technique for aspiring b-boys and b-girls. The swipe involves rotating the body 360 degrees while alternating between supporting yourself on your hands and feet. This move not only showcases strength and control but also helps dancers develop the spatial awareness and momentum control necessary for more complex breaking techniques. Whether you’re a beginner looking to expand your breaking repertoire or an experienced dancer aiming to refine your power moves, mastering the swipe is a crucial step in your breaking journey.

Video Demonstration

Dance History

The swipe emerged as part of the breaking movement that originated in the Bronx, New York, during the early 1970s. Breaking, or breakdancing, evolved as a street dance style within the broader hip hop culture. While the exact creator of the swipe is not definitively known, it became popularized as breakers continually innovated and expanded their repertoire of floor moves and power moves. The swipe gained prominence in the 1980s as breaking spread globally, becoming a staple move that demonstrated a dancer’s power, control, and style.

Step By Step Instruction

1. Start in a bridge-like position with hands and feet flat on the ground, arms and legs parallel. 2. Shift your body weight onto one arm, pushing your hips up as high as possible. 3. Lift your right leg into the air (for clockwise rotation). 4. Turn your body to the right, using your hands to guide the rotation. 5. As you rotate, jump off your grounded foot, keeping both feet off the ground. 6. Land facing the left side, with your weight on your left hand. 7. Continue the rotation by pushing off with your left hand, completing a full 360-degree turn. 8. Land back in the starting position, ready for the next repetition.

Tips For Learning

– Practice the basic rotation by “walking” your hands and feet around before attempting to jump. – Keep your hips elevated throughout the move for better form and power. – Focus on rotating in quarters (90 degrees at a time) to build control and precision. – Use your kicking leg to generate momentum for the spin. – Start with two-footed swipes before progressing to the one-legged “master swipe”. – Incorporate core strengthening exercises like planks and L-sits to improve your swipe. – Overcome the mental barrier of fear by practicing on softer surfaces initially.

Conclusion

The swipe is more than just a flashy move; it’s a fundamental technique that builds the foundation for advanced breaking skills. By mastering the swipe, dancers develop core strength, spatial awareness, and the ability to control their body’s momentum – all crucial elements for progressing in breaking. With consistent practice and attention to proper form, any dedicated dancer can add this impressive power move to their arsenal, opening the door to more complex techniques and elevating their breaking game.

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