Introduction

The Thomas Flare, commonly known as simply “flare” in breaking, is a dynamic and impressive power move that has become a fundamental element of b-boying and b-girling. This acrobatic move involves alternating balance between both arms while swinging the legs in continuous circles, creating a mesmerizing visual effect. The flare requires a combination of strength, flexibility, and precise technique, making it a challenging yet rewarding move to master. As a staple in breaking battles and performances, the flare serves as both a standalone move and a versatile transition between other power moves, adding flair and momentum to a breaker’s routine.

Video Demonstration

Dance History

The flare originated in gymnastics and was popularized in breaking culture. It was created by Kurt Thomas, an American gymnast, in the 1970s. Initially performed on the pommel horse in gymnastics, the move was adapted by breakers who brought it to the dance floor. In gymnastics, it is often referred to as the “Thomas flair” in honor of its creator. The flare quickly became an essential part of breaking vocabulary, showcasing the fusion of athletic prowess and dance creativity that defines the art form.

Step By Step Instruction

1. Start in a lunge position with your left leg back and left hand on the ground (for counterclockwise rotation). 2. Kick your left foot behind your right leg, then swing your right leg up towards your ear. 3. Lean slightly to the left, keeping your weight over your left hand. 4. Slide your left foot along the ground to the front, aiming for a straddle V-sit position. 5. Shift your weight to your right hand, placing it near your right hip. 6. Kick your left leg high towards your left ear while swooping your right leg low and close to the ground. 7. Transfer your weight back to your left hand through a straddle planche or press position. 8. Repeat the motion, kicking your right leg high and swooping your left leg low to continue the circular movement.

Tips For Learning

– Develop flexibility in the straddle and shoulder extension positions. – Build strength in L-sit, V-sit, and planche positions. – Practice on a soft, low-friction surface like carpet or martial arts mats. – Focus on keeping your arms pushed down and fully extended. – Always kick with opposite legs while holding down with opposite arms. – Maintain hip height by kicking the legs forcefully. – Start with sliding your feet on the ground and progress to keeping them airborne.

Conclusion

The Thomas Flare is a cornerstone move in breaking that demands dedication and practice to master. By understanding its origins in gymnastics and its adaptation to breaking, dancers can appreciate the rich history behind this dynamic power move. With consistent practice and attention to technique, breakers can develop smooth, high-flying flares that will elevate their performances and battles. Remember, the key to successful flares lies in the combination of leg power, arm strength, and precise weight shifts, all working together to create a fluid, circular motion.

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