Ahhh yes, learning how to toprock. Every dance has a starting point. In salsa dance the man leads forward with his left foot. In a tango or stepping or even merengue, there is a definite starting point. Well break dancing isn't any different. Here is an introduction to the art of toprock. The toprock is probably the easiest maneuver to learn. But, like all the other dance moves, mastering the toprock is very difficult. Better yet, it's near impossible. This is because of the degree of variation that can be involved in the toprock. No two B-boys do it exactly the same. Anyway, here's how to get your toprock on.
- Rhythm. The most important component of the toprock is the B-boy's ability to be able to move to the beat they'll be breaking to. The toprock functions as a warm up. It's used to get you your spacing as well as letting you get a feel for the beat being played. This is why you'll see the breaker moving around so much before he or she actually goes into their routine. It's kind of like a boxer dancing in the ring to establish his rhythm. So before you can do an effective toprock, make sure your rhythm is right.
- It's all in your feet. The toprock is definitely not a slow maneuver. You've got to be quick. Basically, a toprock is like a rapid rhythmic skipping to a beat. You never really give your feet the chance to be in a rested position. You move around in the space you created to the beat of the song you're going to break to. Toprocking is like riding an elliptical in an unconfined area. And it's all done to the beat of the music. Moving your hips along with your feet and legs adds to the cool look of the toprock. You'll know you're doing it right if it appears like you're hovering over the ground.
- Your upper body. You're not exactly stiff up here either. The toprock is all about showmanship just like any other breakdancing maneuver. You want to create a sense of anticipation with your audience. So, your upper body should be moving to the beat just as your lower body is. Here's the difference though. When a B-boy decides to hit the floor he does it out of the blue. He doesn't telegraph his movements. During a toprock your upper body should be basically teasing your audience. You should allude to starting your routine without actually letting them know when you're going to start.
- Practice. Remember, the toprock is all about rhythm, deception, and spacing. You want the crowd to be paying attention to you. Your toprock can clue in the audience to what they're in for. So you can't look goofy. When you're practicing, focus on moving to the beat and you'll be fine.