How To Breakdance: Windmill

Breakdance exhibition

The Windmill is a breakdancing power move that combines techniques from gymnastics and urban street-style dancing. Invented by Crazy Legs of New York's Rocksteady crew, the Windmill has become a staple move for hip-hop dancers, and is the basis for more difficult techniques.

Before attempting an actual windmill, you need to conceptualize what the movements look like without momentum.

  1. Lie on your front with your legs spread. Arch your back and raise your legs as far behind you as you can.
  2. Simultaneously roll onto your left shoulder and raise your right leg as high as possible, so that you end on your side with your right leg directly in the air and your left leg parallel but not touching the ground.
  3. Swing your left leg under your right as you roll onto your back, so that you end on your back with your legs spread and both in the air.
  4. Simultaneously roll onto your right side, lifting your left leg in the air as high as possible, and your right leg parallel to the ground.
  5. Swing your right leg under your left as you roll onto your front, ending with your legs raised behind you as far as possible.

Once you've practiced these basic movements, you're ready to try complete Windmills. The below directions are for performing counterclockwise Windmills.

  1. Kneeling on the ground, plant your left elbow firmly into your stomach and hold your right arm a foot in front of your face. Lean forward, placing your hands on the ground and keeping your elbow in your stomach, so that your weight is mostly distributed into your left forearm. Straighten your knees, and spread your legs outward and behind you. This is the setup position.
  2. Keeping your hands on the ground, raise your left leg as far as you can behind you and bend your left knee. Your face should be pushed downward, close to the ground.
  3.  Kick your right leg up and to the right as hard as you can, then swing your left leg parallel to the ground under your right leg. As your left leg is swinging, push off the ground with your hands and roll over your left shoulder. The momentum of your legs will continue to pull you over your shoulder and onto your upper-back. Slightly tuck your chin into your chest during this motion.
  4. With your arms still in their original positions and your legs in the air, swing your right leg as hard as you can under your left, rotating your upper body from your upper-back to your right shoulder. Swing your hands to the right as the ground approaches, preparing to plant your left elbow back in to your stomach as you continue to rotate.
  5. As your legs continue to swing, rotate from your shoulder onto your hands. You should end in a similar pose to the setup position, with your legs raised in the air behind you and your head close to touching the ground.. Push off from the ground as hard as you can so that your lower body is raised as high in the air as possible. Swing your left leg under your right, and rotate your upper body from your hands, to your shoulder, and onto your upper-back.
  6. Continue rotating your weight from your arms, to left shoulder, to upper-back, to right shoulder, to arms, alternately swinging your legs under each other. As your swing your legs, swing them harder and harder, so that you gain momentum and increase speed.


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