Character is, in my opinion, the backbone of breakin’. Not the spins, not the dynamics, not even the footwork. The character you employ to give texture to your movement is far more important than any of aforementioned elements that make up the dance.
Character (I said it 3 times in 3 sentences because it’s THAT important) brings your concepts and ideas to life, allowing you to present a narrative and tell a story. In short, it becomes a tool of communicate. Body language makes up 55% of all communication; the same, if not more, runs true within dance. Examples can be found across various styles, on or off the stage, where individualism takes shape and allows perspective to be understood without words.
In Breakin’ we always say “it’s not WHAT you do, but HOW you do it”, character is what determines how you do anything. There are many palettes to draw from when creating yours; You could use your own personality as a template, personifying your ideals or feelings through gestures and other forms of movement. You could also embody the traits and mannerisms of one you’ve seen on your favorite show, becoming a caricature or parody of that character.
With the foundation set and expression at the center of it, nuances are vital to advancing the art form and pushing the boundaries of what we believe possible within the dance.