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B-Boy Stance Science

Goofy white guys (my crew, East Rock) rockin' the stance. "If Sesame Street did a piece on street gangs, this is what it would look like." - Dave (second guy from the right).

Today I was reading another blog post 1, being the e-procrastinator that I am. The author was relating a recent study to the practice of Yoga.

However, what hit me hard was how the results of this study applied to dancing…

To be specific, how it related to:


If you want to read the cited research article (huh?) itself, click this link! Or let me summarize in plain English:

Basically, it goes like this:  The authors of this study had their participants perform either ‘high power’ or ‘low power’ poses for one minute each. High power poses were characterized as expansive (taking up more space), and open (limbs open instead of closed), and the low power poses were the opposite, contracted and closed.

After holding the positions, they took a sample of their salivary hormones, asked them on a scale of 1 to 4 how powerful they felt, and put them in a gambling situation (gave them two bucks, then said they can roll a die and either lose the 2 bucks or get 4).

The results?  Those who held the ‘high power’ poses, open and expansive, had higher testosterone (good), lower cortisol (bad), felt more powerful, and were more likely to take the bet and try for 4 bucks (they were more confident).  Those in the ‘low power’ poses had shown all the opposite.

Think of how you would feel if you were sitting with your hands between your legs while someone else stood over the other end of your desk, leaning toward you.  You likely feel a little dominated, and probably want to stand up too.

So what does this have to do with breaking?  A lot.

Think of the feeling you get while dancing when you open up and take up the space you have. Personally, I feel free. It usually looks better too.

And the ever popular/famous B-Boy Stance.  If that’s not a stance of confidence and power, I don’t know what is. That’s the whole point. The first B-Boy to drill this in my head was CrazySmooth (Breaks Kru), in a workshop in 2007. The importance didn’t really hit me until Dyzee (Supernatz) taught poses for about half a workshop on battle tactics in 2009. He spoke of how some judges vote for the winner based on confidence, the look in their face as if they won or lost. He spoke of how you can make your opponent feel smoked if you hit a confident stance at the end of your set.

Showing that confidence impresses everyone, makes you feel better, and intimidates your opponent.

Even if you are faking it.

And now, there’s some science to prove it.

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    5 Responses to B-Boy Stance Science

    1. MikeFrisk says:

      Sick post! I’ve been reading these along the way and just realized now you’re the author. Congrats on the Blog!! The theme really fits as well.

    2. Tony Ingram says:

      Haha Frisk, you didn’t see my picture and ‘By Tony Ingram’ ? Haha, good to see your blog as well. Peace man, hopefully see you soon.

    3. Dogbite says:

      Yo, this one is a really important part of the dance! The study from that yoga was good reading! i also learned alot bout this at a workshop with dyzee but in last year. one funny thing about the bboy stance (folding your arms across your chest) is that in body language that could be a symbol of not being confident at all and weakness. but if you do like a kenny-face expression the stance becomes the opposite. As you said “If that’s not a stance of confidence and power, I don’t know what is.”

      I hope this comes the right way, i love reading your articles!

    4. Mohamed Kromah says:

      Yes and still this can be compared with social behave ? right

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