How to Toprock

Two Parts:Doing the Indian StepAdding Variations

Toprock, the foundation of breakdancing, is performed on your feet. Before you can transition into other moves, such as the 6 Step, you have to know how to toprock. While there are various toprock moves, there is no set way to string them together. Each breakdancer has his or her own style of dancing. Practice some basic techniques, and then experiment to find your own unique style.

Part 1
Doing the Indian Step

  1. Image titled Toprock Step 1
    Get into the starting position. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Don't worry about your arms for the moment, just let them move naturally.[1]
  2. Image titled Toprock Step 2
    Step out. When you step out, it doesn't matter which leg you decide to move first. Move your stepping leg about a foot in front of you, and put it across your other leg. Remember to step to the beat.[2]
    • Don't keep your feet too close together. When you take your step, think about walking in the direction you are stepping. Keep most of your weight on the foot you are stepping with.[3][4]
    • Stand on the balls of your feet when toprocking. This makes it easier to move around and change directions.[5]
  3. Image titled Toprock Step 3
    Hop back. Bring your leg back to the starting position, and as you do, add a little hop with your back leg.[6]
    • When you return the starting position, your feet should land on the beat. Every time you step in or out, you should be on the beat. As you get better, you can vary your steps so that you land on half beats or quarter beats.[7]
    • Each time you return to the starting position, try varying the size of your hop. Experiment with different hops until you find a style that you like.[8]
    • You can even try a double hop when you return. Do two quick hops back to back before stepping out with your other leg.[9]
  4. Image titled Toprock Step 4
    Step with the other side. From the starting position, step with your other leg. Do the exact same thing you did with your first step out. Take your leg and take a step out and across.[10]
    • Keep moving. Once you know how to step out and step back, just keep alternating sides.[11]
  5. Image titled Toprock Step 5
    Add some arm movements. Arm gestures vary from dancer to dancer. The way you move your arms has a lot to do with your own personal style. The most common movement is to swing your arms out when you step.[12]
    • With your first step out, open your arms as if you're about to hug someone. Hop back and bring your hands together in front of your chest.[13]

Part 2
Adding Variations

  1. Image titled Toprock Step 6
    Do a kick step. A kick step is a form of toprock that involves kicking your leg out in front, and stepping back and to the side. Prepare for the kick step by starting with a basic Indian step.[14]
    • It doesn't matter which leg you decide to kick out with. Time your kick to the beat as if you were going to step. Pick a leg, and kick straight out in front of you. Keep your toes pointed up.[15]
    • Bring your kicking leg back in, and cross it over your back leg. Your kicking foot should land just to the side of your back foot.[16]
    • Next, kick your back foot out to the side to uncross your legs. Repeat the kick step with the other leg.[17]
  2. Image titled Toprock Step 7
    Add side kicks. To start your side kick, take a small step forward with your left foot, and kick your right foot out to the side. It should almost look like you're running.[18]
    • Bring your right foot down, and as you do, kick your left leg out in front of you. Keep your toes pointed up. Bring your left foot back to the starting position, and kick your right foot out in front of you.[19]
    • Next, bring your right foot back, and kick your left leg out to the side, just like you did with your right leg. When you plant your left leg back in the starting position, you will kick your right leg back out in front of you. Then, repeat the entire sequence.[20]
  3. Image titled Toprock Step 8
    Do a hip twist. The hip twist starts a lot like the kick step. From your basic Indian step, kick your right leg out. Then, plant your right foot down, and swing your left leg out behind you. You can lean forward or backward depending on what is most comfortable for you.[21]
    • Next, keeping your upper body straight, bring your left leg around to the front by twisting your hips. Plant your left foot in front of your right foot, and at the same time, kick your back foot out a little, as if you were doing a side kick.[22]
    • Return your right foot to its starting position, and kick your left foot out in front of you. Then, do a quick hop and bring your left foot back, and kick your right foot in front of you.[23]
    • Once you feel comfortable doing hip twists, try to string together a continuous flow of twists.
  4. Image titled Toprock Step 9
    Make your own combinations. Toprocking is about making your own variations and combinations. Each dancer's style of toprock is unique. Once you learn a few moves, string them together in different ways to create your own style.[24]
    • Toprock is just the introduction to a bigger, more complex dance. From the toprock dance steps you can transition into floor rock or a power move.[25]
  5. Image titled Toprock Step 10
    Vary your arms. The main job of your arms while toprocking is to echo your feet. They're like a backbeat. They should never stead the focus. As you move, keep your arms as loose as possible. Swing them around like an inflatable tube guy, or let your body move your arms naturally while you work your feet.
    • To vary the open-cross gesture, cross your arms when you bring them back.[26]
    • If you're doing a small step forward, mark it by swinging just one arm in front of you.
  6. Image titled Toprock Step 11
    Work your hands. Toprock is footwork, but your hands can be the icing on the cupcake. Use your hands to express your attitude. Spread your fingers to project a friendly but slightly sarcastic "look at me" attitude. Lightly droop your wrists to project an attitude of arrogant ease.
    • Swivel your wrists in different directions for a lopsided look.
    • Hold your fingers loosely in a sign or a shape you like.


  • Practice with music. Never dance without music.
  • James Brown, Run DMC, Manu Dibango, and Wu Tang Clan are all great options.[27]
  • Dance to the music, but don't try to hit every beat. You want to look loose and natural.

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Categories: Dancing