At the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, high-level breakdancing will likely be shown for the primary time – and physics in motion

Two athletes compete against one another in an exciting dance competition. The DJ puts on music and the athletes begin to spin, twirl and seemingly defy gravity. They watch one another respectfully and take turns showing off their skills.

The athletes communicate through their movements, they speak through a dance that celebrates each athleticism and creativity. While the athletes probably don't consciously think in regards to the physics behind their movements, these complex and interesting dances display quite a lot of different scientific principles.

Breaking, also called breakdancing, was created within the late Seventies within the New York borough of Bronx. Debut as an Olympic sport At the 2024 Summer Olympics, Breaking will showcase its dynamic moves on a world stage. This urban dance style combines hip-hop culture, acrobatic movements and expressive footwork.

Since its inception, breakdancing has evolved right into a competitive art form. An emcee provides commentary on the moves while a DJ mixes songs to create a dynamic atmosphere. There will likely be two competitions on the Olympics: one for men, called B-Boys, and one for girls, called B-Girls. In these competitions, athletes compete against one another in dance competitions.

Athletes receive points for Creativity, personality, technique, diversity, performativity and musicality. Success on this sport requires the mix Dance steps from three basic categories: rocking at the highest, rocking at the underside and freezing.

Standing movements

The top rock The movements are performed while standing, with an emphasis on unusual footwork and hand movements. These movements are paying homage to hip-hop dancing.

Top rock moves require a whole lot of friction between the athlete's shoes and the bottom. Friction is the force that gives resistance whenever you push something across a surface.

A diagram showing a shoe with an arrow pointing left labeled
Friction is the force that opposes a thrust. When braking, the friction between the athlete's shoes and the bottom enables quick steps and movements.
The conversation

This friction allows the athlete to take very fast steps and stop abruptly. The dancers must understand inertia intuitivelyor the indisputable fact that their body will proceed to maneuver within the direction of motion unless acted upon by an external force. To stop abruptly, athletes must contract their muscles and be sure that their shoes grip the bottom to stop them from moving forward.

Athletes like Olympic qualifier Sunny Choi (left) are characterised by very fast footwork, which requires friction.

Ground movements

Down Rock movements are performed on the ground. Athletes can rotate in a circle with the pinnacle, back, elbows or shoulders touching the ground and the feet within the air. B-Boys And B-Girls Rely heavily in your basic knowledge of physics when performing these movements.

Consider the physics of a backspin. A backspin occurs when the athlete on the back with feet raised within the air and rotate around a certain area of ​​their back.

Sitting on the ground, the athlete's left foot stays in touch with the bottom while he spreads his right leg wide. gain linear dynamics while swinging their right leg in a large arc to their left foot. Then they lift their left leg off the ground and roll onto their back.

Since now only the back touches the bottom, the linear impulse of the leg turns into Angular momentumby which the athlete rotates around an axis that extends upwards from the purpose of contact of his back with the bottom. This movement becomes magical when he brings his legs and arms inward, towards the axis of rotation. This principle known as Conservation of angular momentum.

As the dancer brings his limbs closer to the middle – his axis of rotation – they gain rotational speed.

When an athlete brings his mass closer to the axis of rotation, the athlete's rotations develop into faster. He extends his legs and arms again and moves his mass from the Rotation axis causes the participant to decelerate his rotation speed. Once he slows down, he can move on to a different movement.

Pause in a pose

Freezing occurs when Athletes come to a stop in an oblique pose, often in time with the music and in an the wrong way up position. To freeze effectively, the athlete will need to have complete control of their center of gravity, placing it exactly over the purpose of their body that touches the bottom. The center of gravity is the common position of all of an athlete's body parts, weighted in accordance with their mass. The “balance point” where all the athlete's mass appears to be concentrated is the middle of gravity.

Athletes are most stable when their center of gravity is as near the bottom as possible. You will see many competitors freeze with Arms bent to lower their center of gravity. This lowered center of gravity reduces their distance from the bottom and minimizes the tendency of their body to tip to 1 side or the opposite as a consequence of torque.

A dancer poses on the floor with both arms bent, holding his weight high and his legs stretched out.
In the freeze, bent arms bring the dancer closer to the bottom and lower their center of gravity, giving them more stability.
Halfdark/fStop via Getty Images

Torque is a turning forcejust like the force used to show a wrench. Torque relies on two things: the quantity of force applied and the way removed from the pivot point you apply the force. When an athlete's center of gravity is closer to the bottom, the athlete decreases the space between the pivot point – the bottom – and where gravity is applied – the athlete's center of gravity.

Athletes need great force to stop their movement in the center because they need to apply force to counteract the change in inertia.

Finding the best outfit

Many sports require a selected uniform. This isn’t the case with breakdancing – an athlete can wear whatever they need – but the best outfit maximizes their probabilities of success.

The athlete wants a shirt that minimizes friction between his body and the bottom during a spin. Writing or images on the back of the shirt will increase friction, which can hinder the athlete's ability to perform some down rock moves. An athlete may go for long-sleeved shirts if he plans to slip on his elbows, as bare skin in touch with the bottom will create more friction.

Athletes also need to take into consideration this the headgear they wear. While there are lots of various kinds of hats made specifically for breakdancing, the athlete can select the one which most accurately fits their dance style. They must be sure that their hat provides cushioning for his or her head while minimizing friction between their head and the bottom.

A breakdancer spins on his head, holding the brim of his hat with one arm and keeping the other outstretched.
Some athletes may wear a cap to cushion the pinnacle while reducing friction.
AP Photo/Louise Delmotte

The back, elbows and head are the axes of rotation within the Down Rock, so the athlete needs equipment that minimizes friction in all of those areas. But additionally they have to make certain their shoes have grip to maximise friction within the Top Rock footwork. Athletes also have to make certain their hands will not be sweaty or slippery in order that they can use the friction of their hands to regulate the speed of their rotation within the Down Rock Spin.

In the world of breakdancing – where dancers appear to defy gravity – strength and artistry work hand in hand with physics to create the moves that may captivate audiences on the 2024 Olympic Games.

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