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Airflare in a breaking battle

The Airflare (or air-flare) refers to an acrobatic maneuver in which the performer rotates the torso around the vertical axis of their body (extending from the head down vertically) while traveling in a circular path along a plane in parallel with the floor. The feet do not touch the ground during the execution of this move, both hands are used to execute standard Airflares.

Example of airflares, standard form (video)

Origins and pioneers[edit]

The move emerged from a similar move called the "Airtrack" in which one rotates in a vertical axis but does not travel in a circular path. That move, the Airtrack, can be traced back to the early 80's. By the 90's a dancer named Paulo Nunes in Europe had created the variation which is essentially the same move as the Airflare.[1] At that time in Europe it was referred to as the Airtwist.

By the mid 90's video arrived by way of EZ-Rock of Rocksteady which introduced the maneuver to the States at that time, in particular, to California B-Boys/Breakdancers. The video showed Paulo as well as a French B-Boy who executed a move very similar to the modern airflare. Meanwhile, and soon after the following dancers had performed moves similar before the Continuous Airflare was established:

  • Jazzy J of The Renegades performed a hopping flare in which both hands left the ground.[2]
  • Pilot of Soul Swift performed the Airhalo a variation of Halos without the head touching the ground.
  • Kujo of Soul Control performed a complete Airtrack and could throw his body in a circular path.[3][4]
  • B-Boy Ivan of Style Elements executed Airflare in combination with many moves.[5] Ivan is pivotal in what is today's Airflare, popularizing the move for early generations.
  • Babak of Soul Control performed and pioneered the Electro (in 1996), a predecessor to the Elbow Airflares which he also performed.[6][7][8]
  • Iron Monkey of Abstract Flavors (his crew at that time, then known as Sean Supreme) performed a complete Airflare during a battle against Soul Control.[9]
  • Megaman of Soul Control responded to Iron Monkey at the aforementioned battle with another Airflare (also introduced many new combos).[10][11] Megaman introduced many new combinations with the Airflare.[12]
  • Inferno of Soul Control performed Elbow Airflares and could combine them with other moves, including Windmills and Flares.[13][14]
  • Flex of Abstract Flavors could execute the Airflare.
  • Charles of Climax/Soul Control executed the Airflare in many competitions, popularizing the study of this maneuver.[15]

First documented Continuous Airflares[edit]

Pablo Flores of Climax/Soul Control successfully performed Continuous Airflares,[16][17] completing the manifestation of the move. It is this modern form of the Airflare that Morgan Hamm introduced into gymnastics which he learned from the B-Boy community.[18] There was a to influence the United States Olympic Committee to recognize Pablo Flores as the first person in history to perform Continuous Airflares.


The phrase "Airflare" was coined by members of Soul Control, including Barmak, Babak, Inferno, and Kujo, to distinguish the move from the "Airtrack". The key observation was that the addition of the circular rotation made the move far easier to execute than the Airtrack—there are very few documented cases of continuous Airtracks, however, the earliest documented case of continuous Airtracks is of Kujo of Soul Control.

The European phrase "Airtwist", "Airtwista" or "Airtwister" predate the phrase "Airflare". Both refer to the same technical move however the modern form of the move is better known today as "Airflare" worldwide.

The words air-flare are combined to produce Airflare, which is consistent with other names, viz., Windmill (wind-mill) and Headspin (head-spin).


While all of the documented cases mentioned herein help popularize the move, especially B-Boy Ivan, there is in particular a battle between Soul Control and a temporary super crew known as the Flying Tortillas. This "battle" catalyzed its visibility [19] and took the move mainstream. Many other B-Boys would popularize the move in the coming years, notably Moy and Boy of Havikoro (Texas) and Benny and Tuff-Kid of Basel City (from Switzerland).[20][21]