Project Breakalign: The Breakalign Method, Conditioning Article Seriers

Project Breakalign: The Breakalign Method, Conditioning Article Seriers

  • This week Unique Tay has teamed up with Project Breakalign!!!!
For those who aren’t familiar with Project Breakalign, it is a ‘prevention of injuries research project for dancers’. 
Project Breakalign was founded by Nefeli Tsiouti in 2013 and I have visited one of her injury clinics in 2014 at PHD Events. I gained valuable support in terms of dance injury prevention and Nefeli kindly referred me to one of her sport therapist team members, part of Project Breakalign. My experience with Project Breakalign has certainly opened my eyes to the physiology of the dancers body, especially since I have had a major surgery and undergone numerous scans, physiotherapy and visited specialists.
Project Breakalign is ideal for dancers rooted in Hip Hop – Breaking, however the research and treatment is fit for all dancers of any genre.
Take a quick read below of Conditioning Article Series’ to learn more about the Breakalign method.
Experienced an injury or trauma and want a therapist to help boost your confidence in dance? Please visit BetterHelp for further information and find a therapist near you.
If you enjoy this article and would love to learn more about my experience and coping methods with dance injuries, please subscribe and contact me –
Stay Blessed
Unique Tay

The Breakalign Method,
Conditioning Article Series:
Written by Nefeli Tsiouti (Project Breakalign, Founder & Project Manager)
#3 Creativity and the Breakalign Method  
What is the Breakalign Method? The Breakalign Method is a conditioning programme, based on the
physiological and biomechanical analysis of the demands in the artform of
Breaking (or ‘Breakdance’, as known by the media). Project Breakalign received funding to create the Breakalign Method from the Centre National de la Danse (2015-2016),
which was researched and put together by a team of specialists that double
major between dance (mostly Breaking) and a scientific discipline such as
medicine, physiotherapy, sports science, dance science, human performance and
How was the Breakalign Method created? The Breakalign Method was first and foremost created by analysing
Breaking, not only from a scientific perspective as mentioned above, but also
by keeping the elements of creativity and the ‘mentality’ of breaking alive.
Therefore, the Breakalign Method is
not just based on a set series of exercises; within the exercises there has
been room left for creativity and improvisation, in order to stay true to the
elements of the Breaking artform.
Breaking and creativity:
If you are not very familiar with Breaking, it is an artform which allows its
practitioners to use their strong elements (physically or mentally), to be creative
with it and to develop their skills in ways that will help them master their
craft. A breaker does not necessarily do all the elements of breaking (toprock,
footwork, freezes, powermoves etc), but they sometimes choose what better suits
their body or what they enjoy doing the most, and they keep developing that,
and this is where their creativity flows without limits. Breaking is one of the
visual pleasures which offer surprise and awe to the viewer, and this is
because of its spontaneity, musicality and limitless options of creativity.
Therefore, the Breakalign Method creation
was a very challenging task to bring into reality, in order to stay close to
Breaking’s ‘mentality’.
I was once teaching a Breakalign
masterclass at Breakin’
Hip-hop Theatre Festival in London. One of the participants
(non-breakers) asked me why I did not give more time to explaining a specific
movement within an exercise, because the non-breakers did not catch the
movement 100%. I was very happy to hear that question, because this is what you
expect from a dance teacher right? To explain everything exactly how it is
supposed to be done. Well, the Breakalign Method is not a dance class, it is a
conditioning programme, and there is an amount of ‘freedom’ within the
structure of the Method; in addition, the way the Method has been made, it does
not permit the teacher to chew the food for the participants. The teacher shows
them the food, but they have to chew it for themselves. The Breakalign Method is comprised of
certain sections, where the participants have to ‘figure things out’. This does
not only help them develop their motor skills learning process, but it also
allows them to follow a similar method that we use when learning Breaking; by
seeing others, hearing others, asking others, or just letting our flow to work
overtime and shows us the way. And this allows their creativity a leeway to
keep developing within the conditioning. Of course, the Breakalign Method is focusing on prevention of injuries, therefore
this ‘freedom’ is always given within safe practice boundaries and supervision
of the Breakalign trainer.
Photo: Peter Muller
Creativity within the Breakalign Method: To offer a better understanding of
how the Breakalign Method uses this
principle of creativity embedded within it, it happens in various ways. For
instance, in certain parts of the Method, there are a few seconds where there
is structured improvisation, for example after a very regimented strengthening
movement pattern, there are 8 bars of music where the participant is being
asked to stay within frontal footwork position and freestyle (frontal footwork
position here is referring to zero position of footwork, or neutral position).
This exercise as a whole (inclusive of the strengthening and then the
improvisation), works on improving strength as well as endurance, therefore the
combination of energy systems within the body’s function help the participant
firstly get fitter, and secondly to acquire more physical fitness components
necessary to be able to execute Breaking (or whatever their main activity is),
in an effortless and injury-free way.
Become a Breakalign Method ambassador: What you
can do in practice, and as an investment to yourself and your future, is to
become a Breakalign Method
ambassador, by completing the Breakalign
training programme, which will give you all the necessary tools to
be able to not only help others, but also help yourself stay injury-free with a
conditioned body. The programme will be available from the end of 2017.
The Breakalign
Audio-visual research content:
In English :
With French
subtitles :
Phase de
recherche 1:
Phase de recherche 2:
Phase de recherche 3:
For more information check:
To subscribe to the Project Breakalign quarterly Newsletter email: with
subject ‘subscribe’.
The creation of the Breakalign Method was funded
About the author: 


Nefeli is a bgirl (trained with DJ Renegade, UK),
having graduated with a BA in French Language & Literature (University of Athens), an MA in
Choreography (Middlesex University)
and an MSc in Dance Science (Trinity
Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance
), supported by 3 scholarships from
Trinity Laban. Currently she is in the Bogliasco
Fellowship Advisory Committee for Dance in Europe, she works as
Associate Researcher Cyprus
Musculoskeletal & Sports Trauma Research Centre
, she is the Founder
& Director of Project Breakalign,
a prevention of injuries project. Moreover, she serves on the Board of
Directors of Healthy Dancer Canada
(HDC) and the United Breakin’ Association
(UBA). She is also a freelance Choreographer, Dancer, and a Sports Massage
Therapist. Recently she has been included as a co-opted member of the Education
Committee of the International
Association for Dance Medicine & Science
Education Committee. Nefeli has devoted her work to the mission of reducing
the risk of injuries and offering career longevity to a healthier dancer, with Project Breakalign’s research, lectures,
workshops and her active participation in international breaking competitions.
Nefeli was awarded the following awards for her dance medicine and science
research: Lisa Ullmann Travelling
Scholarship Fund
(NY, USA), Bogliasco
Foundation Fellowship
(Italy), Gill
Clarke Resource Fund
, ‘Centre
National de la Danse
’ research funding (France) to develop the ‘Breakalign Method’, ‘Dance UK’s Dancers’ Mentoring
Programme’, finalist for the ‘Change Maker Award’ by London Inspires Awards, DanceHouse Nicosia Artistic Residency 2015
& 2017.

3 Replies to “Project Breakalign: The Breakalign Method, Conditioning Article Seriers”

    1. Hello Rookie, thank you. I am glad you enjoyed my blog post. Stay posted for my future posts this month about dancers injuries and conditioning. Is there any particular subject you are interested in? Also are you are a blogger too?

      Stay blessed

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