The year was 1999 and the fifth installment of CrosOne’s Freestyle Session was taking place. This was a major milestone in the history of U.S. street dance events as it was the first Freestyle Session that featured a variety of crews from out of state. Chicago, Miami, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Seattle, Austin… Dancers from all over the country showed up for a chance at the title. Ironically, the biggest talking point happened in the first battle on stage. Newcomers Havik and K.O.R.O. (Knights of Rhythm Odyssey) had come together, travelling all the way from Houston, TX to compete. Their first opponents were more than just intimidating, they were outright terrifying. The combined forces of Stylelements Crew and Footwork Fanatix had brought their best of the best, all out for blood and glory. While the battle featured the perhaps best set in the entire event, courtesy of west coast legend Remind, it was 15-year old bboy Moy from Havik that won the entire crowd. During his second go-down, the young dancer did a full-on six rotations of airflares, an unprecedented accomplishment on tape. Curious George from United Bboys actually did seven, and with better form, in a later battle, but by then everyone was already talking about Moy. Not unsurprisingly, he was snatched up by Tribal Gear for their sponsored tour shortly after the event was done.
The history of the airflare dates back to the 80’s, with early variations being done by Icey Ice and European bboy Paolo from 010 BBoys. The move is basically an over-extended airswipe with the rotating motion of the horizontal airtrack. It was on the west coast that the move was first perfected in its primary form, with bboys like Ivan and Kujo, Charles and MegaMan from Soul Control being among the first ones to do them. Ivan did what would later become known as the airmills, calling them startracks. They were pure airflares, but with the exception of Ivan going straight down on his shoulders, rolling over in a windmill motion before pushing himself off the ground for another rotation. Kujo did them more in an airtrack fashion from a variety of floats, such as deadman ufos to airflare and back into deadmans. MegaMan did them straight into halos and out again, but it was Charles’ brother Pablo who was the first dancer to ever do a continuous airflare – multiple airflares from hand to hand in one set.
Later evolutions of the move came when power heads like Ruen and Caveman from L.A. Breakers started playing around with it. Caveman did his linked to his infamous cavemills – shoulder-hopping windmills/babymills, while Ruen was the first to do spider airflares, or hopping airflares with his legs in different positions. Boy from HaviKoro perfected the forearm airflares and was among the first to tamper with onehanded versions of the move, along with fellow Texan dancer Shorty from United BBoys. Other notable additions included Josh and Omar from Fiends 4 Rhythm, Kareem from Rock Force Crew and later on the Korean bboys, like Mute, Bruce Lee, Blond and The End. Then Europe, Russia and the rest of the world followed suit, and today the airflare is the staple of any powermover’s arsenal.
But it all started that faithful day at Freestyle Session when Pablo did two airflares in a row and everyone lost their frickin’ minds…