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What is Hip-hop Dance

# Beginner Guides

Hip-hop dance originated from the streets of New York City. It serves as a lively portrayal of the creativity and resilience of youth and is rooted in diverse influences. Hip-hop dance encompasses a wide array of styles, including breaking, locking, popping, and krumping, each with its own distinctive moves and rhythms. Characterized by its improvisational nature and emphasis on individuality, hip-hop dance serves as a powerful form of self-expression and cultural identity for dancers worldwide, transcending boundaries and inspiring generations with its dynamic energy and flair.

Origins and History

Hip-hop dance finds its roots in the street culture of the Bronx during the 1970s. Hip-hop dance started with other hip-hop culture parts like DJing, MCing (rapping), and graffiti art, providing a way for marginalized groups to express their experiences and identities through rhythm and movement.

African Americans in New York City created uprock and breaking, while those in California developed locking, roboting, boogaloo, and popping, collectively known as the funk styles. Influential groups like Rock Steady Crew, The Lockers, and The Electric Boogaloos played pivotal roles in popularizing these styles. Notably, hip-hop dance is not a studio-derived style but rather originated organically in neighborhoods, evolving through a combination of events and social dances led by street dancers.

Several individuals have made significant contributions to the development and popularization of hip-hop dance. Some notable figures include:

1. DJ Kool Herc - He is known as the "Father of Hip Hop." He initiated block parties in the West Bronx, famously dubbed the "birthplace of Hip Hop." He delighted the community by playing music on his turntables, enticing people to gather for socializing and dancing.

DJ Kool📸: https://shorturl.at/arvCL

2. Richard Colón - Known as "Crazy Legs," he is a renowned b-boy and pioneering figure in breaking, recognized as one of the country's most prolific dancers. Instrumental in the development of breaking, he has been involved since its inception in the mid to late 1970s and continues to shape its evolution.

CrazyLegs📸: https://shorturl.at/txKPX


3. Buddha Stretch - Born in 1968, Buddha Stretch is a prominent figure in the world of hip-hop dance. With roots dating back to the early '80s, he has made significant contributions to the art form, collaborating with iconic artists such as Eric B. & Rakim, Mariah Carey, and Will Smith. Buddha Stretch is famous for his freestyle skills, making a big impact in hip-hop.

Buddha📸: https://shorturl.at/elpvF

4. Jorge Pabón - also known as Popmaster Fabel. He's famous for his unique 'pop and lock' moves, helping to make popping and locking popular. As a senior member of the Rock Steady Crew, Fabel's influence in the dance world is widely recognized.

Fabel📸: https://shorturl.at/ePVZ3

5.  Rennie Harris - a dance pioneer born on January 28, 1964. He founded Puremovement with the mission of showcasing hip-hop as a vital cultural expression. Through his work, Harris aims to educate people about hip-hop culture and street dance.

RennieHarris📸: https://shorturl.at/dioA6

Elements and Styles

1. Breaking

Defined by its acrobatic movements, intricate footwork, and freezes performed on the floor.

2. Locking

Recognized for its exaggerated arm and hand gestures, often punctuated by sudden pauses or locks in motion.

3. Popping

It entails the contraction and relaxation of muscles to produce a jerking or popping effect, typically synchronized with the music's beats.

4. Boogaloo

Focuses on smooth and uninterrupted movements, integrating isolations and undulating motions.

5. Roboting

Imitates the actions of a robot, executing precise and mechanical movements.

6. Uprock

It includes spontaneous footwork and upper body actions, typically executed while standing and integrating aspects of battling.

7. Krumping

Defined by vigorous and dynamic movements, emphasizing raw emotion and expression.

8. Tutting

Incorporates angular and geometric arm motions, drawing inspiration from Egyptian hieroglyphics.

9. Waving

Showcases fluid movements that produce a wave-like effect across the body, frequently syncing with the rhythm of the music.

10. Housing

Originating in Chicago clubs, this style incorporates lively footwork, fluid arm gestures, and intricate steps, commonly accompanied by house music.

Cultural Impact and Evolution

Hip-hop dance has transformed into a dynamic and impactful cultural movement across the globe. Its evolution is propelled by ongoing innovation and collaboration among dancers, who continuously explore new boundaries of movement and expression.

From just a street dance for socialization, hip-hop has evolved into a global phenomenon with renowned competitions. Among them is the World Hip Hop Dance Championship, organized by Hip Hop International (HHI), featuring elite dance crews vying for the prestigious title. Other notable events include the Olympics, UK B-Boy Championships, and Juste Debout in France, all of which attract top dancers and choreographers, showcasing the diversity and innovation within hip-hop culture while uniting dancers worldwide.

Community and Identity

Hip-hop dance fosters a strong sense of community and identity, bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds who share a passion for self-expression. It celebrates unique identities and narratives rooted in the cultural experiences of youth, promoting empowerment and belonging. Through collaboration, competition, and shared experiences, hip-hop dance creates an inclusive environment for authentic expression and contributes to a collective cultural legacy.

And with that, we conclude our journey through the dynamic world of hip-hop dance. To continue uncovering further insights and inspiration from dance, read our other blogs! Keep dancing, keep exploring, and let the rhythm of hip-hop continue to inspire you!

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