Hip-Hop Dance Theory | Hip-Hop Culture
Hip-Hop Dance Theory
Hip-hop is a relatively new type of dance, originating in the South Bronx in New York City in the 1970s. Originally centralized to New York City, hip-hop now a nationwide and international culture that attracts people of every ethnicity.
Hip Hop Philosophy
Hip-hop is a culture consists of music, artistic expression and dance. Music, comprised of sampling, emceeing, rapping, beatboxing and deejaying, is accompanied by dance moves such as b-boying or breakdancing. The first hip-hop music was created by DJs using two turntables to create rhythmic beats by looping breaks in songs. The resulting percussive patterns lent themselves naturally to the evolution of rapping, which in turn lead to a new form of dance to match the music.
Hip-hop dance is a style of street dance that, in its modern form, has been modified to incorporate cultural influences and movements outside the original breaking, locking and popping that defined the dance.
Breaking – Also called B-boying or breakdancing, mainly consists of four core parts:
- Toprock – opening foot movements, a warm up to more acrobatic downrock elements
- Downrock – floor based moves with body supported by arms/legs
- Power Moves – spins, balancing moves and flips commonly called “tricks” that require incredible athletics and strength
- Freezes – “freezing” in place, often in an impressive demonstration of strength and balance
Locking – Originally called Cambellocking, is similar to freezing in that dancers stop or “lock” in a certain position following a fast movement. Usually the legs and hips are doing a relaxed movement, while the arms and hands do distinct, exaggerated movements before locking for a few moments then returning to motion.
Popping – This movement causes a jerking motion as the dancer quickly contracts and relaxes their muscles. Popping can be done with any part of the body, and when arms, legs and the head are done in combination and to the beat of music, it’s a remarkable display of coordination.
Hip-hop has long been credited with reducing inner-city violence. Instead of physical violence, “battles” of music, dance and artwork served as ways for frustrated teens to express themselves. It was an outlet that youths would use to cope with hardships, and for the talented and driven, it was a way to earn a living.
Today, hip-hop crosses social barriers and is “now the center of a mega music and fashion industry around the world,” according to the US Department of State.
Study Hip-Hop Dance At A Step Above Dance Academy
While hip-hop may look difficult and intimidating, it is actually a dance style that anyone with any experience level can do. Beginners will learn basic moves and practice coordinating legs and arms to work together, while experienced students will build on their skills by learning more advanced moves that require strength and flexibility.