Dance Tidbits: Hip-hop

Chances are you will, if you haven’t already, been invited to a party where a DJ is playing some cool Hip-hop music and you inevitably will be doing the latest Hip-hop dance to go with the music.  Hip-hop has become probably the most popular and social of all current 21st century dances for entertainment among young people. Whenever Hip-hop dancing and music combine with parties, dances and gatherings, you can be sure a fun time is in store.

As early as the 1960s, primarily Black and Latino Americans in New York City formed Hip-hop.  They created these dances and called them Uprock and Break dancing.  In California, Black Americans created Locking, Roboting, Boogaloo and Popping.  These dances are labeled as “funk” styles.  All of the above referred to dances may be stylistically different but they all share their street dance origin.  The other cool factor about these dances is there is great room for creative and inventive moves.  None of these dances have hard, one of a kind steps or moves that must be adhered to.  In fact, the more improvisational you can take it, the more you get noticed and often can create the next dance phase of Hip-hop!

In the 1970s there were “dance crews” formed like Rock Steady, Crew, The Lockers and The Electric Boogaloos who were the main groups or crews, as they say, spreading Breaking, Locking and Popping.  Hip-hop never went away, it just continued to intrigue the younger generation as it grew.  It consistently evolved as Hip-hop music became more popular and social dancing went right along with it until it emerged from breaking and funk styles.

Dances from the 1990s such as the Running Man, the Worm and the Cabbage Patch became “the” popular dances to do.  After the millennium, new social dances such as the Cha Cha Slide and the Dougie became very popular.  One television show that featured Hip-hop dancers was Don Cornelius’ Soul Train, easily making it the most viable way to keep up with the latest Hip-hop craze.  The most current moves today are Turfing, Krumping and Jerkin’.

Of course the dance industry devised its own commercial, studio version of Hip-hop.  And you will see Hip-hop moves often in Jazz routines.  So don’t be surprised if you too will be doing a Hip-hop routine sometime in the near future.  The great thing about doing Hip-hop is the sheer creativity of your moves and your agility.  Who knows, you might be able to combine some of that good Ballroom dancing you learned with Hip-hop and blow everyone away with your hip, bold moves!

Happy dancing,

Thought Of The Week:

Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.  –Albert Einstein



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website