Hip hop dance is a form of rhythmic movement that can be found in music videos, movies, and live shows. It combines fluid movements, sharp turns, locking and popping to create an expressive style that is unique to hip hop music.
While a few classically trained dancers have developed studio styles that they call “hip hop,” true hip hop dance is not limited to those who are classically trained and can be enjoyed by people of all ages, body types, and experience levels. This dance can be done in a dance studio or on the street with friends, and it is often used to express emotion and character.
Traditionally, hip hop dance is a combination of several styles of street and urban dance. Breaking is characterized by powerful, energetic moves and often uses a chest bump or “popping.” The funk dance style of Popping is based on quick contractions of the muscles that create a robotic effect in the body. Locking is similar to popping, but the dancer holds their position longer for a more rigid effect.
Many modern shows like America’s Best Dance Crew, Dancing With the Stars, and So You Think You Can Dance have popularized street style dancing among younger dancers. Movies such as Save The Last Dance, You Got Served, and the Step Up series also depict street-style moves to an audience that may not have grown up with hip hop music or dance. These popular programs, however, often water down and commercialize the style and culture of true hip hop dance.