Hip hop dance is a style of dancing that draws from African heritage, tap dancing, and swing moves. It is a very free form of dance, often with its roots in street culture. Many hip hop dancers have no formal training and simply move their bodies to the rhythm of a song. This free style of movement and improvisation has become the foundation for other styles of hip hop dance, such as popping, locking, and krumping.
During its early days, hip hop dancers would perform “dance battles” to prove their skills. These battles were performed both one on one between dancers or in group settings, where entire crews of dancers, known as a crew, competed against each other. Today, dance battles can be a form of auditioning for dance troupes or simply a way to show off a specific style.
When it comes to learning how to do hip hop dance, you should first understand the history of this subculture. Hip hop is not only a style of dance but also a music genre and culture that was born in poor neighborhoods in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s. Rappers like DJ Kool Herc looped rhythmic ‘breaks’ on boomboxes and drew in youth from all backgrounds who formed dance teams called crews to practice their art in the streets of NYC.
As hip hop gained popularity, more and more groups started to form around the world. These groups would create their own unique styles of hip hop dancing, which were influenced by local culture as well as international trends. Today, hip hop dance is a worldwide phenomenon with people from all social classes embracing the culture and moving their bodies to its beats.