Hip Hop Dance is a highly creative style of freestyle dancing that is very expressive and is known for its use of ecstatic movement. While it is not a fusion genre like Jazz Funk or Tap, it has borrowed certain signature elements from these styles to create its own unique identity.
Initially, hip hop was an informal, performative and group-based dance culture. B-boys and b-girls would gather to showcase their moves in their local streets, basketball courts or skating rinks and perform at block parties and park jams. Pioneers of turntablism like DJ Kool Herc looped rhythmic ‘breaks’ from funk records and the urban youth began improvising and choreographing dances with their own unique flair.
Breaking, acrobatic and fluid in its technique, is the most widely recognized form of hip hop dance. It is a style that originated in the Bronx, New York and quickly spread across the city, and the US, as part of hip hop music culture. It is commonly associated with graffiti art, rap music and street fashion. Breaking competitors are also known as b-boys and b-girls, who often dance in competition with one another to see which crew can outperform the other with more creativity, originality and dominance.
As hip hop evolved into more of a performance-based genre, styles like Popping and Locking developed in 1970s California and were linked to Hip Hop through media association and cross-pollination with breaking. The latest addition to the hip hop family is Krumping, which was created in Los Angeles by Ceasare ‘Tight Eyez’ Willis and Jo’Artis ‘Big Mijo’ Ratti and is characterized by more abrupt and powerful movements.