Hip hop dance is a form of modern dance that has its roots in urban culture. It began in the 1970s in primarily African American communities, with dancers performing at block parties and school yards. The movement eventually grew into a style that is now practiced in dance studios and competitive dance competitions all over the world.
Initially, hip hop dance was improvised and freestyle, as dancers would move to the beat of the music. However, the movement soon began to take on a more structured form with break dancing, popping and locking. The styles of each have different characteristics, but they all share the same philosophy of “knowledge of self” which binds them together into one hip hop culture.
Breaking is a form of improvisational dance that incorporates a variety of moves to create an original and unique routine. This style is typically performed by individuals or teams in a dance battle called a cypher. The MC or master of ceremonies is often present at these events, hyping up the crowd and the DJ and promoting hip hop dance.
Krumping, a more recent addition to hip hop dance, draws influence from African American culture and is characterized by powerful and energetic movements, such as chest bumping. Popping involves the quick contraction of muscles to create a jerking effect in the body. The dancer can pop their whole body or only certain parts, resulting in a surreal and robotic effect. Locking is a technique that requires the dancer to quickly move their body and freeze it in different positions for longer periods of time than with popping.