Hip hop dance is a style that can be performed on stage for a performance or in a club with friends. It is a combination of fluid and sharp movements, popping and locking, and animated expressions that reflect the energy and attitude of the music being danced to.
This dance is based on rhythms of soul and funk music and usually consists of freestyle movements, turns, spins, foot shuffles, jerks and hand gestures known as burns. It is a competitive dance and requires patience, discipline, soul and knowledge to be truly mastered.
B-boying or b-girling is the most recognized hip hop dance style and was invented by a DJ in New York named Kool Herc in 1973. Herc’s idea was to mix breaks, a type of drum beat, with hip hop music and create a new genre of dance. He incorporated the elements of soul dancing, funk and disco into this new dance.
Other styles of hip hop dancing are krumping, popping and locking. Several other dance styles have been influenced by hip hop, including street jazz and modern ballet. The television show Soul Train played a large part in the commercialization of these styles by giving them exposure to a wider audience. The Electric Boogaloos and The Lockers were two dance crews that appeared on this program and gave birth to the modern forms of these styles.
Many of these styles are taught in classes and some are even held as competitions where the best dancers come together to compete in a “cypher.” Classes are also a great way to learn about hip hop culture, because it is more than just a style of dance.