Throughout history, dance has been a way for people to express themselves, their passions and their cultures. Modern dance exploded in the 20th century, leading to studios and innovative styles that broke away from tradition. Hip hop was one of these styles, born in the 1970s America among urban largely African-American and Puerto Rican communities. Unlike the ballets and flamencos of traditional dance, hip hop was not done in a formal setting but on the streets: block parties, school yards, and nightclubs.
As hip hop evolved, different styles emerged such as breaking, popping and locking. Breaking focuses on the unique rhythmic combinations of music and freestyle moves that dancers can pull out on their own. This is generally done with other dancers in a “cypher” or a dance battle that can be both social and competitive.
Popping is a more technical dance style that uses quick contractions of the body to create a jerking effect. This style can be seen in many popular movies and TV shows.
Locking is a more fluid movement that uses the whole body to express emotions. It is performed to a faster beat and often includes acrobatics. This is a dance that is very expressive and is often seen in commercials and music videos.
Krumping is a powerful and energetic dance style that requires a lot of strength and power. It is a type of freestyle where dancers can use any combination of chest bumps, jabs and stomps to express their energy. This style was used by 1990s rappers MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice in their choreographed routines for their music videos.