Hip hop dance is a fun and easy way to get your body moving. Unlike classical dance which is limited to age and body type, hip hop can be enjoyed by anyone.
Often thought of as a new style of dancing, it is actually a form that has a long history and traces its origins back to the 1970s in South Bronx neighborhoods. Hip-hop incorporated elements of breakdancing, DJing, MCing and graffiti.
Many of these moves, including popping and locking, have a strong African-American influence. Popping is a movement that entails contracting certain muscles to produce a jerking effect while locking involves quickly freezing your body in different positions and then holding them for a specific amount of time.
The early history of hip hop, particularly in the 70s, was largely dominated by emcees who spat bars out of boomboxes while turntablists looped rhythmic ‘breaks’ to pump out the music. Then came the 1990s and more sophisticated forms of commercial dance began to appear in TV shows, movies and on stage.
This led to a massive expansion of the hip-hop culture and the creation of social dances which were based on a flamboyant b-boy battle style. These were performed to funk music and became popular amongst the urban youth of the day.
Other styles of dance that developed independently of the hip-hop culture but were subsequently linked to the genre through mainstream exposure included Locking, Popping and Krump. These dances also have their roots in funk but they have evolved into their own styles.