Hip hop dance is an art form that has been cultivated since the late 1960s and 70s. It was originally inspired by African dance styles and complex rhythms. It was created by individuals without professional dance training who took their natural instinct for movement to the streets where they combined a mix of freestyle movements with turns, spins and foot shuffles. It has evolved into a style of dancing that is often referred to as break dance.
During this time, the art of street dance was influenced by popular movies, cartoons and TV shows. Moves such as Running Man, The Prep, Cabbage Patch and Robocop are just a few examples of moves that have become part of the culture of hip hop dance. It was during this time that the first formal hip hop dance classes started to develop. Buddha Stretch and others became pioneers in teaching the technique. Hip hop dance began to appear in music videos and on television which helped the style gain more exposure and commercialization.
The popularity of modern shows such as America’s Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance and the Step Up series have helped to bring a new generation into the world of hip hop dance. Unfortunately, these shows tend to portray underground Hip Hop culture in a way that is unrealistic and unauthentic. Many dance organizations are now focusing on reversing this trend by helping young people learn authentically about Hip Hop dancing.