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What is Hip Hop Dance?

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By Samantha Bellerose, B.Ed, Dip.Dance(Performing Arts)

Hip Hop as a dance type is a popular form of movement that has evolved since the ’70s from its origins of break dancing. It was when musical rhythms slowed down that hip hop and its cruisy head-nodding beats developed.

Hip hop dance continues to grow through the popularity of hip hop music and the style of dance seen in hip hop music videos, in nightclubs, and in street dance.

Hip Hop is a genre of its own and other styles such as popping, locking and krumping are sometimes interwoven into the style developed independently, although are generally danced to the same hip hop, rap, or funk music.

Some classic hip-hop moves are the cabbage patch, robocop, the prep, running man, Humpty dance, and roger rabbit. The vocabulary used to describe moves is continually developing as can be seen today in moves such as the dab, floss, superman, and Soulja boy.

To learn hip-hop dance, a student does not need knowledge, skills, or technique from another form of dance such as Ballet or Jazz. Hip hop can be taken independently and many schools offer a variety of classes from beginner to advanced.

Many schools also offer a variety of hip hop classes that are cross combinations of some more technical forms and therefore do require some knowledge of Jazz or Ballet to competently perform such as Jazz Funk Hip Hop or JFH. Some tap dance classes also incorporate hip hop steps and might be known as Funk Tap classes or similar.

This page is just one of hundreds of definitions of the many styles and genres of dance. This library is being continually added to by the writers and contributors of Dance Parent 101!