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What is Krumping? – A style of Hip Hop Dance

By Heidi Williams / Edited by Samantha Bellerose, B.Ed, Dip.Dance (Performing Arts)

Krump is a style of street dance affiliated with Hip Hop that began in Los Angeles in the early 2000s, and is known for it’s intense rawness and controlled power, giving it an aggressive and almost combative appearance. 

But despite the wild and seemingly rage-fueled intensity that embodies Krump, it actually has roots that are faith-based, as K.R.U.M.P.  is an acronym that stands for Kingdom Uplifting Mighty Praise. 

“The founders, and in particular, Tight Eyez,  put spiritual meaning into the dance, saying that this dance praises God. For many followers, the spiritual element is also important in this dance” (dancebibles.com/krump). 

Krump also developed from Clowning, which is also highly energetic and animated, but was designed to be more comedic and used to entertain children at parties or community events. Two dancers who were part of a Clowning group decided to branch out and create a more “rugged” style of expression: Tight Eyez and Big Mijo Ratti. 

For many, Krump is an outlet of expressing their emotions creatively, sometimes taking on a character or an alter-ego within their freestyle. Your movement has to say something either about your character or alter-ego, or a message you send to your opponent. 

The raw, barely contained power is what boils beneath the surface of a Krump dancer. Tight Eyez has said that in Krump, the stomp is your motor. Other movements associated with Krump are kill-offs, chest pops, arm swings, hat tricks, wobbles, taunts, and jabs. 

Like other styles of dance within Hip Hop culture, Krump is freestyle-based, battle-tested, and cypher motivated. However, unlike other styles of Hip Hop dance where touching your opponent is NOT allowed, it is not unheard of to be pushed or touched in a Krump battle –another testament to the raw energy of Krump. Things happen when the energy is hype, and people get “buck.” 

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!