Hip Hop Dance – From the Streets to a Global Dance Form

By | November 1, 2017

From the 80’s street corner in NY and LA you could see the locking, popping, freestyle, up-rocking, down-rocking, grinding, the running man, gangsta walking, krumping, the Harlem shake and breaking. Inside the cipher, the formation circle gathered around a dancer gave birth to the first informal competition.

When passerby’s witnessed these freestyle dancers on the streets, in casual and frequent settings, they became more interested. Other technically trained dancers were especially interested, and eventually brought hip hop practice into the studio setting. This setting however is extremely contrasting from the initial freestyle street. The similar movements are used but, in studios, these dances are often choreographed, planned and practiced, unlike the original improvised style of street breakin in the 80’s.

The first movies about hip hop dance were Beat Street and Wild Style, both made in the early ’80s. Since these first films, these dance movies have become increasingly popular. In 2007, the movie How She Move made many songs popular, including the song G-Slide by Lil Mama, which helped jump start her career. The movie Step Up, about a privileged modern dancer turned hip hop dancer, was received so well that three movies were made.

Now this dance form influences Fashion, Music, Movies, and TV. America’s Best Dance Crew is a wildly popular American Idol-esque reality show aiming to find the most talented and entertaining dance group in the nation. ABDC’s first season winner, the JabbawockeeZ, are now a featured show in nightly at the Monte Carlo Casino in Las Vegas.

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