Hip Hop Dance

Hip Hop Dance

You may have heard about hip hop dancing or watched those stylish moves to rhythmic music. Indeed, this entire culture has had a huge influence on our world. If you are a dancer, learning more about the fascinating background of this style will be a great advantage. If you want to take up hip hop, here is a perfect chance to start. If you want to order entertainment acts for hire, you have arrived at the right place.

We are “Hips Don’t Lie,” also known as a reputable hip hop dance company in Toronto and GTA. So, we can offer you a lot of fun and entertainment, mixing styles and routines to create a stunning performance for your festival occasion. We also offer a show of 5 different dance styles at one price.


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      What Is Hip Hop Dance?

      Have you ever seen hip hop dances? It is a fascinating presentation that consists of rhythmic bounces and rocks performed in urban environments. You may be interested in learning more about it. Here are some hip hop dance facts for you.

      Its roots are in African American culture because the dance style emerged in the New York black communities in the 1970s. It is a part of hip hop culture, which also includes deejaying, emceeing, and graffiti.

      A range of music and dance styles of the 1970s influenced the hip hop dance style. In its turn, it evoked the appearance of such a studio-based version as a “new style” and the variation of jazz dance known as jazz-funk. The popularity of hip hop led to its commercialization in numerous TV shows, movies, and multiple presentations on mainstream media. For example, the TV show Soul Train and such films of the 1980s as Breakin’, Wild Style, and Beat Street showed the development of this dance and added much to its popularity.

      Many classical dancers got involved in this industry, creating new choreography of street dances. However, hip hop is improvisational by its nature. It is mostly practiced in outdoor spaces. Groups of dancers called crews often arrange freestyle competitions called battles.

      Adding new routines promoted the appearance of its variations, such as Memphis jookin’, turfing, jerkin', and krump. Many hip hop dance companies in America and in other parts of the world included these variations in their training classes and performance programs.

      “Hips Don’t Lie” is delighted to represent the presentations of hip hop alongside other dance styles in its breathtaking shows.

      hip hop dance style

      History of Hip Hop

      The hip hop dance origin refers to the Bronx in the 1970s. It was a harsh area of New York City where poverty, drugs, gangs, and crimes flourished. However, African American and Latino young people wanted to create something fascinating that could help them struggle hardships of their everyday life. So they started inventing their own art form. Due to this, the entire culture appeared and got the name hip hop meaning “hip” for the present, and “hop” for action.

      Therefore, hip hop dance history involves the struggle for freedom to grow, evolve, and learn. This dance style redirected the youth's values from using substances and violence to creativity, originality, and identity. Deejaying, emceeing, graffiti, breaking, and dancing became part of this new culture.

      DJ Kool Herc became known as the Father of Hip Hop. He started to arrange block parties in the West Bronx. He played specific breakbeat music on his turntables, and the youth came to mingle and dance. Breakbeat is a type of music based on instrumental and percussive sections and is often used in R&B and funk tracks. DJ Kool Herc found a way to get a wider exposal of people to breakbeat by isolating it. He used two turntables to create back-to-back compositions on a loop. Using headphones allowed him to innovate the art of DJing by pinpointing the exact starts and ends of beats. It allowed him to make seamless transitions between the breaks. The Master of Ceremonies (MC or Emcee) appeared on stage to hype up the crowd and add energy to a DJ. In the late 1970s, DJs and Emcees were performing together for different youth communities. That was how hip hop dance as an art form emerged and developed.

      hip hop dancing

      Over time, hip hop dancers were divided between two main substyles - breaking and party dances. The earliest form of hip hop dancing was James Brown’s “Good Foot” dance, which was not as floor-oriented as we can see it today. It debuted in 1972. The main influence on it was made by toprock, where dancers performed standing. Then, up-rock appeared in Brooklyn, New York. It was more aggressive and looked like a fight. In up-rock, there were partners dancing, while in toprock and overall breaking, every participant took turns. Then, it was developed in Kool Herc’s shows where every b boy and b girl could demonstrate their skills. “B boy” stands for “Break-boy,” and “b girl” is used for “break-girl.” Breaking was also influenced by martial arts and gymnastics and became floor-oriented over time.

      Apart from New York City, many hip hop dance groups appeared in California. They created innovative routines known as roboting, hitting, boogaloo, dime-stopping, bopping, locking, strutting, busting, sac-ing, etc. Hip hop history also saw Boogaloo which was the oldest style that appeared in the 1960s as a fad dance. It further developed as a street dance in Oakland, CA, and the separate music genre known as Latin boogaloo emerged. It featured such routines as popping and locking and was widely presented in the Soul Train show. Dance crews known as The Lockers and The Electric Boogaloos were formed to perform on this show. Therefore, it was the start of separating hip hop between breaking (as a street dance culture) and social dances represented at parties and in commercial shows and known as party dances.

      Breaking, popping, and locking became immensely popular in the 1980s when hip-hop social dance was developing. Such dances as the Cabbage Patch or the Roger Rabbit appeared at that time, as well as the Worm, the Humpty dance, and the Running Man of the 1990s. The social hip hop dances continued to the 2000s with the Cha-Cha Slide, the Cat Daddy, and the Dougie.

      The popularity of hip hop dancing has not faded until nowadays, and the style spread to Europe and many countries of the world. We in Canada at “Hips Don’t Lie” are happy to popularize this style further.

      What Styles and Routines Influenced Hip Hop Dancers?

      The popularity of breaking, locking, and popping was increasing among hip hop dance groups in the 1980s, and hip-hop social dancing (party dance) started to increase.

      Initially, only one hip hop style, known as breaking, was considered a part of hip hop culture. It was created by African Americans and developed by Puerto Ricans. Its foundational dance elements were known as toprock, downrock, freezes, and power moves. There were also transitions from toprock to downrock called drops. It was the beginning of hip hop break dance.

      The first hip hop dance teams, called crews, used a cipher or an Apache Line for their battles. A cipher was used for one-to-one breaking, while an Apache Line was good for two competing crews.

      Locking was one more basic part of hip hop. Initially, it was called Campbellocking, owing to Don Campbell, who created it in Los Angeles in 1969. He also set up a dance crew and called it The Lockers.

      The dancers’ positions are longer in locking, and a lock is the main movement. It is a sudden pause similar to a freeze. Locking is playful and character-driven. It is similar to popping. The other main moves here are points, skeeters, scooby doos, stop’n go, and the fancies. Lockers wear colorful clothes with suspenders and stripes.

      Every local hip hop dance group knows well what popping is. It was derived from the boogaloo street dance and formed in Oakland in the late 1960s. The style was promoted by Samuel Solomon, known as Boogaloo Sam, and his crew, the Electric Boogaloos.

      The technique involves quick contracting and relaxing of muscles for a jerk. It has the name of a hit or a pop. Every hit is synchronic to the rhythm and music beats. Popping is an umbrella term for many illusionary dance styles, such as strobing, twist-flex, animation, etc. These styles can be integrated into popping to create the best hip hop dance performance.

      Popping is a smooth dance style, and all its movements are fluid. It also includes gliding that is performed with almost no movements in the upper body. Tutting, as one more variation of popping, is opposite to gliding. It is an upper-body dance with geometric box-like shapes.

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      Hip Hop Dance in Media and Entertainment Industry

      Every hip hop dance company nowadays strives to be presented in the media. This trend started in the early 1980s with the films “Wild Style,” “Beat Street,” “Breakin’,” and several others. They introduced the hip hop culture to a wide audience. World-famous publications, including National Geographic, highlighted the epic battle between Rock Steady Crew and the Dynamic Rockers in 1981.

      Hip-hop social dancing was popularized by “Soul Train,” created by Don Cornelius in the 70s. Such famous brands as Coke, Pepsi, Burger King, and Panasonic used breaking in their commercials. Charles Atkins and James Brown featured the moves of contemporary hip hop dance in their choreographies, while Elite Force, a popular dance crew of the 90s, became professional dancers. Nowadays, every hip hop dancer has a lot of promotional opportunities because the dance is immensely appealing to the mass market, and there are a lot of hip hop dance videos available.

      The style is also widely presented on TV shows, online hip hop dance videos and games, theatrical performances, and festivals. There are also special competitions where hip hop dancers fight to win recognition and prizes.

      Many hip hop dance troupes for hire near me and dance studios offer special classes and performances based on hip-hop movements. We are happy to include a hip hop in our performances. Despite large commercialization trends, we are looking for ways to preserve the initial meaning and vibe of this fantastic street dance style and culture.

      Would You Like to Take Hip Hop Classes?

      Mastering the hip hop dance routine needs a lot of time, perseverance, great teachers, and energy. As one of the prominent Canadian dance companies, we do our best to popularize this style and preserve its roots.

      You can also find many options anywhere else, even in small towns. If you are determined to start your hip-hop classes, find a reputable hip hop dance group near me. Start your search by Googling and picking out those offers, studios, and events that have great reviews. You can also check social media to understand what to expect from these classes. Visit the prominent hip hop dance troupe websites and see the classic moves the company offers to ensure that you will be taught a true hip hop but not any mix of styles.

      If you want to master hip hop, the tips below may be useful:

      • Your body can be looser and more relaxed than in any other dance style.
      • Balance is essential because there are a lot of smooth and fluid movements, and you need to transit easily from one to another.
      • Follow the world-known dancers to acquire their skills and get more inspiration.
      • You need comfortable clothes to achieve a relaxed feeling.
      • Continuous practice is the key to success.
      • Learn many basic moves as a part of the routine.
      • Pay attention to weight distribution.
      • Practice a lot of waist bending and moving.
      • Trust your body and get confident.
      • You can get these and many other skills from our dance teachers.

      You can also order the best dance acts for hire featuring hip hop and other dance styles and enjoy them at your parties and special occasions. “Hips Don’t Lie” has a remarkable and highly professional hip hop dance troupe. If you are looking for hip hop dance near me, you will never find a better destination.

      What is hip hop dance style?

      This dance style is a part of the overall hip hop culture. It is created on the basis of several street dance styles popular in the USA in the 1970s. Later on, it was recognized as a unique art form and commercialized.

      What are the basics of hip hop dance?

      The basics of this dance are breaking, locking, and popping. Breakdancing, or b-boying, was developed in the South Bronx, New York City. Locking or Campbellocking appeared in Los Angeles, California, due to Don Campbell and his crew known as “The Lockers.” With its grounds on the boogaloo street dance, popping emerged in Oakland, California.

      What is important in hip hop?

      Having enough time, the right teachers, discipline, and hard work are essential things for mastering hip hop. You also need to be physically fit, stay balanced, wear comfortable clothes, control weight distribution, practice a lot, and research well-known dancers.

      What are the 4 types of hip hop dance?

      Four new dance styles appeared on the basis of breaking, locking, and popping. They are Memphis Jookin', Turfing (was created in Oakland, California), Jerkin’, and Krumping which emerged in South Central, Los Angeles. The latter is considered the most widespread mainstream style today.

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