Hip Hop Dance as we know it today, for example the dancing we see in music videos is a fusion of a wide range of conventional and unconventional dance styles and techniques. This includes Jazz dance, indigenous folklore dance and even martial art.

Due to its robust nature, Urban Dance could be perhaps a more appropriate title for what we commonly classify as Hip Hop Dance. Despite the array of styles and techniques added to its current repertoire, the roots of Hip Hop Dance can be attributed to street dancers in America. For many of these dancers, the art forms they created are the most accurate classification of Hip Hop Dance.

Breaking & Funk Sytles

During the 1970s, DJs in America would set an entirely new trend, mixing what is called drum breaks which are drum solos in funk and soul music back to back between two turn tables. The result would produce an entirely new sound containing a repetitive drum break track. In essence, the dancing that emerged from this new form of music was called Breaking or B-boying (not break dancing). These forms of breaking would include but are not exclsive to:

  • Footwork – A series of steps executed with the feet both standing and on the floor prior to creating power moves.
  • Power Moves – A series of mind boggling movements usually performed on the floor that would include moves such as backspins, headspins, windmills and more. Usually, when people hear about Breaking or b-boying or the incorrect term, “break dancing” they think of these moves.
  • Up Rock/Top Rock – A series of movements following a specific rhythmic and systematic pattern.

Although breaking was predominant among street dancers in the east coast, the west coast would however indulge in their own artform using Funk and Soul music called Funk Styles.

The birth of Funk Styles on the west coast, occurred within the same era as breaking and umbrellas an array of genres. The suite of styles would include:

  • Popping – Robotic and/or jerky movements. Strobbing and Ticking are also similar types of movements within the Popping family.
  • Waving – Fluid and smooth movements.
  • Gliding/Floating – Gravity defying moves that create the illusion as if a person is moving seemlessly and effortlessly across the floor.
  • Locking – A series of animated movements that involves sharp and distinctive stances.
  • Tutting – A series of movements emulating Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
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