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Hip-hop dance refers to dance styles that evolved from the hip-hop culture that existed in the United States in the 1970s. This street dance style, primarily breaking, was performed to hip-hop music and became popular as a result of the television show Soul Train and films in the 1980s such as Breakin’. The main feature of this style of dance is its freestyle nature in that steps are improvised even as the show goes on. There are hip-hop dance crews that take part in freestyle dance competitions that are called battles. Dance crews, battles, and freestyling are distinguishing features of this style of dancing. From this street dance developed the new style of hip-hop and the jazz-funk, which was a hip-hop influenced jazz dance, that were both performed in dance studios.
Hip-hop dance consists of two dance styles, namely social dancing and breaking. The funk style of dancing that danced to funk music was different but later became part of hip-hop dancing due to media influence. This later came to be called breakdance. Hip-hop dancing is party dancing and the main movements include breaking, popping, and locking. This dance form continues to evolve even now as new popular songs are released. Thanks to media exposure through movies and the media, the hip-hop style of dancing has become widespread the world over.
There are different types of hip-hop dance styles. Breaking also called breakdance is usually a solo performance that is a freeform dance or choreographed. This requires athletic movements that are performed to hip-hop, breakbeat, or funk music. The Bounce style is danced to a mixture of hip-hop music and Mardi Gras Indian chants. This type of dance is seen in New Orleans, Baltimore, Miami music hubs. The Electric Boogaloo style was popularized by a dance group carrying the same name and consists of different moves of the legs, knees, hips as well as exaggerated robotic type of moves. Street jazz is performed to jazz music and is also a freeform type of dance, the steps of which are improvised as the dance progresses. The Jookin’ style is restricted to Memphis and is performed to crunk music. The Locking style of hip-hop dance focuses on body motion of mostly the top half of the body. There is a lot of acrobatic and athletic moves in this dance style. The Popping dance style creates jerks in the body by contracting and relaxing muscles in a quick and controlled manner. Also called pops or hits, these jerk movement helps to augment the dance movements and routines.
Dance is an inherent part of all human societies. People naturally move their bodies to music and try to coordinate with others. Learning different dance forms enables students to recognize the diversity in society as well as the values and cultures of different societies in the world. It also develops and enhances the skills of observation, perception, and concentration which leads to the development of other life skills.