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The Story Of Hip-hop And Its Origins

Hip-hop dance is a unique style of street dance, originally inspired by the movements of African dancing, but did you know that the term ‘hip-hop’ actually refers to a culture consisting of DJing, graffiti, rap and b-boying (break dancing) with origins dating back to the early 1970’s?


Back then, the Bronx in New York was a rough and dangerous place in which to grow up so as a way to escape the everyday struggles of life, the African American community invented their own art forms as a way to express themselves. They created a positive movement that represented freedom to learn, grow and evolve and hence ‘hip-hop’ was born.


When we use the term hip-hop to talk about dance, we are referring to the social style of dance done to hip-hop music influenced by the older street dance styles created back in the 70’s.


The ‘breaking’ style was created in New York by DJ Kool Herc, known as the Father of hip-hop, a Jamacian DJ who moved to Brooklyn at the age of 12. At the same time two more iconic funk styles were being created in California, called ‘popping’ and ‘locking’.


Hip-hop dance got more exposure in the 1980’s which saw the start of hip-hop social party dancing and the dance industry developed a commercial studio-based version, sometimes referred to as ‘new style’. Being a street style dance, hip-hop was not performed to counts of music so to help dancers stay in sync with the music, an addition of eight counts was introduced to help bring hip-hop from the street into the studio.


The first hip-hop dance classes started in New York at the Broadway Dance Centre and it was around this time that hip-hop party dancing started to appear in music videos and on tv.


It’s exposure and commercial style continued into the 1990’s and 2000’s with movies such as the Step Up film series and Honey.


Hip-hop today has evolved into one of the most popular styles of dance allowing dancers to express themselves through their movement and with more upbeat music, it can create a whole new level of fun and activity.


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