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Hip Hop

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Young woman kneeling on street, dancing to stereo, low angle view Frank Gaglione/Photodisc/Getty Images

Hip Hop:

Hip hop is a dance style, usually danced to hip hop music, that evolved from the hip hop culture. The first dance associated with hip hop was breakdancing. While breakdancing consists primarily of moves executed close to the ground, the majority of hip hop moves are done standing up.

Hip Hop Culture:

Hip hop developed from several cultures, including jazz, rock, tap and American and Latino cultures. Hip hop is a very energetic form of dancing. It is unique in that it allows its dancers to perform with freedom of movement, adding in their own personalities.[/The hip hop culture is influenced by the following four elements:

  • Disc jockeys
  • Graffiti (art)
  • MCs (rappers)
  • B-boys and B-girls (breaker boys and girls)

Hip Hop Dance Steps:

Hip hop dance steps require skill and experience to perfect. Hip hop dancers practice a lot in order to master basic steps and movements that appear simple when performed. Dancers with a good sense of rhythm find it easier to learn hip hop steps.

Breakdancing:

Breakdancing is a form of hip hop that many people enjoy watching, with it's cool moves and quick spins. Breakdancing moves take a lot of time and practice to master, particularly the ones performed near the ground, called "downrock" moves. "Uprock" moves, which are performed standing up, give breakdancers a chance to incorporate their own styles.

Learning Hip Hop:

Hip hop classes are popping up in dance studios around the country. Teens are particularly interested in learning how to dance like dancers they see on MTV and music videos. Dance teachers have capitalized on this interest and have started incorporating hip hop and breakdancing classes into their curriculums. Many people with roots in hip hop culture feel that hip hop dancing should not be formally "taught." They feel that teaching specific moves takes away from the originality factor that hip hop possesses.

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