Category: Art and Entertainment

Learn the Fundamentals of Hip Hop Dance

Hip Hop is an expressive form of dance that anyone can begin to learn with a little bit of practice. Four basic moves that every beginner Hip Hop dancer should know how to do are the Back Slide (many people call this the Moon Walk), Body Rolls, Ball Change and various Isolations.

The back slide is performed by bringing the heel up on the back foot with a forced arch and then sliding the front foot staying flat on the ground back to meet the foot that is arched. When they meet the foot being dragged back goes into a high forced arch and the other foot now goes flat, you then repeat the move alternating with each sliding foot. It is important to keep the foot that is sliding back completely on the ground as if you are trying to wipe something off the bottom of your shoe. Many variations are used using this dance step.

Body rolls are performed by dipping your chest towards the ground then arching your back and collapsing your chest and stomach as if you were just punched in that area. Body rolls can be performed using many different levels (ie: dipping low to the ground or staying upright).

Ball Change is a technique widely used in many forms of dance. The move is performed by separating your feet, normally hip width apart and then you make a very small hop onto one foot while the other foot is lifted and placed in front of the foot that just hopped.

Various isolations are very important and require control and practice. You can start with isolating the neck by moving your neck side to side keeping only that part of the body in motion and the rest of the body still (isolated). You can then move the head back and forth and once comfortable try moving the neck in a circular motion while keeping the rest of your body still. The same technique can be applied to the torso.

These are basic moves that anyone can practice and are safe to do without a dance teacher. Of course watching a video demonstrating these moves would be helpful and you have access to a professional dance instructor this would help expedite the learning process greatly.

Out of these four moves the technique every good Hip Hop dancer should know is the Ball Change as it is used widely in most choreography. Unlike ballet Hip Hop is a form of dance that the movements have no restrictions or boundaries and is one of the more fun styles of dances to try and master since it is ever changing. You use your body to tell a story and simple day-to-day moves can be incorporated to help show that story. People that practice Hip Hop dance will learn control of their bodies and connect their mind to their movements all while getting a healthy workout. Hip Hop Dance is so free and very expressive and just plain fun to do. A great way to learn Hip Hop is from a professional which you can find by calling up your local dance studio to see what classes they have to offer.

Hip Hop Classes

Hip hop classes for dance are growing in popularity, thanks in large part to music videos. Here’s some interesting tips for anyone looking to take a hip hop dance class. First, decide whether you want to purchase dance videos or take a class at a dance studio. There are definite advantages to both: the you can watch the videos anytime, though the studio classes provide a more involved atmosphere (plus a trained instructor who can answer any questions you may have).

Hip hop classes can be found at nearly at local college for cheap. In addition, you can sign up for dance lessons at gyms (which provides a great cardio workout). Whichever format you choose- video, studio or gym- most classes follow a similar pattern. Generally, it starts with a 15 minute warm up , then begins to incorporate a new hip hop dance move. In my experience, most classes introduce 3-5 new moves and incorporate them into a routine which can be repeated. Gyms tend to focus on keeping your heart rate up, whereas studios will actually slow things down to focus on technique. No matter how you approach, these classes are a workout!

Keep in mind not all dance hip hop classes are created equally. You should try out a few different schools to see which one suits you best. For example, one class may focus on breakdancing while another focuses on locking- these can be very different styles. If you’re going out dancing causually at a club, locking may be a style to look into; if you hang out at rap battles, you may want to step into breakdancing. The three main styles of dance include popping (jerky body movements), locking (fluid hip movements with precise arm movements) and breaking (also known as breakdancing, it involves getting on the floor for spins and turns).

Hip hop classes can be found online, though I would recommend taking a studio class if you’re a beginner; having a teacher help you learn the basics is invaluable. After you’ve mastered the simple steps and routines, you can always search YouTube for ways to step up your routine. In conclusion, you want to determine what style of dance you want to learn more about, then sign up for dance classes at a studio or gym, and use videos to improve your skills. You’ll be breaking, locking and popping in no time.