History of Dance

History of Hip Hop Dance

by Bri

The word 'hip' was a part of the African American Vernacular English language since 1904. It meant ‘current’. It was a derivative of the word ‘hep’.

The South Bronx community leader Afrika Bambaataa used the term ‘hip-hop’ for the first time. In the 1970s, the hip-hop music came up. It was based on turntablism, the art of manipulating sounds to create music and the simultaneous looping of the break, an upbeat drum. Later this technique was combined with the rapping of MCs.

Hip-hop dance is an art form that is primarily performed on hip-hop music. Hip-hop is danced on the streets. The styles that developed in the later years are known as the New School. The older ones involve break dances and funk styles.

The period between 1970 to 1985 marked the old school era of hip-hop. The period between 1985 to 1993 was believed to be the golden age of hip-hop. Some of the different forms of hip-hop dance include Harlem shake, snap dance, gangsta walking.

The four historic elements of Hip-Hop are MCing, also known as rapping, DJing, graffiti, an art that has derived inspiration from the urban culture and break dancing, which is also called b-boying.

There can be no dance without music! The emergence of hip-hop music and its popularity in the masses gave rise to the hip-hop dancing style. It was Clive Campbell who developed hip-hop music for the first time in Bronx, New York. He developed a blueprint for hip-hop music and culture reposed on the Jamaican tradition of toasting. He originated hip-hop music at the young age of thirteen. Clive also developed break-beat deejaying. In this form of art, pieces of funk music are isolated and played repeatedly for all-night dance parties.

Towards the beginning of the 1970s, Kool DJ Herc started organizing dance parties in his home. Parties shifted from home to outdoor locations in view of accommodating more people. Large groups of teenagers joined in.

They got an opportunity to constructively use their energy and express their opinions through dance. People break danced with each other instead of fighting. Hip-hop of the early years helped in decreasing violence, as it began to be portrayed through dance.

Originally MCs would talk over the music to cheer their dances or talk about the problems faced by their community. This led to the involvement of rap in hip-hop. The word ‘rap’ was derived from the slang word that meant ‘conversation’.

Hip-hop artists of the old school often used rap to introduce themselves and their guests. Later the artists brought in some lyrics from the African American culture in their rapping.

Eventually break dancing came up. The 1980s witnessed the inclusion of synthesizer technology into hip-hop. Many hip-hop films were released. Hip-hop came to be used for making social statements.

Hip-hop styles differ in different parts of the world. Dance studios from the world over offer hip-hop coaching. Choreographers may focus on a particular aspect of hip-hop dance or combine various styles of the dance.

We see mixed opinions about hip-hop in society. But on the whole, hip-hop dance has managed to gain a huge fan following. The hip-hop moves and the rocking hip-hop numbers are bound to enchant one and all.


See Also

More History of Dance

History of Hip Hop