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Hip Hop Dance History

Rahul Thadani
As is the case with all forms of dance histories, hip hop dance history has also had to struggle to get recognized. What started off as a simple rebellious movement has now become a full-fledged mainstream genre, that is recognized and respected the world over.
Along with the immensely popular genre of hip hop music, hip hop dance history is a facet that has really boosted the popularity of the hip hop culture.
Over a period of time hip hop dance has really caught on big time in the mainstream media, and the exposure it is given nowadays, is a good indicator of how many people across the world really relate to it and practice it.
There are many old school and new school dance forms that have embraced the hip hop dance culture now, and hip hop dance history tells the story of that rise.
Hip hop dance primarily refers to the dance form that is performed to hip hop music, and is usually synonymous with that music. Some trademark moves like locking, popping and breaking have come to be easily related to hip hop dance.
The most intriguing part of hip hop dance is the absence of any restrictions (known as free-styling), a method in which pretty much anything goes. This has lent credence to the belief that hip hop dance is not bound by any predetermined moves and rules, and that there are no boundaries.
The dance, like the minds of the dancers, is meant to transcend through barriers of segregation.
The dance commonly occurs in the form of 'battles' between individual dancers, or 2 groups of dancers, and usually occurs in a randomly selected area on the streets. It is more a tussle of psychological and mental dogmas, than the moves itself.

History of Hip Hop Dance

It was in the 1970s that this hip hop dancing trend first began to be noticed. In the street corners of slightly impoverished African-American and Latino neighborhoods, kids found a way to break the gloom and the monotony by bringing out beat boxes and staging dance showdowns, or battles, amongst each other.
Any kind of moves were appreciated, and unorthodox moves like spinning on the head and slamming against the ground became synonymous with the music. As the popularity of the music went up, so did the dance moves.
These moves soon began to be called breaking, and the mainstream producers of hip hop music also included these dance routines in their presentation.
The one person who can be given the most credit for developing hip hop music is Clive Campbell, also known as DJ Kool Herc, a Jamaican-American who started playing his original beats at a lot of parties and gatherings at the Bronx.
Pretty soon the dancing style also evolved along with the times. Simply breaking was not enough, and the dance moves of hip hop dance history started becoming faster and more aggressive in nature. Shaking of the pelvis and the hips soon became a standardized part of these moves, and that's when the world really started seeing more of this unique culture.
Battles and showdowns between various gangs began to be settled using these dance techniques, and a lot more moves and permutations were added to the arsenal of hip hop dance moves.
A special mention must go to Michael Jackson who also raised the popularity and profile of this genre, and hip hop dance songs in particular. The beats that were a part of hip hop music started getting more complex and intense, and a lot more DJ's and MC's turned out some blistering beats that had people krumping and popping.
As mentioned earlier, the most notable part of hip hop dance history was the absence of any boundaries. Other dance forms at the time required years of training and practice, while hip hop dance could be performed on the spot by a flexible individual.

Hip Hop Dance Today

Purists of this genre claim that the hip hop dance that we see on television today is nothing resembling the hip hop dance history. They sternly claim that the media has distorted the way we view this genre and that the moves we actually see on TV are polished and fake.
The real hip hop dance happens in the underground hip hop music centers that are present in almost every major city. The only real way to perform hip hop dance is by going back to the roots, they say. Hip hop dance is widely viewed as a way to just break loose from society's rules now and embrace the real ghetto spirit of expression.
Hip hop dance history timeline is littered with misunderstood expression, and the will to break loose from conventions and orthodoxy. It was initially viewed with a lot of disdain and contempt, but over time people have understood what it is really about and have embrace the culture completely.
This has been one of those genres of entertainment that have truly provided a lot of people with a purpose and a platform.