Hip-Hop Dance and its Origins

Hip-Hop Classes at the Omaha School of Music and Dance

Learning hip-hop class at the Omaha School of Music and Dance (OSMD), including an overview of the hip-hop style of dance and what the hip-hop classes look like at OSMD.

Where did hip-hop originate?

Starting in the early 1960s, Black Americans and Latino Americans created “uprock” and “breaking” in New York City. Black Americans in California created “locking”, “roboting”, “boogaloo” and “popping”; collectively referred to as the “funk” styles. All of these dance styles are different stylistically, although they share common ground in their street origins and in their improvisational nature.

Hip-hop dance became widely known after the first professional street-based dance crews formed in the 1970s in the United States. The most influential groups were Rock Steady Crew, New York City Breakers, The Lockers, and The Electric Boogaloos, who are responsible for the spread of breaking, locking, and popping respectively.

Along with the evolution of hip-hop music, hip-hop social dancing emerged as well. Dances from the 1990s, such as the “Running Man”, the “Worm”, and the “Cabbage Patch” entered the mainstream and became fad dances. After the millennium, newer social dances such as the “Whip/Nae Nae” and the “Dougie” also caught on and became very popular.

Originally, hip-hop dance was not a studio-derived style. Street dancers developed it in urban neighborhoods without a formal process. Now, hip-hop dance is taught in many different dance schools, colleges and universities. The style is now taught in studios from early childhood ages, on into adulthood, often times being taught anywhere from daycares to retirement facilities.

When hip-hop is taught in a studio format, it can become just as competitive as most sports. Hip-hop teams often compete and are judged on categories like execution, creativity, formation, and level of difficulty. In many competitions, hip-hop dance is often combined with other styles, like cheerleading, lyrical and jazz dance.

This style of dance is also often televised. Musical artists often hire hip-hop dancers to perform in their music videos. Hip-hop dancers can also be seen in nationally syndicated commercials, on stage as main characters or back-up dancers at concerts, and even on Broadway.

Hip hop classes at the Omaha School of Music and Dance

Here at the Omaha School of Music and Dance, we have many hip-hop class options. For the younger kids, we usually combine two forms of dance for the students to learn together. For example, for the students ages 4-7 we have a pre hip-hop and jazz introductory class. This class will introduce two students to both styles of dance. As the students get accustomed to these forms of dance, we offer a hip hop class for ages 8-12.

If you are interested in learning how to hip-hop dance, take a look at our dance page to see the classes that are offered, or sign up today!

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