Basics of Hip Hop Dancing

Hip Hop Dancing is great fun, but also a lot of work! This style of dance started back in the 1970’s, so the roots go back 40 years. In that time a lot of different moves have been created, so there is a lot you can learn but here are some basic steps for hip hop.

If you are looking to get started Hip Hop dancing soon, keep in mind that you should wear comfortable clothes. The “style” for hip-hop is baggy, loose fitting clothes. Just keep in mind that whatever you wear, you will be working hard, and will need to keep as cool as possible. More important than the clothes you wear is the shoes you choose. You have to get your footwear right. Sneakers that give really good arch and ankle support are a must wear! You will be doing a lot of hopping and stomping in your class, so to prevent injury you need to have a good pair of dance sneakers on.

Listed below are some basic hip-hop moves that are easy and fun to learn. Impress your teacher when you show up for class the first day and know these different moves!

Popping & Locking

This is a basic staple of hip-hop and is very improvisational, so you have a lot of freedom with it. “Popping” was created by Sam Solomon in Fresno, California, and consists of quickly contracting and relaxing your muscles. This causes a jerk in your body. “Locking” was created by Don Campbell, in Los Angeles, California. It consists of performing a series of locking movements and holding them for a few seconds.


Breaking, also known as breakdancing, b-boying, or b-girling could be the most common element of hip-hop. Breaking is very unstructured and improvisational and is performed at all different levels: toprock (standing), downrock (close to the floor), power moves (acrobatics), and freeze moves (poses).


This is a movement using mostly the hips and legs. It is a very loose movement that gives the illusion that the dancer has no bones from the waist down.

Soulja Boy

This dance was named after DeAndre Cortez Way because he helped popularize it. I’m going to let you look this one up online and watch it yourself because it is very involved. When you are doing this dance, you should have a laid back attitude and should really have fun with it!

The SpongeBob

This dance actually is NOT named after SpongeBob SquarePants. It was made popular in the 1990’s in the clubs of Baltimore, Maryland. Again, you can look this one up online!

Some last minute hip-hop tips for you are this: Remember that Hip Hop Dancing is all about the attitude and selling your performance. You need to commit to each move and be confident! You will do yourself a favor if you start of with the basics and master the fundamentals of this style of dance before moving on to more advanced moves. Practicing a lot is the key to getting the steps into your muscle memory and becoming a great performer.

If you are interested in taking hip-hop classes, visit our website today for more information!   https://omahaschoolofmusicanddance.com/hip-hop-dance-classes-kids-ages-6-9/

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