Hip Hop: Origins

The origins of hip hop dance are as colorful as its origin story. The beginnings of this dance style began in the late 1960s and are believed to have started in New York, but there are also some ties to the western region of the United States, like in southern California. The people that started hip hop began their journey in the streets with no formal dance training but a natural movement and instinct for rhythm. Inspired by complex movements and African dance styles, hip hop was meant to be performed by the people and not the “academy” – in the streets and by regular untrained people. Whether East Coast or West coast hip hop, this style has great influences from African dances, as well as some minor influences from tap, swing, and modern style. Let’s get into some more information about the different styles, moves, and roots of hip hop!

East Coast

The East coast is known as the origin and birthplace of hip hop dance and music. It originated in black and Latino communities throughout the state of New York in the late 1960s, but really hit its height of popularity in the 80s and the 90s. The individuals that created this dance style also created styles within hip hop, such as break dancing (which makes up a huge chunk of what hip hop really is), roboting, popping, locking, and boogaloo. All of these styles consist of complex foot movements that were made up on a whim, which indicated an amazing knowledge of how to improvise their body and steps to the music. These original dancers were incredible at feeling music and dancing with passion and purpose.

West Coast

The West Coast hip hop really started to boom into pop culture in the 90s – showing up in music videos all over America, but in the 2000s is when hip hop really started to dominate the dance world. Hip hop was all over the internet, specifically in videos appearing everywhere on YouTube and other streaming services at the time, becoming a huge addition of pop culture. This West Coast style used the original format of hip hop dance that the East coast put together decades before but with their own modern (and western!) flare. This style really focused on the imagery of the robot and mimicry of a store mannequin when dancing. While influenced greatly by the legendary hip hop dancers of the East Coast, the west coast really made their mark with their own interpretation of hip hop.

Although on opposite sides of America, hip hop is a dance that brings communities all over together. The beauty of freestyle dance gives people of all abilities and sizes to share what talents they have with the world. Here at Omaha School of Music and Dance, we thrive on the opportunity for your children to dance with style and purpose, just like in hip hop! We have a wide range of classes for all ages (even adults!) that can get you moving your feet and feeling the jam! We can incorporate East and West coast styles in our lessons as well as trying out our own little styles, which is the true beauty of hip hop! It is meant to be changed and formed into a new technique and popularized or influenced by other dances within communities all over the country!

Please come and join us and be a part of the hip hop movement! Dance is a part of our passion and we are ready to keep up with the trends you see in the media today! Hip hop is the best way to get you or your child into the dancing world! We are located on 144th and Dodge on the northwest corner! You can look us up online via our website and see all of the hip hop and other dance classes we offer! You can get signed up online or call us with any questions you have at 402-515-9639. We are so excited to see what you have to offer and so excited to show you what we can bring to the table in a world full of dance!

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