Shall we dance hip-hop?
Adding color, life, and movement to the videos and performances of the world’s best known rappers and artists, and even in television programs dedicated to dance, as an artistic style hip-hop encompasses arts as diverse as music, dance, fashion, and even graffiti. In essence, hip-hop goes far beyond the dance floor to be considered a true lifestyle. Curious? Get to know a little more about this style that took its first dance steps in the 1970s.
Within hip-hop dance, there are several styles: starting with the classic “breakdance”, not forgetting the unmistakable “locking” and “popping”, all of which were developed in the 1970s in the United States of America. The purest style of this type of dance is breakdance, which emerged with James Brown trying to keep up with the rhythms of his songs. From then on, these movements quickly began to be imitated all over the world, becoming a dance style all its own.
Initially, breakdancing started using only toprock movements, that is, standing up. These dances are usually performed in groups or crews, the most famous of which is the Rock Steady Crew.
Locking” was originally called “campbellocking,” and was created and worked out in Los Angeles. Today, “locking” is similar to “popping”, and its name comes from the word “lock” – meaning “to close” or “lock”. This was the movement initially used in the dance and is similar to a “freeze”, “freeze” movement that has its roots in “breakdancing”. This dance is known for its sudden stops and continuations of movement.
“Popping” was born by the hands and feet of Sam Solomon in California, and is based on the rapid technique of contracting and relaxing the muscles to cause a thrust in the dancer’s body, called a pop. Each dancer has to be completely in sync with the beats of the music, and this dance style includes two main movements: gliding and floating. Using the legs and feet, if these movements are well executed, the dancer appears to be gliding on ice, in a way that almost seems easy to imitate. But the truth is that the dance world recognizes hip-hop as being quite difficult to perform and highly complex because of its muscular and abdominal demands.
The mediatization of hip-hop
The art that is dancing hip-hop has become very popular and has allowed for competitiveness between different crews, but also individual dancers – where everyone wants to be the best hip-hoppers! Some of the best known competitions are Battle of the Year, B-Boy Summit, Freestyle Session, The Notorious IBE, Juste Debout, and many others.
In addition to prize money and contracts, these competitions allow for prestige building and growth in experience. It is with these events and their ratings that crews rise and are internationally recognized. Many of the groups that have made it into dance movies, TV series, and groups that accompany famous artists often start out in these competitions and from there make a name for themselves in the hip-hop world.
Today, the impact of these dances is on the style’s own famous singers and dancers who are able to take their talent further, creating their own brand image. Two very famous dance styles within hip-hop were born from two music stars: MC Hammer, who invented the Hammer dance, and Digital Undergroud, who developed the Humpty dance. These two had a great peak in popularity but quickly faded away… this is because hip-hop is constantly changing and trends come and go.
Another decisive factor that contributed to the growth and popularity of hip-hop were the famous talent hunt shows and dance competitions. As well as showing the world that hip-hop is as valid a dance style as tap or tango, these competitions have encouraged people to experiment more and live hip-hop more.