House music how to dance
What Is House Dance? | STEEZY Blog
House Dance is a style of dance that originated in the late 70’s and early 80’s from underground clubs in Chicago and New York.
The style was influenced by several types of movement, including Tap, African dance, Latin dance, and martial arts.
House Dance is about freedom, improvisation, and feeling the music.
Learn More About House Dance Here!
History of House Music
There are a few different interpretations of how House music and dance started.
It’s important to keep in mind that “dance history” is essentially a collection of people’s life stories.
These aren’t our experiences, and we are not married to any one narrative; these are the ones that were shared with us.
The first House record came from Jessie Saunders in 1984 titled “On & On”, co-written by Vince Lawrence. Similar sounds existed elsewhere before, but intentional branding of it, like “THIS is House music” with a DJ as the artist/producer, first happened in the Chicago community. I’m sure there are many other stories of “firsts” that have yet to be as widely circulated.
– Cody “Coflo” Ferreira
In the late 70’s, the underground heads were starting to get tired of the formulaic cheesiness of Disco music.
Two DJs from New York City, Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles, started to mix Disco with other musical elements – like breaks, afro beats and electronic music.
Shortly after, they started selling their music in record shops in New York.
The owner of a big club in Chicago called “The Warehouse” found this new music and started playing it there.
Other Origins of House Music
I’ve also heard that around the time The Warehouse was more mainstream, record shops got really popular. Record diggers came in asking for the type of music played at The Warehouse, so owners of record shops would categorize those songs in a “House” section to market them.Another story puts Leonard “Remix” Rroy, a DJ from Chicago, as having “accidentally” invented the terminology for House: During the Warehouse period, Chicago was also a hotbed for juice bars (places without alcohol that people went to to dance), as well as communal parties hosted at local high schools. Leonard scored a gig DJing for a juice bar, playing his mixes for the partiers. The owner asked him, “What do you call this music?” and he thought, “Well, I’m making this stuff in my mom’s basement, so I’m gonna call it House.” They started advertising the venue, writing “We play House music here” on billboards and posters.
House music came from community parties, not just at clubs. Larry Levan was playing at The Garage in New York when he got an offer to play at Chicago’s clubs. He said no, but referred Frankie Knuckles. They had no name for it, which gave them more freedom to experiment with the sounds.They just made and played the music and didn’t think it was a big deal – until other DJs were claiming they invented it. It’s hard to label something after it’s been commercialized by other people...
– Louis “Loose” Key
It’s difficult to assign exactly how the music or the term “House” was invented.
But the common thread is that this social, party culture, especially at The Warehouse, paved the way for House music to become its own genre.
People quickly fell in love with this new music they heard at The Warehouse. Like, really in love. Going dancing at the club went from activity to obsession; they based their whole lives around going to the clubs. It was a powerful experience for people.
– Jojo Diggs
House Dance Clubs
Why was (and is) this connection so powerful?
It may help to understand that House Dance was (as were other street dance styles) wasn't just born from both celebration of the music, but also as an escape from some sort of struggle.
People went to the club looking for more than a party. They wanted an emotional and physical release.
The gospel-y vibes, strong bass beats, and hypnotizing lyrics of House music set the perfect atmosphere for this.
Soon, the underground clubs of Chicago and New York became the place of freedom and expression.
There were stages to House’s evolution. The first was very grassroots, when avid club goers would dance to funk, soul, disco, rock, boogaloo music, “Black Music,” or “Soul Music. ”You had the people who just went, then you had the people who called themselves “dancers.” They didn’t have circles or platforms, or even the room to dance in a big expressive way.Later, in the 80’s and 90’s, the dancers created a shift in attention to themselves by forming cyphers. It went from individuals dancing wherever they could, to a person dancing and a group noticing, appreciating what that dancer was doing, in a new communal way.
Check Your Body At The Door
Check Your Body At The Door is a documentary about the underground House Dance scene in NYC.
This quote paints the perfect picture of what it was like to be one of these dancers:
"Check your body at the door" means you take your attitude, your baggage, all of that, you check it at the door, and then you go into the club, and you’re a totally different person. You enjoy aggravation free, stress free, life problem free. A club head is someone who literally lives for the club, who makes time religiously to throw down and dance. I am a Club Head.
– Archie Burnett, Check Your Body At The Door
The dancers were not following any rules or practicing steps that someone else taught them.
They, themselves, gave birth to a dance style that was just as free and cathartic as the music made them feel.
House Dance was not based on counts and structure, but on passion, desperation for the movement, connection to the music.
Come as you are. Dance as you. Feel as you are. There’s no rules.
– Barbara Tucker, Check Your Body At The Door
House Dance Influences
And since doors were open to dancers of all styles – House Dance became influenced by several different types of movement.
Everything from the footwork and torso movements of African dance, the grace of Tap and Jazz, a sense of acrobatics from Capoeira, to steps from Latin dance and the athleticism of martial arts– all were ingredients that stewed into House Dance.
Those styles, plus a dash of spontaneity, creativity, and of course – love for the music, created what we consider House dance today.
You don’t have to be black, white, gay, or straight. We have one common thing – and that’s the music.
– Underground Network’s promoter, Don Welsh, Check Your Body At The Door
Codification of House Dance Moves
3 generations later, in the early 2000’s, House Dance moves went on to be codified in New York.
Brian Green, Mop Top, Elite Force, and other House Dancers and organizations such as Dance Fusion and World Soul were critical in creating this “syllabus” for House Dance moves.
To understand any freestyle culture simply ask the questions, “Who, what, when, where, why?”When people dance, and they bring their ancestry, they bring their emotional revolutions.We have to understand that much later certain movements were given labels, but it all starts with people being people.
– Jojo Diggs
Culture of House Dance – "House Is A Feeling"
What does this mean to people?
Most of the people who created House Dance came from rhythm-based backgrounds, cultures that played a lot of drums. That rhythm, that beat – they were born into it.You can learn the footsteps; you cannot learn the feeling.
House is some freedom dancing, that’s what it really is, because you go inside and feel the music, and the movements just come out.
– Ejoe Wilson, Check Your Body At The Door
House is a feeling. You can learn foundation, and you should understand where it comes from, but at the end of the day, you learn that foundation to understand how to express how the music makes you feel.
– Jojo Diggs
The feeling of House Dance lives in the Jack, which is the signature groove of the style.
A few base moves of House Dance
- Jack In The Box
- The Swivel
- Shuffle Step
- Loose Leg
Jojo is a dancer, in love with House and many other styles. She’s an international instructor and choreographer, Mop Top member, and founder and CEO of Diggs Deeper.
Always a fan of Hip Hop and gangster rap in her younger years but growing up in a conservative environment, Jojo never quite felt free to indulge in the music and dance she was interested in.
I felt embarrassed about how much I liked it.
But she started ballroom dancing in her early 20’s, and later discovered the underground dance scene of cyphers and clubs.
When she went to her first House club called Red, introduced to her by Chaz “Asiatic” Cabonce, she instantly fell in love.
House music and dance just made sense to me in a really, really deep place. I wish I had found it earlier in my life.
She learned to freestyle in the club, with other club goers. They would not teach her moves, only encouraged her to be herself and move however the music moved her.
After 5 years of dancing in the club, it seemed strange to Jojo to later learn that there were House classes that people taught at dance studios.
She’d learned House Dance in such an organic, spiritual experience at the club; a House class to steps and counts was an idea hard to fathom.
I felt like there was no way to teach what we did.
But after taking a class, she was blown away with how much of what she was learning were the foundation of things she had been doing with her body, there was a whole world of House she hadn’t known about.
My foundation will always be something that happened from the music.
She has since then become one of the most sought and respected House Dance instructors in the world, training students and educating them on its history.
Jojo has been dancing and teaching for 17 years now, and has no plans on stopping.
Her Beginner House Program on STEEZY Studio takes you through all the foundational House Dance steps, drills, and even freestyle exercises.
Just SOME Notable House Dancers
Brahms Bravo La Fortune
Shannon “Which Way” Mabra
Tony “Sekou” Williams
Brooklyn Terry Wright
Kim D Holmes
Ronald Ricochet Thomas
William “Quick” Reynolds
Basil Thomas (Brutha Basil)
Conrad SP Rochester
Omar Kashim Henry
Louis “Loose” Kee
Additional House Dance Resources
You can purchase the DVD, or on Amazon Video
. Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, by Tim Lawrence
About the dancers
The school of thought for dance I was trained under was that your movement is what the you make of it. Dance style represents the time and place and a person. I dance the way I do because of the teachers I had, where I came from, and who I danced with.Coflo Cody Ferreira
grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he met Strutters and house dancers (“Rebels”) at all-ages nightclubs in San Jose.
He started to train under the mentorship of GraVidy, learning Hip Hop and House.
After graduating high school, Coflo connected with a group of House dancers who were also open to doing choreography.
He met Johnny Mendoza of Mindtricks, who taught him how to be professional about his dancing.
Then, the New York influence came in – he saw a performance by Brian Footwork Green on VHS and decided to train with him.
For 10 years, he went through intense, disciplined study of Brian’s technique.
It wasn’t until Coflo started playing the piano and making House music himself, that he was able to unlock a new level of understanding of House.
Coflo is currently still dancing and producing music, involved in Circle of Fire, SoulShifters, and the Non-Profit organization All The Way Live. You can find his music here.
Louis Kee, AKA “Loose”
started dancing decades before House was even introduced.
He started listening to funk jazz, and soul bands in the 70’s, going to community parties, AKA “Tin Can Team” activities in NYC mobile trailer parks.
Bands would play on the portable stages, sometimes hiring a DJ because it was cheaper than having a band.
People started dancing to specific DJs that they liked, sometimes with their crews, battling other crew who danced for other DJs.
Later, Loose started going to clubs.
That’s where all the new music was. Radios had to keep their ear to the streets, the clubs, to know what they should play.Editor’s Note:
This piece was written to tell a part, not the whole, story of House Dance. There were many more dancers and events involved in House’s rich history, so we’re always learning more! If you’d like to contribute your stories, please email me at [email protected] The mission is to keep the conversation going – and we’re always down to listen. Thanks!
Wanna read the story of Urban Dance Choreography? Check out The Evolution Of Our Dance Community
What Is House Music?
“Not everyone understands house music,” begins Eddie Amador’s 1997 aptly titled anthem, “House Music.” The lyric still holds true as we enter the second half of 2022. Recently, music lovers were treated to full-on house records “Break My Soul” and “Sticky,” from Beyoncé and Drake, respectively. While many folks rejoiced and hit the dance floor immediately, others scratched their heads, wondering, What is house music? Though house music is a new genre to some listeners, its impact has been felt globally for nearly 40 years now.
History always repeats itself, and 30 years ago, the U.S. was also experiencing a house music revival. The first half of the ’90s decade was wrought with soulful diva vocalists belting house anthems that still sound timeless. Think Martha Wash, whose powerful, unmistakable vocals can be heard on C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" and Black Box's "Everybody, Everybody" in 1990. There's also CeCe Peniston's "Finally," Robin S.’s “Show Me Love,” and Ultra Naté's “Free,” just to name a few.
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Despite the impact early ’90s house music had on American pop music, some try to dispute house music’s origins, claiming that Europeans pioneered the sound. This is partially due to the fact other genres, including grunge, dominated American radio waves while house music began to evolve in Europe.
So, yes, while dance music culture continues to be a global movement, house music specifically is American grown and has always been unapologetically Black.
For starters, house music originated shortly after disco’s oversaturation went up in flames, literally. The Disco Demolition Night, a protest (read: riot) against the genre of music, was rooted in racism and homophobia, since disco was largely seen as Black gay music. Once police officials began raiding disco nightclubs and destroying anything of value, the desire to dance was more vital than ever, despite the genre losing its luster and dancing being criminalized.
Thankfully, in the early ’80s, a DJ named Frankie Knuckles had a brilliant idea. Instead of playing the original disco cuts, Knuckles used a reel-to-reel tape deck and turntables to splice and re-edit records on the spot, emphasizing the most danceable parts. The trend quickly caught on, especially with former disco DJs who still had heaps of records that could be tweaked and reworked. Knuckles and many others, such as Ron Hardy, took their rhythmic experiments to a Chicago nightclub known as the Warehouse. Quickly, the space became a safe haven, especially for Black gay men.
Sal Idriss//Getty Images
In 1982, when Knuckles left the Warehouse to open his own club, the Power Plant, the way he DJ'd already had a persona. “WE PLAY HOUSE MUSIC,” read flyers advertising the new sound, and soon, the genre’s listeners expanded from queer POC to straighter and whiter audiences. Still, no matter who came to dance, the experience remained the same: House music was, is, and will always be a safe place for everyone to feel free to be themselves.
From a technical aspect, house isn't that much different from disco. Both rely on “four-on-the-floor,” meaning there's a kick drum on every beat of a song that has a 4/4 time signature.
Four beats or “four counts” is the bones of house music. From here, producers add more elements to complete the song. For instance, on Beyoncé's “Break My Soul,” there is a kick drum on every beat, snare drums and claps on beats two and four, and then pianos in double time are played only over the fourth beat.
Drums are also where the spiritual feeling comes from. Many listeners believe the beat of the drums represent the pulse of Mother Earth—and indigenous cultures have used rhythmic drumming to synchronize the energy of their community during sacred ceremonies for centuries. Something similar happens in house music: These beats bring everyone on the dance floor to the same frequency, and this energy is palpable.
House music’s Fast Eddie and Joe Smooth.Raymond Boyd//Getty Images
The bass line gives house its groove. Since bass isn’t held to the same four counts like drums are, a bass line can weave in and out of the beat, breathing life into the four-on-the-four. While bass gives depth, known as lows, percussion and synthesizers give the track its highs. When you see a DJ “pushing” buttons, they’re probably adjusting the high, mid, and low ranges of each song to blend their mix.
House music’s roots live in Chicago, but it didn’t take long for its influence to spread. Just hours away, a Detroit resident named Derrick May traveled west frequently to witness Knuckles’ and Hardy DJ’s magic. May took what he saw in Chicago and brought it back to Detroit to share with friends Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson. Known as the Belleville Three, the trio went on to create Detroit techno.
House and techno are the blueprints for dance music. From these came many offshoots and subgenres, including deep, tribal, and electro. These subgenres can generally be distinguished by the percussion and synths, while the 4/4 kick drum stays the same.
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Breakbeats is a subgenre where the kick drum is only on beats number one and three. If you sample a song with a breakbeat and speed it up, you get drum and bass. From drum and bass came dubstep. Techno sped up with melodic strings is called trance. Remove the strings and push the tempo more, you get gabber and hardstyle.
The best part of electronic music is that the possibilities are literally endless. Technology is always evolving, which means EDM will always evolve, but house is the root of it all. And, it makes sense the current trend in pop music found inspiration from house. Much like how it started in the ’80s, we need house to be our safe haven to get away from all the heart-wrenching headlines. So when you hear house music, release any negativity, find the groove, and let the beat control your body.
- 12 Iconic House Music Tracks Worth Turning Up
- Beyoncé's "Renaissance" Album Track List Is Here
- The 30 Best R&B Songs
Brittany Gaston is a freelance contributor at Oprah Daily, providing her insights into the world of electronic music. Having worked exclusively in dance music for 14 years, her bylines have appeared in publications like Billboard, Vice, and Beatport and her latest career highlight has seen her writing content for the world's first house music museum in Amsterdam.
This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
House dance - descriptions of house dance style
Originally House (house) is one of the directions of modern music. The House dance style is very easy to define - this is what is danced to the music of House. What is in the music is reflected in the dance - it's high speed, rhythm, drive. These are dynamic body movements, characteristic jumps and fast leg movements, a kind of body roll. Wide, energetic movements are performed to short slowing down and then accelerating fragments of house.
Originating in the 80s of the previous century, in Europe, the House style began to gain popularity in the 21st century, gradually gaining popularity along with hip-hop. This dance attracts with its special manner and dynamics, based on musical tastes and the ability to understand and interpret house music. Electro House's music has its origins in funk music and originated in Chicago, while the House dance itself is a product of New York's underground clubs, where dancers moved after hip-hop parties closed due to the spread of violence.
House was born on the basis of Old School Hip-hop and many elements from other styles. To date, there are various varieties in house: jacking (body work), footwork (footwork), stomping (jumping elements), lofting (parterre work), as well as stocking - playing with a partner. But the basis of the dance is precisely the individual perception of music by the dancer, his feelings and emotions - it is no coincidence that the style did not have the original name and was simply designated as Freestyle dancing.
One of New York's best dancers, Ejoe Willson, says that "what makes hayc different from hip-hop is that when you dance hayc, you are subordinating your body to the music itself, and not to the musical beat, as in hip-hop."
THIS STYLE IS TEACHED
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Zumbastore.ru9000 2 House dance - dynamics and special manner of performance
House dance is a moving dance to house music that originated in the 80s in clubs in New York and Chicago. House dance is based on three main techniques - footwork / footwork, jacking / jacking, stomping / stomping and lofting / lofting (“footwork”, “bodywork”, “jumping elements” and “work on the ground”, respectively). Thus, the house is an impromptu combination of fast steps with body work and movements on the court.
House attracts primarily with its dynamics and special manner of performance, which is based on the ability to perceive and interpret music, as well as on the feelings and emotions of the dancers. The musical style of electro-house appeared on the basis of funk.
Why attend house lessons?
If you still don't know whether to choose this particular style for learning, then most likely you are not well informed about the benefits of practicing this dance.
House is a very mobile dance. Regular training will correct the figure, because it is very difficult to gain excess weight, being in constant and dynamic movement.
As a rule, active training and regular physical exercise stretch and strengthen the muscles. And if you work at the office at the computer, then dancing is not only useful, but also vital, as it will save you from such consequences of sedentary work as blues, stiff muscles and weak muscles.
Dance teaches you how to properly distribute energy. Throwing out the accumulated negativity and feelings, you will definitely cheer yourself up and relieve yourself of stress.
We guarantee that you will get a lot of drive from fast movements, perky music and the feeling that you are one step closer to your goal.
House dance lessons at Brooklyn Dance School
Learning the correct movements and mastering the dance style can only be done with the help of professional teachers. We explain the principles and movements to our students, help them cope with mistakes, develop their own individual style and achieve success.