How did street dance start

Definition of street dance, BuzzWord from Macmillan Dictionary

noun [uncountable]

an informal style of dance involving a variety of moves, which is popular with young people and often developed in public spaces such as streets, clubs, playgrounds, etc.

street dancing

noun [uncountable]

street dancer

noun [countable]

'More boys than ever before are joining dance troupes as a street dance craze sweeps London.'

London Evening Standard 8th June 2009

'… Croft could have been fired by anger but he side stepped that suggestion with the skills of a man who in his youth studied contemporary, modern and street dancing. …'

London Evening Standard 9th June 2009

'Street dancers Flawless pulled off another eye popping routine to a medley of hits. '

Daily Star 26th May 2009

On 30th May 2009, dance group Diversity wowed British audiences with a stunning routine which sealed their victory in the popular UK TV show 'Britain's Got Talent'. In the aftermath of this breathtaking performance of synchronised and acrobatic movements, the expression street dance made a corresponding leap into the radar of the general public.

Street dance, also informally referred to as street, is an umbrella term which encompasses a range of dance styles characterised by descriptions such as hip hop, funk and breakdancing. Its eclectic nature has spawned a whole new street dance lexicon, including terms such as popping, locking, waving and krumping.

with the last surge of interest occurring in the 1980s, street dance has resurfaced during the last five years to enjoy a renewed popularity

When a dancer pops, they jerk their body by quickly contracting and relaxing the muscles. The movements they make are correspondingly referred to as pops or hits. Locking refers to fast, exaggerated, movements which then freeze into a rigid position (a lock), whereas waving describes a more fluid style where movement appears to ripple through the limbs (as if a wave were traversing the dancer's body). Krumping is characterised by free, expressive and energetic movement of the arms, legs, chest and head. Proponents of these different styles can correspondingly be described as poppers, lockers, wavers and krumpers. If you'd like to see these street dance moves in action, check out the video in this article.

With the last surge of interest occurring in the 1980s, street dance has resurfaced during the last five years to enjoy a renewed popularity. Interest has been sparked primarily by television, especially through MTV music videos and advertisements using dance moves to sell products. Across the UK, dance studios have reported an increased demand for tuition, with more young people, especially more boys, participating in dancing classes than ever before.

Though the term street dance was already established within youth/dance culture, recent media interest in 'Britain's Got Talent' winners Diversity and rival group Flawless seems to have now planted the expression firmly into mainstream British English.

Background to

street dance

Street dance, also more formally described as vernacular dance, originated in New York in the 1970s. Evolving on the streets of Manhattan and the Bronx, it was developed as an improvised, social dance form, reacting against traditional, high-art dance styles. Popular with African-Americans and Puerto-Ricans, street dance was used as an expression of resistance and cultural identity outside of the mainstream.

The energetic nature of street dance makes it popular with young people on a variety of levels, both as an art form, a competitive activity or for physical exercise. Some UK secondary schools are therefore beginning to introduce street dance as a form of physical education.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

A History Of Hip Hop Dance

Hip-hop dance is a unique and exciting style of street dance that is most commonly performed to hip-hop music. Hip-hop dance is a vibrant form of dance that combines a variety of freestyle movements to create a cultural piece of art. Through its three main styles of popping, locking, and breaking, hip-hop dance has evolved into one of the most popular and influential styles of dance.

Greeley dance studio, A Dance Place, enjoys teaching hip-hop dance because of its more laid back style that allows dancers to let loose and worry less about technique and more about expressing themselves through their movement and their music. With more upbeat music, hip-hop dance creates a different level of fun and creativity.

Where It All Began


Hip-hop dance began during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, originally inspired by the movements of African dancing, and flourished as a new style of dance performed on the street for the people. Hip-hop incorporates aspects of modern dance, tap, and swing, integrating music and complex movements to form artistry.

The early history and roots of hip-hop dance are most often associated with its beginning on the East Coast, specifically New York City. But the West Coast also formed its own style of the East Coast hip-hop dance around the same time.

East Coast hip-hop began with the unique rhythmic combinations created by Kool DJ Herc, a Jamaican DJ who moved to Brooklyn at the age of 12 and quickly became one of the most popular DJ’s of New York City. DJ Herc ingeniously thought to extend dance sections of songs to create better opportunities to showcase the breaking movements of dancers.

West Coast hip-hop took the dance style from the East Coast and made it its own, transforming some of the frozen moves and making them more robotic. The West Coast was also where two of modern hip-hop’s most iconic styles, popping and locking, were born.

Check out the video below to learn some basic pop and lock moves:

Evolution Of Hip Hop

East Coast and West Coast hip-hop dance styles were originally meant to be two distinct forms of dance. However, as hip-hop grew in popularity, the two styles began to merge together into a unique street dance culture. Over time, hip-hop expanded from the street scene, and its choreography became a sought-after style in dance studios, clubs, and other venues.

During the 80’s and 90’s, hip-hop dance competitions became increasingly popular with the emergence of “battles,” one-on-one freestyle competition on the dance floors of clubs surrounded by a circle of fans. Improvised battles soon led to advertised battles and a higher level of competition.

Modern Hip-Hop Dance


While hip-hop originated as informal street dance meant for the people present, it has further evolved onto the stage and screen and into an audience favorite. Hip-hop now is a highly sought-after and dominant style of dance. It is among the most common styles of dance for music videos, concerts, and dance competitions. It can be found in dance studios of all kinds, teaching its unique and energetic compilation of movements to young and old.

Hip-hop dance has transformed the world of dance and has taken the dance culture by storm. Many of its distinctive moves are often integrated into the choreography of more traditional styles of dance and it has even worked its way into major theatrical and cinematic productions.

Hip-hop dance provides a vibrant means for exercise, art, and movement, creating a platform for individual expression and undeniable talent.


Sign Up For Hip Hop Dance Classes in Greeley

A Dance Place offers exciting hip-hop dance classes in Greeley that incorporate body control, improvisation, and the high-energy movements that have shaped hip-hop dance for decades.

Our talented hip-hop dance instructors have a desire to make sure that students understand and experience that hip-hop class is a fun and safe place for them to be who they really are. At our Greeley hip-hop dance classes, students do not worry about how they look or dress; they simply come to let loose and have fun. For more information about our classes or to register, call today at (970) 590-9530.

Street dancing. The history of appearance is the history of popularity. Internet publication "Elements of Dance"

Hmm… if you think about it, there are not so many examples. And among them street dances are out of competition.

The birth of such a phenomenon as Street Dance (Street Dance s) was preceded by a completely different street "culture" - a tough confrontation between gangs in the "black" neighborhoods of American metropolitan areas. Young, strong, but poor African Americans had nowhere to put their energy. Fitness centers, paid studios, gyms and other benefits were not available to them. In addition, brute force was considered the only way to assert their leadership in a particular area. "Black" youth clearly wanted to express themselves, but did not know how. Perhaps fights would have remained the main type of communication if there had not been a peaceful alternative - street dancing. nine0005

Street dancing is the same general concept as folk dancing. In order to dance street dances, only one condition is necessary - to feel the life and rhythm of the streets. Street dancing combines several styles that originated outside the walls of dance studios. More precisely, modern street dances are mixes of different styles - hip-hop, house, locking, popping, ragga dance, new style, new age, break dance, electric boogie, krump, and others.

However, just now these styles are fashionable among young people, and therefore, many street dances have migrated to the dance floors of clubs and discos, and rightfully belong to club dances. nine0005

Where does street dancing come from?

So, street dancing originated in the 70s of the last century in the poor neighborhoods of New York and Los Angeles. It was in the Bronx (New York) that the main hip-hop platform was formed, on which all street dances later arose and developed.

Hardboard sheets (Wood Chipboards) laid out right on the streets served as a training ground for dancers. Young people stood in a circle around this spontaneous micro-scene and showed their achievements to their friends one by one, enthusiastically mastered quite complex street dances full of acrobatics. Gradually, spontaneous groups united, exchanged experience, revealed the secrets of mastery to beginners. The elders taught the younger ones, saving them from mistakes that lead to serious injuries. Already polished street dances were demonstrated on the same sheets of chipboard. The energy of the performances was so high that the people around looked at them with admiration, and sometimes with apprehension. nine0005

With caution, because street dancing was born as the only available way to throw out emotions (including negative ones), express one's attitude to the world and show one's belonging to the streets from which the dancers came. And, since this world was hostile, the streets are dysfunctional, racial discrimination and humiliation of "blacks" are global, then many street dances were very aggressive.

Such a dance, which originated in the southern quarters of Los Angeles, was KRUMP . Crump is an aggressive and powerful style that allows you to “blow off steam” without restraining yourself to “express” everything you think about it to an unfriendly world. This is a dancing hurricane, giving birth to pure positive from negative emotions. Crump is a street dance that aims to release aggression into a peaceful direction. Violent, hyper-speedy and jerky movements, frequent jumping and physical contact with partners form the character of the dance, similar to a fight. A krump-battle involving several dancers is often mistaken for a fight by outside spectators, and may even cause the police to appear. And yet, krump is a special philosophy of getting rid of anger , aimed at transforming the accumulated negativity, disappointment in the world around us into positive energy that gives strength. Such street dances as krump are, of course, extreme, but at the same time, they reflect all the passion of modern life and allow you to breathe deeply.

Street dances better known to us - breakdance and style footwork grew up on the basis of b-boying (which, with the light hand of the media, was called "break"). In the early 70s, DJs became the ringleaders at all dance parties. During the short breaks that they arranged (break dance from the English. break - break), their outstanding art was demonstrated to the applause of the crowd by tough guys - b-boys, honing their dance technique to perfection all the same, on the streets. Break "fell" on the floor, marking the beginning of the development of footwork. For a long time, footwork was all about improvisation. However, very soon he developed a set of basic movements and acquired a recognizable style with a series of beautiful and complex combinations. nine0005

A lot has already been said about hip-hop , and in Russia they are just as passionate about it as in the West. But C-Walk and Jerk street dances still remain exotic for us, although in the USA and Europe they are insanely popular among young people.

Crip Walk or C-Walk has long been distributed only in the US and only since 2009 has become known throughout the world. The dance is focused on virtuoso footwork and continuous improvisation. He appeared in Compton, a poor suburb of Los Angeles, around the same time that all the mainstreams of street dancing were born (70s of the last century). It was performed at first under the rap recitative and had a different name. It wasn't until the early 1980s, when it became the symbolic dance of the Crips in South Central, that the dance got its name "Crip Walking". With the help of the symbolism of the dance (dexterous, lightning-fast movements of the legs), new members of the group were initiated, signs understood by the bandits were given, and belonging to the gang was depicted. nine0005

C-Walk is very recognizable. His technique is characterized by the observance of angles between the feet of 90 degrees. Angles are observed when moving in any direction, regardless of slow or fast dance performance. Dancers use oversized clothing: wide jeans, sneakers, a cap or bandana turned to the left, white t-shirts and plaid shirts worn over t-shirts and fastened with one top button. Gangster style of the 70s.

C-Walk Style brought its basic movements to hip-hop. At the end of 90's lost its gangster philosophy and became a "respectable" groovy street dance.

The US state of California has also been prolific in street dancing. Jerk rapidly "rolled" from California around the world. The Jerkers took the classic hip-hop of the 80s as a basis, but built their own philosophy, where a vibrant lifestyle, distinctive appearance and clothes are cultivated. Jerk is often called a clone of tectonics, but this is a completely independent direction. Jerkers believe that fashion has long “stepped over” wide pants and a gangster look. They wear colorful accessories, punk hairstyles and extremely tight jeans. Jerk screams self-confidence. His movements are so diverse that it is rather difficult to describe the dance. Jerk is somersaults through oneself and a partner, half splits, squat dance, freezing in acrobatic weightlessness, high jumps. This dance has a bright entourage and is completely non-aggressive, for which, in contrast to gangsta rap, it was called the “quiet revolution” for young people. nine0005

Why is street dancing so popular?

The main secret of popularity is simple - availability anywhere and anytime . Street dances are performed in any open area, in the subway, in yards, in arenas, garages, and on sports grounds. They do not need special equipment, only their own skills and a certain attitude to life.

In addition, street dancing is an excellent alternative to sports for those who want to keep fit, but do not want to be bound by constant physical activity. Since almost all street dances are energetic and full of acrobatic elements, the dancer easily maintains his ideal shape, while doing what he loves. nine0005

Contrary to the impression, street dancing does not have an age limit. Yes, street dances owe their popularity mainly to students and schoolchildren, but such areas as tectonics, locking, house and break dance are also being mastered with pleasure by older people, and, moreover, allow them to form a special “young” philosophy of consciousness.

Street dances owe their popularity to the fact that whatever one may say, belong to folk art . Street dances, like nothing else, are close to the people and therefore are taught so actively now in all schools and dance studios. nine0005

Modern street dancing is diverse and not limited to a clear style. The possibility of endless improvisation and countless combinations of styles cater to both boys and girls. No gender discrimination Full equality.

Another highlight that gives street dancing a great edge is that it's a great way to express your creativity for each individual. There are no choreographers on the street who drive you into the style framework. Self-realization and complete emancipation reign here. Street dancing allows you to express your emotions, contact and flirt with the audience and other dancers. nine0005

And finally, street dancing is a peaceful competitive process . The struggle for leadership takes place in the form of battles and does not leave indifferent even those who are generally indifferent to dancing.

The emergence of street dancing | Educational social network

Abstract on the topic: "The emergence, development and styles of street dances."


Gladkaya Ulyana

"The emergence, development and styles of street dances"

Introduction (What is street dancing)

Even at the start of the 21st century, the history, techniques and styles of street dancing (commonly referred to as break dancing) were largely undocumented. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that performance styles are usually either passed on from professionals to beginners in an informal setting, or just dancers right on the street show each other new moves. However, by 2010 information about the history of street dance began to be officially documented.

Street dancing is the same generalizing concept as folk dancing. In order to dance street dances, only one condition is necessary - to feel the life and rhythm of the streets. Street dancing combines several styles that originated outside the walls of dance studios. To be more precise, modern street dances are mixes from different styles of hip-hop, house, locking, popping, ragga dance, new style, new age, bray to dance, electric boogie, krump, and others. nine0005

The culture is characterized by both special music and unconventional dances. At first, to arrange competitions, young people gathered spontaneously. Then competitions began to be organized in advance, inviting spectators and fans. Today, such events are held annually. One of the directions of street dances - hip-hop was formed gradually, it was saturated with elements from break-dance, rega, modern, belly-dance and latin. It should be noted that street dances are built on free fantasy and the flight of consciousness, the ability to listen to music and focus on semantic accents. Old-school styles of street dance appeared on the streets and in entertainment venues in the United States based on non-standard combinations of steps and movements. The old school of music was characterized by high percussiveness, combining breakdance-style moves. The modern school has undergone changes and is more complex. Many dancers supplemented it with their own movements. Today there are many individual and mixed styles, but these trends originated in the old and new schools. New style is the most fashionable direction of street dances. It is characterized by the manner in which movements are presented. It is soft, calm, at first glance relaxed, but demonstrating internal compressed energy. The dancer during the performance looks outwardly at ease. For free improvisation, he uses the power of resistance. In the United States, this kind of street dancing is called freestyle, which means free style. To demonstrate their abilities, the dancers fight in a specially prepared place, demonstrating their skills in turn. Participants show respect for each other and do not sort things out. The winners are determined by the judges together with the audience. nine0005

Origins of street dancing


The term hip-hop was coined in 1980 by DJ Afrika Bambaataa. He used the term to describe a trend in urban cultural dance and music that emerged in the 1970s. The origins of street dancing lie in folk dances, which were mainly performed by dancers from Africa. In the 1920s, performer Earl Tucker used sliding steps in his dances, which later became characteristic of hip hop. At 19In the 70s, James Brown created music that in turn also influenced street dancing.

The birth of such a phenomenon as street dances (Street Dances) was preceded by a completely different street "culture" - a tough confrontation between gangs in the "black" neighborhoods of American metropolitan areas. Young, strong, but poor African Americans had nowhere to put their energy. Fitness centers, paid studios, gyms and other benefits were not available to them. In addition, brute force was considered the only way to assert their leadership in a particular area. "Black" youth clearly wanted to express themselves, but did not know how. Perhaps fights would have remained the main type of communication if there had not been a peaceful alternative - street dancing. nine0005

So, street dancing originated in the 70s of the last century in the poor neighborhoods of New York and Los Angeles. It was in the Bronx (New York) that the main hip-hop platform was formed, on which all street dances later arose and developed.

Development of street dance


even perform on Broadway. The media in the US began to popularize street dance. However, at 19In the 1990s, hip-hop groups in the United States and elsewhere began to bring the dance style closer to what it was in the beginning. There has been an increase in the number of hip hop groups that have combined dance with theatre, modern dance and other forms of performing arts. At the beginning of the 20th century, street dancing takes on many different forms, and new ones keep appearing all the time.

Actions developed as follows. A place was vacated on a section of the street or in the hall of some institution. The audience "surrounded" the dancers and acted as a kind of shield. The winner of the fight was determined by the judges, who were guided by the opinion of the public. nine0005

Street dance competitions are currently held internationally, such as Juste Debout or Battle of the Year. However, it must be borne in mind that the main feature of such dances is still improvisation. Therefore, even pre-prepared speeches cannot be held within a strict framework. More often, changes in the dance of the program are made by the mood of the performer, who, to the rhythms of the music, begins to show the audience "miracles of acrobatics." Accordingly, the slightest change in the emotional background of the dancer is instantly reflected in the dance. nine0005 ?

Under the general name "street dances" dances of different styles and directions are combined. Each of them has its own technique and its own characteristics. These are dances that are performed with pleasure, and not under the pressure of strict norms and standards. The mood of the dancer today and now is the main content of street dances. The performer focuses on individuality and originality. For the sake of creating his own individual style, the dancer is not afraid to mix and interpret the movements of other dance styles in his own way. Improvisation is the main feature of street dancing. Even performances prepared in advance do not have a rigid framework, and can be changed under the influence of the momentary mood of the performer. The feeling of the dancer is an important criterion for how appropriate this or that movement is in each particular case. A change in the emotional state of a dancer can lead to a completely new, original interpretation of a dance number. nine0005


Street dances are special, the original form of demonstration of their choreographic skills by dancers is the so-called fights. The term was originally used to refer to break dancing, but is now applied to other forms of street dancing as well.

The action is as follows. In the center of the hall or on the street, a place is vacated for dancers. Spectators stand around and cheer on those performers that they like. The judges, together with the audience, determine the winners. Usually the dancers demonstrate their skill in turn, unless it is a prearranged group number. Representatives of one team of dancers in hip-hop are called gangs. nine0005

Another type of such competition is called “wall to wall”. The performers stand in a straight line facing each other and perform impromptu dance moves. This type of competition is used less frequently, since in this case the possibilities for the manifestation of individuality are limited.

An integral part of the dance battles is the demonstration of respect of the participants of the competition for each other and, especially, for the rivals. Aggressive showdown, fights, inappropriate behavior are not welcome. nine0005

Dance styles and their foundations , and to this day, interest in this dance does not fade, but is gaining momentum even more. After all, hip-hop is a lifestyle for young people, and dance brings harmony, drive, and energy to the human world. People find new friends, communicate, share new ideas. Dancing helps to gain self-confidence. In every dance, whether classical or folk, there is a foundation, basic movements, and hip-hop has its own base. This dance consists of groove, bounce (kach), and movements. Groove or state is how you feel the music and how you convey it, the groove of the dancers is individual, because each dancer hears music differently. Bounce or swing is the movement of the knees, they should always be soft. Of course, in hip-hop there are basic movements, steps. There are quite a lot of them, more than a hundred movements. They are needed in order to know how your body can move, for good execution technique. nine0005

Inspired youth decided to comprehend a hitherto unknown culture. Since the film was called "Breakin'", and in some translations "Break dance", and indeed there was confusion with the terms at that time, they called this whole dance break dance and divided it into an upper and lower break. The cassette "Break it" was not as common as "Breakin'" and was the first video lessons that reached our country. From there such styles as "Robot", "Locking", "King Tut", "Electric Boogie" became known. The tutorial was from the East Coast, and as we know at that time in New York, “breaking”, “popping” and “boogaloo” had already originated later, many only heard about the “Electric Boogaloos” team ( Boogaloo Sam, founder of the "popping" and "boogaloo" styles, creator of the team) and danced the "Electric Boogie" style, a mixture of robot technique, wave, sliding penetrations and "tricks". Also on the “Break it” cassette, the “popping” style technique was presented, or rather “pop”, the dancer on the video strained and relaxed his muscles, making “dad”, then he danced a little rather “wooden” popping, from which his Soviet students made the conclusion is that the “pop's” style is based on clear leg movements, in rhythm it is necessary to sharply straighten the knee and hit the floor with the heel so that the body “shakes” and at the same time do the so-called “shoulder drop”, this is what the “popping” style looked like in our interpretation. But still, most of the cassette, justifying its name, was devoted to the “breaking” style, all the main basic steps were presented there: “footwork”, “freezes”, “top rock”, and some elements of “power move”, which are so impressed the public. Thus, in the 80s of the last century, the USSR style "Break dance" was born, which was divided into "lower" and "upper", the latter, in turn, was divided into 5 styles: "robot", "locking", "king tat" , "electric boogie" and "pops". Now it all sounds ridiculous, but this is part of our dance history, without which today Russia would not have reached the level to be able to compete with other countries in which hip-hop culture originated much earlier. nine0005


List of used sources (Books about street dances links all)

Books about street dances:

1. Club dance tutorial: Funk, Trance, House


Volodina O.V. Anisimova T.B.

2. "Fundamentals of Modern Dance"


S. S. Polyakov

3. "ABCD (Any Body Can Dance)"


Amit Aryan, Tushar Hiranandani.

Stage clothes for street dances

Dancing "stage" clothes are designed to emphasize the style of dance and the image created in it. By "stage" is meant not only clothes for the stage, but also for a performance that the audience can only see, for example, on the street. Therefore, the costume must be "in the subject." In fact, imagine for a moment that you decide to dance breakdance in a ballet tutu or belly dance in a Russian kokoshnik. And it's not about the audience. It's a matter of inconsistency. It is simply unrealistic to move correctly and beautifully in inappropriate clothes. nine0005

Such a contrast is possible only if the artist is a dance guru and builds a stage image on the grotesque, trying to convey a certain idea to the viewer. But even in this case, the risk of being misunderstood is great. Let's leave their experiments with costumes to the gurus, it's more important for beginners to know what to wear for the first Street Dance practice.

First of all, I would like to note that stage clothing and equipment for training are two different concepts. For classes, you can dress and shoe in what is comfortable and in which there is little chance of injury. This is important, since the average workout lasts one and a half to two hours with an intense load, and the performance is usually 3-5 minutes. nine0005

Training clothes for street dancing should be moderately loose, but such that the nuances of the movements being practiced are easily “read” and the trainer can make changes during the lesson. It is best to opt for sweatpants with a drawstring or an elastic band. Classic jeans don't fit at all. The top can be anything that does not constrain freedom. In addition, it is for this direction that it is recommended to strengthen the knee joints with elastic bandages, since they will have a serious load. nine0005

For training, choose the most comfortable clothes - you will amaze the minds of the audience with your extravagance already at the performance. And during training, concentrate on the movements - not on the combination of colors and textures. Shoes are better to choose from genuine leather or generally on a fabric basis, also give preference to low sneakers without a collar - it hinders foot movements.

Deciding on the style

Despite the fact that street dances are already an independent direction of modern dances, they also have a division into so-called sub-styles. And before you jump into the maelstrom of modern hip-hop culture in the dance incarnation, it would be good to decide what exactly you want to learn how to do to the music.

There are a huge variety of street dances, especially if we take into account the fact that street style does not have basic movements as such - it is already a mix of many styles.

Learn more