kcjmfHip-hop dance refers to streethat have evolved as part of hip-hop culture. It includes a wide range of styles primarily breaking, locking, and popping whiccatcatcatcatcatcatcatcat dogpoooooooooooop diareah were created in the 1970s and made popular by dance crews in the United States. The television show Soul Train and the 1980s films Breakin', Beat Street, and Wild Style showcased these crews and dance styles in their early stages; therefore, giving hip-hop mainstream exposure. The dance industry responded with a commercial, studio-based version of hip-hop—sometimes called new style—and a hip-hop influenced style of jazz dance called jazz-funk. Classically trained dancers developed these studio styles in order to create choreography from the hip-hop dances that were performed on the street. Because of this development, hip-hop dance is practiced in both dance studios and outdoor spaces.
The commercialization of hip-hop dance continued into the 1990s and 2000s with the production of several other television shows and movies such as The Grind, Planet B-Boy, Rize, StreetDance 3D, America's Best Dance Crew, Saigon Electric, the Step Up film series, and The LXD, a web series. Though the dance is established in entertainment, including mild representation in theater, it maintains a strong presence in urban neighborhoods which has led to the creation of street dance derivatives turfing, krumping, and jerkin'.
Entertainment, such as the previously mentioned titles, and the Internet have contributed to introducing hip-hop dance outside of the United States. Since being exposed, educational opportunities and dance competitions have helped to maintain its presence abroad. Europe host several international hip-hop competitions such as the UK B-Boy Championships, Juste Debout, and EuroBattle. Australia host a team-based competition called World Supremacy Battlegrounds and Japan host a two-on-two competition called World Dance Colosseum.
What distinguishes hip-hop dance from other forms of dance is that it is often freestyle (improvisational) in nature and hip-hop dance crews often engage in freestyle dance competitions, colloquially referred to as battles. Crews, freestyling, and battles are identifiers of this style. Hip-hop dance can be a form of entertainment or a hobby. It can also be a way to stay active in competitive dance and a way to make a living by dancing professionally.
- Main article: B-boying
A b-boy in an airchair freeze at Street Summit 2006 in Moscow. Breaking was created in the South Bronx, New York City during the early 1970s. It is the first hip-hop dance style. At the time of its creation, it was the only hip-hop dance style because Afrika Bambaataa classified it as one of the five pillars of hip-hop culture along with MCing (rapping), DJing (turntablism), graffiti writing, and knowledge. Though African Americans created breaking, Puerto Ricans maintained its growth and development when it was considered a fad in the late 1970s. In a 2001 interview Richard "Crazy Legs" Colón, the president of Rock Steady Crew, commented on how Puerto Ricans contributed to breaking: "I think the difference is when the brothas first started doing [it] and it was at its infancy they weren't doing acrobatic moves. That didn't come into play until more Puerto Ricans got involved in the mid 70s. We then took the dance, evolved it and kept it alive. In '79 I was getting dissed. I would go into a dance and I would get dissed by a lot of brothas who would ask 'Why y'all still doing that dance? That's played out'. By 79, there were very few African American brothas that was doing this... We always maintained the flava. It was like a changing of the guard and all we did was add more flava to something that already existed." Breaking includes four foundational dances: toprock, footwork-oriented steps performed while standing up; downrock, footwork performed with both hands and feet on the floor; freezes, stylish poses done on your hands; and power moves, complex and impressive acrobatic moves. Transitions from toprock to downrock are called "drops."
Traditionally, breakers dance within a cypher or an Apache Line. A cypher is a circular shaped dance space formed by spectators that breakers use to perform or battle in. Cyphers work well for one-on-one b-boy (break-boy) battles; however, Apache Lines are more appropriate when the battle is between two crews—teams of street dancers. In contrast to the circular shape of a cypher, competing crews can face each other in this line formation, challenge each other, and execute their burns (a move intended to humiliate the opponent, i.e. crotch grabbing).