Hip Hop

People probably think about their favourite rappers when they think ‘hip hop’, but in reality hip hop is much more than that. Hip hop has five elements: DJing (turntablism), MCing (rapping), graffiti, breaking (bboying) and knowledge about hip hop culture. These art forms were pioneered by African American and Latin communities in the Bronx, New York, in the 1960s-70s. As they were marginalised in society, Hip Hop became an art form for people to connect, celebrate and amplify their voices.







So what did this mean for the dance scene?

At those very first block parties hosted by the founder of hip hop, DJ Kool Herc, people began dancing on the floor during the breakdown of the music. Hence, Kool Herc started calling them break-boys (bboy), break-girls (bgirl), or breakers. It was a fast, athletic style decked with freezes, spins and a whole lot of attitude. 

However, the moves of breaking weren’t for everyone. And so people started a different type of hip hop dance known as party/ social dance. You think viral dances are a new thing? Welcome to the long history of party/ social dancing. These are moves that arise from particular eras, such as the dougie, the whip and nae nae, or nowadays the woah. You can check our RedBull’s article on 10 of the most iconic mainstream party dances

That being said, breaking is still widely regarded as the original dance of hip hop, so party/ social dancing is not necessarily one of the five elements. Since we still do a lot of breakin, check out our dedicated page to it in the menu!