Hip-Hop, Breakdance, and More: Exploring the Diverse Styles of Street Dance for Kids
If you have a young child who loves to groove to the beat, street dance might just be the perfect activity to nurture their passion for movement and creativity. Street dance styles, which originated in urban settings, are energetic and expressive, and they provide a great way for kids to develop physical fitness, coordination, and self-confidence. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at some of the most popular styles of street dance that your child can explore and enjoy.
Hip-hop dance is perhaps the most well-known form of street dance and has its roots in African-American and Latin-American communities in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. As hip-hop music evolved and gained mainstream popularity, so did the dance style, which is characterized by its freestyle nature and incorporation of various moves from other dance genres.
There are several sub-styles within hip-hop dance that your child can learn, including:
- Popping: This style involves the rapid contraction and relaxation of muscles to create a jerking effect, often in time with the beat of the music. Popping can be seen in iconic dance moves like the Robot and the Moonwalk.
- Locking: Locking is characterized by its sudden, exaggerated movements that are "locked" into place for a brief moment before transitioning to the next move. Dancers often incorporate gestures like pointing, waving, and clapping into their routines.
- Breaking (Breakdance): As we'll discuss in more detail below, breaking is a physically demanding dance style that originated in the 1970s and incorporates acrobatic moves like head spins, handstands, and flips.
Breakdance, also known as breaking or b-boying/b-girling, is a highly acrobatic dance style that originated in the South Bronx in New York City during the early 1970s. It is closely associated with hip-hop culture and is typically performed to hip-hop, funk, or breakbeat music.
Breaking is a physically demanding style that requires strength, flexibility, and balance, making it an excellent way for kids to develop these skills while enjoying a fun and dynamic form of self-expression. Some of the key elements of breaking include:
- Toprock: This refers to the standing portion of a breakdancer's performance, which often includes a variety of footwork-based moves and steps that showcase the dancer's style and rhythm.
- Downrock: Downrock, or floorwork, involves moves performed on the ground using the hands and feet for support. Examples of downrock moves include the six-step and the swipes.
- Power moves: These are the high-energy, acrobatic moves that are often associated with breaking, such as windmills, flares, and head spins. Power moves require a great deal of strength and skill to execute and are often the highlight of a dancer's routine.
- Freezes: Freezes are poses that a dancer holds for a moment to punctuate their routine. They often require balance and strength, as they may involve supporting the body's weight on one hand or balancing in an inverted position.
House dance is a social dance style that emerged from the underground club scene in Chicago and New York City during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is characterized by its fast footwork, fluid body movements, and emphasis on improvisation. House dance is typically performed to house music, which is a genre of electronic dance music that features a repetitive four-on-the-floor beat and synthesized basslines.
Some of the key elements of house dance include:
- Footwork: House dancers use their feet to create intricate rhythms and patterns on the floor, often drawing inspiration from other dance styles like tap, salsa, and African dance.
- Jacking: Jacking is a signature movement in house dance that involves the rhythmic shifting of the body's weight from one foot to the other, often accompanied by a twisting motion in the hips and shoulders.
- Lofting: Lofting is a style of house dance that incorporates acrobatic moves and jumps, often performed in sync with the music's breakdowns and crescendos.
Krumping is a highly energetic and expressive dance style that originated in the African-American community in South Central Los Angeles during the early 2000s. It was created as a positive outlet for youth to channel their emotions and release their energy, often as an alternative to gang violence. Krumping is characterized by its aggressive, high-energy movements, which include stomping, chest pops, and rapid arm swings.
Though it might appear chaotic at first glance, krumping is actually a highly structured dance form that requires a great deal of skill and control. Dancers often engage in "battles," in which they take turns performing their most impressive moves and attempt to outshine their opponents through their creativity and technique.
Why Street Dance is Great for Kids
Street dance offers numerous benefits for children, including:
- Physical fitness: Street dance is a high-energy activity that can help kids develop cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility.
- Coordination: Learning complex dance moves and sequences can help children improve their coordination and motor skills.
- Self-expression: Street dance encourages self-expression and creativity, as dancers often add their own personal flair to their moves and routines.
- Socialization: Many street dance styles have a social component, with dancers engaging in friendly battles or group performances. This can help kids develop important social skills and make new friends.
- Confidence: Mastering new dance moves and performing in front of others can help boost children's self-confidence and sense of accomplishment.
Get Your Child Started with Street Dance
Ready to introduce your child to the exciting world of street dance? At Intune Dance and Movement, we offer a range of street dance classes for kids of all ages and skill levels. Our experienced instructors will guide your child through the fundamentals of hip-hop, breakdance, and more, helping them develop their skills and confidence in a fun and supportive environment.
Get in touch with us today at [email protected] to book your child's first street dance class!