'Hip-hop' refers to various forms of music that originated within the African-American and Latino community among young people in the South Bronx and Harlem in the 1970s. You can encounter this style of music in a club, at a dance at school or almost anywhere. It helps to look like you know what you're doing after listening to anything from Chris Brown's "Forever" to Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice." If you want to learn how to dance hip-hop, read on to step 1 to get started.
Part 1 of 3: Learning the basics
Step 1. Turn on the music
Put on a song from OutKast, lil john, Kanye West, or any artist that won't let you sit still. Also try the dub step, if you want to challenge yourself!
Feel the beat. You want to be engulfed in the music, so turn it up loud enough so you can feel every beat of the kick drum and every thump of the bass
Step 2. Wear comfortable clothes
Your clothes should be roomy and comfortable when you exercise. When you go to clubs you may want to wear tighter and less comfortable clothes, but it is always better to practice with as much comfort as possible.
Wear shoes that don't grip the floor too much. You should be able to slide and turn easily. If the soles of your shoes brake against the floor during a quick movement, you could trip or even sprain your ankle
Step 3. Relax
You don't want to come across as stiff when you dance hip-hop. Try to look relaxed in a relaxed position, rather than standing too upright or looking like your neck and head are too stiff. When your body is relaxed, you are free to move to the beat as you wish. If you're too nervous about it, you won't be able to let go completely.
Step 4. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
This is a good starting point if you're going to dance to hip-hop music. This neutral position makes it easier for you to try any dance move you want. Your knees are slightly bent, which makes it easier for you to dance and not look stiff or formal.
Step 5. Hold your hands on either side
Do not cross your arms or fidget with your hands. Just keep your arms relaxed and loose at your sides, and stay relaxed as you move to the music.
Step 6. Move your hips
In hip-hop it is important to throw your hips into the battle. You have to move those hips from right to left, front and back, with the flow of the music. This might be one of the first things you do as you get ready for some quick moves.
Step 7. Start moving
You don't have to imitate how others dance, just make sure you know the moves. There is no set way to dance to hip-hop music. The best way is to relax, move your hips and try to figure out which moves are best for you. You can steal elements of popular dances or make up your own moves, and mix and match the different moves as much as you like. Check out the next section for inspiration to create different dance moves.
Keep in mind that it doesn't matter if you look like you know what you're doing. If you come across as confident and know how things are going, people will have confidence in your hip-hop dancing skills
Part 2 of 3: Mastering the moves
Step 1. Do the Dougie
Learning the 'My Dougie' can help you right away as the song comes along. Knowing the main moves of this dance (moving your arms and shoulders from side to side) can also add a fun effect to your dance moves. You can incorporate moves from this dance into your hip-hop moves at any time. It is not necessary to do the whole dance; you can just use a few seconds of it before moving on to another move.
Step 2. Do the Stanky Leg
This is another fun dance move that makes it look like one of your legs isn't functioning properly, hence the term "stanky" (very bad). While these moves are part of a dance, you can do the stanky leg at any time. All you have to do is put one foot forward and lean in the other direction, causing the outstretched foot to move in a way that makes it look broken or flawed. After a few seconds you can move on to the other side and repeat the movement with the other leg.
Step 3. Learn the Body Pop
The body pop is another classic hip-hop move where you 'loosen up' one part of your body at a time, hence the 'pop' (stick out). You can pop your arms, shoulders, chest, or any other part of your body when you're on the dance floor. This is a great move that you can use every now and then without putting too much emphasis on it.
Step 4. Do the Helicopter
The Helicopter is a classic breakdance move where you kneel with your hands on the floor and rotate one leg all the way around your body. To do this, you need to lift your hands and jump at just the right moment so that your foot doesn't hit your hands and the other leg. This is a great move on the dance floor, especially if you're dancing in a group circle.
Step 5. Pop, Lock and Drop
These dance moves look just like they sound. First you put one part of your body part forward, then you lock everything. Then get into a low stance and drop it, feet wide apart. You can do this anytime in the middle of a dance move.
Step 6. Do the Shuffle
You can learn this simple T-step, throw yourself into the Running Man, or even combine these moves. This is a classic move that requires good coordination and light-footedness. Knowing how to perform these will have you looking like a pro on the dance floor in no time.
Step 7. Do the Nae Nae
This dance move requires you to bend your knees, move your arms up and down, and cross behind you. Elements from this dance can be perfect for any hip-hop beat.
Step 8. Do the Moonwalk
Michael Jackson would be proud to see you on the dance floor with a sample of his classic move in the middle of a song. All you have to do is learn the footwork, making it look like you're walking forward while moving backward. You can insert this classic move anywhere in any song, even if you only do it for a few seconds.
Step 9. Twerk
Don't be afraid to do this. While many people are hesitant to make this move, it has become a widely used hip-hop movement over the years. If Big Freedia can do it, so can you. All you have to do is be comfortable, lean forward and shake it up and down with what you've got. Shake from the hips and not from the legs. If you really don't feel comfortable with it, that's okay. Hip-hop isn't just twerking.
Step 10. Grind with a partner
Hip hop music is made for grinding. Don't be afraid to find a partner, butt hips together and grind face to face or away from each other. If you don't like making it too physical, you can always keep some distance and have a great time dancing to the music.
Part 3 of 3: Doing more
Step 1. Watch and learn
MTV, YouTube and the internet are overloaded with great music and videos from people of all skill levels. Whether the talents in these videos are world-class hip-hoppers or stay-at-home moms, it doesn't matter! What matters is that you watch their movements. Copy what you can, be inspired by what you can't.
Watch a friend practice his or her routine, then practice his or her standard routine. Learn the same stunts and practice the whole routine over and over, adding stunts. Then make it your own style
Step 2. Take lessons
If you have come far enough on your own and think you can do something with it, take lessons. Many dance studios or even yoga studios offer hip-hop classes.
- Look for an inspiring dancer in your area and ask if he/she gives lessons.
- If you don't have the money to take hip-hop lessons, you can learn it by watching YouTube videos. It's a cheap way to learn hip-hop dance without having to pay for lessons.
- Check out a gym near you. Dancing hip-hop is a great way to stay in shape, and it's fun too.
Step 3. Keep practicing
Some people are born to dance. Some need to work on it. It doesn't matter which group you belong to, what's important is that you practice, and put your heart and soul into it.
Practice on yourself. Dance alone in a room where no one can see you and you don't have to worry about what others think. Let your body get used to the rhythm. Let your body move in your own rhythm
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Start dancing in front of the mirror. Then you will feel a little more at ease.
- Practice the basics first and then move on to the more difficult moves.
- If you forget something, just keep going.
- YouTube is a great way to learn. Practice with friends or family on the songs you like.
- While dancing, don't worry about what others think.
- Remember, this is a workout. Stretch before you dance and when you're ready to keep your body limber and supple.
- Feel the music in your body, always!
- Do not be shy.
- People love it when you dance to songs with lyrics. Get familiar with a few songs.
- Be careful. As with any sport, there is a risk of injury. Warm up and stretch before dancing – don't practice when you're drunk, tired, or in a dangerous place, and don't start the difficult moves until you're ready.
- Start with easier moves to warm up and then move on to moves that are just a little trickier than you're used to.
- If you are used to dancing, find a dance partner. You can help each other and hold on to each other for balance when learning strange moves.
- If you don't have a great sense of rhythm, or if you are shy, be patient and keep practicing. Stay positive. You can become a great hip-hop dancer with a combination of dedication and hard work.