Hip hop dance is considered a contemporary dance as it was developed only in the 1980s. A hip hop dance is not complete without the baggy attire (oversized shirt and pants) and sparkling gold and diamond jewelry they call "bling bling". The dance was first developed by African Americans, but was later adopted by Caucasians and people from other cultures. Examples of hip hop icons in the eighties are MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice.
Characteristics. A hip hop dance is characterized by wide movements, accompanied by loud music with emphasis on the bass. The music of a hip hop dance is usually patterned from a rap song, although some other genres like R&B are being used for hip hop dances. The advantage of a hip hop dance is that you can dance hip hop style with or without a partner. The beat is usually synchronized with the swaying of arms, legs, and hips. However, overall body movement is also encouraged.
Like other types of dance, hip hop dance is also an expression. Your body becomes one with the beat, which is usually composed of eight counts so it is easy to break down. The steps of a hip hop dance are sometimes complicated, but through practice one can do well.
Break dance. Usually, break dancing is incorporated into hip hop. Break dancing involves exhibitions, stunts or poses that can injure an amateur or even professional break dancer. Fancy moves such as cartwheel, back flip, crazy feet, and so on are used for the showdown, or "anything goes" portion of a hip hop dance.
So how do you dance hip hop style? What are the basic moves?
Head and shoulder moves. Dancing hip hop means feeling the beat of the bass. Your body moves along with the count of the bass. Following the beat of the bass, move your head in a nodding motion. Then maintain this as you move from left to right. When you get used to it, move your head along with your shoulder. Do this going the same direction, from left to right.
Arm and leg moves. Once you have mastered the groove by feeling the beat of the music with head and shoulder moves, you can now put some style to your new step with arm and leg moves. The arm and leg moves will just follow through the head and shoulder move. The principle is simple: where your head goes, the body will follow. If you move your head to the right, then the arms and legs should also move to the right.
You can add different variations for the arm and leg moves. You can snap your fingers to the right and raise your right leg after the head and shoulder move. Do it again to the left. Add some style by twisting the hands before snapping it, or kicking at mid-air. It is up to you know to add the style you want.
These are only the basics for hip hop style dancing. Be creative and do your own style when you master these simple moves.