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The Evolution of Hip Hop

Hip Hop began in New York City during the late 1960’s where young dancers with no technical background brought dancing to the streets. Hip Hop moves derived from a combination of African dancing, tap and modern. Hip Hop music has a more diverse and complex rhythm. Dancing to Hip Hop music enabled freestyle dancers to express themselves. They used whatever movement their bodies felt within the music. Hip Hop dance became a new art form at that point.

Kool DJ Herc was the very first DJ to use two record players with the same two records on each device. This new method created a unique sound and rhythm. This new style of music was the foundation for early Hip Hop dancing. The 1970’s was the birth era of popping, locking and break dancing. The studios for this newfound sensation were the basketball courts in local communities.

Entering the 1990’s, more clubs were utilizing Hip Hop DJ’s and dancers. At these dance club scenes there were many dance‐offs and “battles”. Dance crews were formed and “duked” it out on the dance floor. Hip Hop dance was known as being part of the battle culture.unnamed

In recent years, Hip Hop dance transformed and branched out into many sub cultures. Hip Hop dancing became more popular and commercialized by the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. With dance shows making a huge dent into the television industry, it created more opportunities for dancers of all styles to come together and show what they’re made of. This pop culture phenomenon gave birth to so many different styles of dance, making Hip Hop dance more diverse.

As a choreographer, I have been inspired by artists like Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Mya, Usher, Beyoncé and others who have pioneered the new Hip Hop dance evolution. My style is more a jazz-funk vibe. I fused my training in jazz with my natural hip-hop movements to create my interpretation of Jazz-Funk. I wish I could take the credit for creating a new style of dance, but I cannot. Jazz-Funk as a music genre has long been shaped since the 1970’s and 1980’s. In the mid 1990’s and early 2000’s,Jazz-Funk made its first appearance. Jazz-Funk was a more commercial form of Hip Hop, but it drew me in with videos like Janet Jackson’s  “All For You”, Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave For You” and Usher’s “In This Club”.

There are so many sub cultures of Hip Hop dance nowadays.

"Waacking"
“Waacking”

Take for instance,  “Waacking” was created in the clubs of Los Angeles. Waacking is the moving of the arms to the music’s beat. Typically moving over and behind the shoulders. Also there is “Krumping”.  Krumping originated in the early 2000’s in South Central Los Angeles by two dancers named “Tight Eyez” and “Big Mijo”. Krumping is a free expressive and highly energetic dance style. Sometimes Krumping comes off as a little aggressive, but that’s what makes it so appealing to watch and so much fun to do.

 

I fell in love with Hip Hop at a young age; it gave me an outlet to express my deepest feelings without saying a word.

Hip Hop is constantly changing and grasping a bigger audience, even moving into mainstream dance studios weekly classes. With dances like “The Whip” and “The Nae Nae” taking the world by storm, Hip Hop is sure to rise up and be just as prestigious and respected as all of the other classical dance styles. I do hope that Jazz -Funk will also be a style all on its own one day.

 

 

Author:

Odinni Jones trained in jazz and Hip Hop. Traveling with Hip Hop Charity Company called Ala Mar Inc. Attended Barry University and minored in dance. Captain of the dance team for Barry University. Worked with artist such as Fat joe, Brooke Hogan, Git Phresh, and Flo-rida.   Co-choreographed for Collateral Damage Crew. Is an adjudicator and master teacher. Teaching is his number one passion and seeing the growth in his students is his biggest reward. 

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