WHAT IS AUTHENTIC STREET DANCE?
AUTHENTIC STREET DANCE IS NOT A STYLE…
Crazy right?! But it is true! Street dance is an umbrella term for a collection of dance styles, including Hip Hop, Popping, Locking, Breaking, House. These were born from social situations, NOT THE DANCE STUDIO! They are FREESTYLE dances which happened organically at parties and other social events. Each style has it’s own foundations, qualities, techniques, and history. Most of the history of Street Dance styles originates from oppression, and the need to express and tell a story.
The evolution of these Street styles generally followed the evolution of music because the key thing about Street dance is that it began, and evolved though free styled movement. Free style is an interpretation of music, responding and reacting off of the vibe and the rhythms that are played, so it is only natural that as music evolved, so would the dance. Let me take you on a journey!
When Funk music like James Brown was blessing the populations ears, funk dance style Lockin’ was created. It is full of groove, character and quirky funky personality! Lockin became a world wide movement when hit TV series ‘Soul Train’ was televised. The main elements of Lockin’ that we cover at Wannado are Wrist rolls, points, Locks, hand boning, and pacing.
When music trends transitioned into more electric sounds, people adapted their movement style to a more isolated ‘Poppin’ movement, reflective of what the music communicated. People can get confused with Poppin and robotics. The Robot is animation, a technique of it’s own. Poppin is one of the more technical styles, that takes a lot of training to develop the understanding and the muscle control.
Hip Hop is the style that most people associate with Street Dance. There are different ways in which Hip Hop is presented depending on the type of HipHop music it is danced to. Oldschool hip hop has Fresh Prince of Bel Air vibes, fun, bouncey and full of character. As Hip Hop progressed, it slowed down and the moves became more grounded. New school Hip Hop is much more isolated, with lots of intricate musicality.
House style is dance to house music! It is very fast footwork which dances on the high hat. The Jack most commonly underpins the groove of the movements, and the dancer will stay light on the balls of their feet. They do move to some floor work in the break of a song, this is called “lofting’ which has a capoeira vibe to it.
Breakin actually started as ‘Rockin”. It wasn’t always so acrobatic, the way in which most people associate ‘Breakdance” to be. Rockin was done up top, ans there wasn’t really floor work. It developed further down the line and we now know breakin as Top Rock, Drops, Footwork (Bottom rock), Floor work, Freeze and Power moves. The heart of it starts with Top rock, this is the flow, the groove of the dance.