Hip Hop Dance History There Term Paper

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(Hip-hop History) Graffiti is also known as writing, and is not dance. It originated as an underground urban art which was boldly being displayed in public places, generally on the sides of buildings or walls. This was an avenue for citizens to make political and social commentary, and even for gangs to mark their territory. Folks would mark their areas with "tags" like FRANK 207, TAKI 183 and several others. Finally the art of tagging developed into a full-blown art form, and produced beautiful mural art to cover trains and buildings. (Hip-hop History)

All the basic dances of hip hop have their individual and unique histories and stories. There is a common misconception which is that hip hop dancing has deep roots in the African rituals or ceremonies as well as culture. In truth, hip hop is much more of an American product. This position will help provide some sort of background that can be used as a guide to the history of hip hop dancing. The situation is not the same as hip hop music. The first basic dance for hip hop is locking. This started quite some time back in 1970, and then Don Campbellock was studying in a high school in the Los Angeles area and he was not known as a great dancer. The truth is he usually ended up unsuccessful when he tried to learn the popular party dances of that time. In the case of locking, what he was trying to do was a party dance called the "funky chicken" though this is not the same that we learn as children. When Don tried to do the funky chicken, he would "freeze up" in a particular pose all the time. People who had watched him dancing commented that he had "locked up." (Basic History of Hip-hop Dancing)

Thus the dance came to be called as "Locking." After many years of performing this dance, Don and many others started a crew that was called "The Lockers" though the name has now changed to "The Original Lockers." Every person in the crew has their own style of locking. Locking has developed into a really dynamic dance. The dance involves lot of poses and "freezes," which are not the same as bboying freezes. The movements are thrown into the middle of a set of fluid moves such as apple jacks, wrist rolls, and Leo walks, which-a-ways, back slaps, scooby-doos, Uncle Sam points and other moves. All movements are to emphasize upon the Funk music that is being danced to. An example of this is holding a throwback on a long horn note, then picking back up with the help of wrist rolls and points when the drums were able to kick back in. (Basic History of Hip-hop Dancing)

Another form of dance is bboying and as it is known today its roots are far and widespread. The initial forms of bboying started in 1972 at that of the Kool DJ Hercs house and block parties. The style of uprocking and that means basic footwork when standing derives from the New York City gang dances during the 60's. Uprocking really extended from copying of the gang dances into its own type of dancing in Brooklyn; and that is the reason why it has come to be regarded as "Brooklyn Uprock" or that of "Brooklyn Rocking." In Uprock, it seems like a mock fight, where the person performing it has to drop down to a crouching pose on the 4th beat of each measure. From Uprocking, there was the development of another form of standing footwork which is known as top rocking. Top rocking has its own form of footwork and there the person doing it does not have to drop down, and it can be done solo.

In the case of Brooklyn it should only be performed when someone is doing Brooklyn. Most of the rocking that is done by boys and girls is actually top rocking. This led to a situation when people initiated to hit the floor and that came to be called "Ground Rocking." Ground Rocking has a series of step techniques which are called 2-step, 4-step and 6-step. There are also CCs, swipes, and switchbacks as well. Another element that developed around the same time was freeze. The simplest freeze is the baby freeze. Over a period of time freezes have become more physically demanding and problematic and an example is the "Hollowback." The features of power moves like constant headspin were not included till 1982. A popper and member of the Electric Boogaloos, Suga Pop, then visited New York City and he was meeting Mr. Wiggles, Frosty Freeze, and other members of the RockSteady Crew. At that time, the dances of popping and bboying were exchanged between coasts. New York City already had a form of popping called Electric Boogie, but Suga Pop brought the technique and term to the east coast. When Suga Pop went back to the Los Angeles Area from New York, bboying increased on the west coast, and people took it to the next level by means of windmills, adding flares, features from capoeira, and other increasingly dangerous gymnastics moves. (Basic History of Hip-hop Dancing)

Next form of dancing is called Popping and this is without doubt has most complexity element of all the hip-hop dance styles. Popping is used as a general term for all the more than 26 various styles of popping. Some of these dance styles have been formed for the usage of only one crew or one particular area of a town. According to most experts popping started around 1976 or 1977 by Boogaloo Sam, who was a dancer and who originated from Fresno, California. This information makes popping the youngest of all the dance forms. However, there are other information's of the initial forms of popping, hitting and boogaloo from the 1965 till 1967 around San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco. Why most accredit Boogaloo Sam with "founding" the dance form of popping is not that he first danced in that form, but he was really the first to define it as "the constant tensing and relaxing of muscles while dancing to create a sharp, surging stop/jolt effect" (Basic History of Hip-hop Dancing)

On the east coast, there is a style of popping known as Electric Boogie, which consists of tutting, hitting, gliding and waving. This was originated and corrected in the meeting mentioned earlier between Suga Pop and members of Rock Steady. There are also many misconceptions regarding popping and some of these are for "Moonwalk." This name was given by Michael Jackson. This is actually known as "backslide" and was initially peformed on Television by a dancer -- Bill Baily, who was tap dancer. This was done again by Creepin Cid of the Electric Boogaloos on Soul Train in 1977 or 1978. The moonwalk is a particular kind of walk that shows that the person performing it is walking on the moon. (Basic History of Hip-hop Dancing)

The dance form of Krump came from the movement of clowns and was started by Thomas Johnson. This is somewhat like a break dance battle. The dance has a lot of energy and that has led to its being shown in videos like "I'm really hot" and "Hey mama." The dance was started off by the founder in Compton in 1992 as a method of helping the black community to get over the troubles that came due to the Rodney King riots. He was personally involved in legal troubles when he was a teenager and thus understood the significance of providing young kids a method of entertainment which was otherwise not available as the government hardly provided any funds. This led to the starting of Hip-Hop Clowns & Entertainment Inc., and that was a source of entertainment to children's church picnics, birthday parties, and parades. (What Is Krump Dancing?)

The show here was inclusive of the traditional clown factors of magic tricks, balloons, mime, etc., but there was also the addition of happy, crazy dance moves encouraged by the boyhood heroes Thomas Johnson, Michael Jackson and B-boys. All dances took place while being in clown attire, inclusive of the red nose and rainbow afro wig. This became a business and was advertised by Johnson changing into his clown dress after work and driving around in his Mustang while at the same time blasting hip-hop beats and stopping by the street corners in order to dance for the kids. He was popularly called the Hip-hop Clown, and soon the shows became so widely popular that he had to resign from his daily job and hire people from the neighborhood to perform for the company. The popularity of clowning increased and groups or crews came up all over California. This gave an opportunity to Johnson organize 'battle areas'. These were competitions similar to the New York break dance battles which were popular in the 1980's.

The most popular of these, Tommy the Clown's Battle Zone series,…[continue]

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