Street Dance and Hip Hop Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Lastly, the paper concludes by summarizing the findings of the paper.

Limitations of the Study

It is imperative to analytically assess the outcome and the entire thesis. This is because this thesis has some limitations that should be observed when taking into consideration the importance of the thesis and its assistance. This thesis has concentrated on a subject that has been an extremely large and leading one, that is, the development and influence of hip hop dance: the cultural, sociological, and dance style evolution of street dance. Undoubtedly, this characterizes an extremely difficult assignment for research in spite of the more precise interests that the thesis might have. This wide-ranging and difficult subject has been analyzed from a somewhat limited experimental perception. The choice of the single thesis design obviously draws out numerous limitations in so far as the simplification of the outcome of the thesis is involved. Consequently, the thesis setting can simply be termed as a sort of direct framework of the past and present trends in the Hip Hop dance culture.

One more limitation of this case study has been the viewpoint assumed. Rather than attempting to comprehend the entire development and influence of hip hop culture, which includes, Hip hop music, DJing (turntablism), MCing (rapping), Battling, Beat-boxing, Graffiti art, etc., this thesis has been primarily limited to the possibility of the development and influence of hip hop dance: the cultural, sociological, and dance style evolution of street dance.


Madeleine Brand (2004) is fascinated by the fact that the true essence of hip hop originates in the humble streets and back alleys, where dancers practice in parking lots and backyards, make their own outfits, do their own makeup and come up with their own dance move; where the pure joy of creating hip hop-based routines is what drives the young teenagers and adults to take part in various hip hop dance competitions where money and fame is not an issue for them and their prizes, mainly being cash, are not even enough for them to get a new outfit or shoes.

The writer seems to think it absurd and unreal that now the radios and the television show have promoted hip hop music into this Hollywood, posh, glamorous and money making business where major brands create and make the artist even less similar to the street style, which was the origin of hip hop.

The writer feels that this "propaganda" of the modern day media has taken hip hop music and dance away from its urban street roots, where fame and money were not necessarily an agenda or the goal. However, this "propaganda" has popularized the hip hop culture amongst the youth who now associate themselves with these artists out on the streets.

Janae Hoffler (2004) agrees and takes the belief a little further then just the difference between what the media has made hip hop and how different it is from its origins. She believes that the media driven hip hop only promotes the clothes and the music. That's all that people look for in hip hop, according to her. She believes that this further deviates from the fact that the street hip hop is not only a form of music and dance but it is a culture and a way of life. However, the hip hop street dance has evolved and grown, as a result of all this exposure, bringing forward not only creativity but also people from all walks of life.

The writer asserts that media has promoted hip hop away from its charm of rhythm n' beat and dance moves and branded it with expensive labels. The hip hop artists on the screen are very different from those on the street. The teenagers aspiring from hip hop music struggle to find what their origin was and to understand and respect it. They yearn for the culture and life that is hip hop and not the game and money making machine that it has been made by the record labels and the media.

So much of this culture has been slackened off by the media. Hip hop industry is a multi-million dollar business now, but in the streets where the culture truly exists, money and fame is not the focus, instead, the focus is life.

Susan Kelley (1998), however, chooses to focus on the imagery of the dance moves and the impact of the lyrical content of hip hop music. For her, hip hop is more than just the culture of a community; it is like a camera that captures the time and era its in, represents it, along with the politics of the time just like any other artist.

However the writer also realizes that it's not always easy for a genre of this kind to capture its time and politics in front of the changing demand of a varying audience. The audiences don't want to be amused by political mishaps and the denotation of contemporary life which makes it difficult for hip hop to always be a representation of its time and era.

Hip hop denotes action and liveliness in its beats and dance movements, it denotes a richer and healthier and happier form of life. It is a celebration and it is only because of these reasons that it attracts huge audiences of different ages.

According to the writer, the legacy of hip hop music and dance is the celebration through a more artistic and subtle voice, which has been a major factor in the influencing the masses towards hip hop street dance.

Kay Bourne (1999) terms hip hop as an egalitarian culture where even though the origins of the dance moves came from the urban lands of Africa, the different interpretations from different ethnicities is what makes the genre even more of a celebration and a delight for its followers.

Physical agility, speed and flexibility are a main part of any dance move but what makes hip hop so phenomenal is the slight aspect of risk and challenge that is adopted in the dance moves.

For the writer, what is even more phenomenal is the immediate spark of joy on the dancers' faces as they realize a familiar beat and the sparkle in their eyes and they move in unison to the same hip hop beat in the same hip hop dance movement of slaps and stamps, and, how many of those who are already adept at the hip hop dance are now passing it forward by becoming dance instructors.

Alicia Drake (1999) realizes hip hop as a cultural street movement that has caught global media attention and has been growing stronger because of it. She feels that before the hip hop street dancers used to dance for the love of it, now they have aspirations to go beyond the streets and do something more with hip hop dancing. They have an energy about them which the audience likes. The audience likes action.

Theatres are benefiting from the popularity of the hip hop form of dance along with brands that are promoting the various forms of hip hop dances i.e. The dances at the street and theatre levels are being benefited by the smaller brands that want to promote credibly the true essence of hip hop dance while the major brands are also supporting this form of dance along with its style and clothes.

Charlotte Cripps (2004) emphasizes on the differences of the true essence of what hip hop dance really is at the core and what it has been converted into by the record labels and the media. She feels that even though many hip hop artist gain popularity not because of their music, even though there music and dance beats are worth recognition, but because of what their past experience with the gangster environment has been which is the wrong image to be portrayed because hip hop dances are a lot about the real contemporary life in which love has a large inimitable part.


The genre of hip hop music and dance serves a vital function in the cultural and social activities of a community in today's time. Even though their role is overlooked by the analysts, some do realize their importance as an element that does define the society as much as any other element of music such as jazz.

The hip hop street dance along with music not only gives us a certain amount of insight into the lifestyle and features of the community it affects but also provides us with a new dimension into the sounds, groove, musical variations and lyrical content in the genre.

Hip hop street dance along with popping, ticking, hitting, locking have, unlike many other genres of dance music, given due respect and adoration to their origins. It is rare when the world of dance, originating from the streets, comes across such creative and innovative styles that revolutionize the older form to a paramount level, by not…

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