5 Popular Hip Hop Dance Styles You Need to Know

5 Popular Hip Hop Dance Styles You Need to Know255

Hip hop dance has become one of the most popular forms of dance in recent years. It originated in the United States in the 1970s and has since spread across the world, becoming a cultural phenomenon. This dance is more than just a style of movement; it is an expression of urban culture and a reflection of the struggles and triumphs of its people.

As hip hop dance has grown in popularity, so too have the various styles within it. Each style has its own unique history, technique, and culture. To truly appreciate and understand this dance, it’s essential to know about the different styles and what makes them distinct.

In this blog post, we will cover five popular hip hop dance styles that you need to know. We’ll provide a brief history of each style, describe the basic movements and techniques involved, and highlight some famous dancers and crews. Whether you’re an aspiring dancer or simply a fan of hip hop culture, this post will give you a better understanding of the diverse world of hip hop style. So let’s get started!

Breaking dance

Breaking, also known as breakdancing, is one of the most iconic hip hop dance styles. It originated in the Bronx, New York City, in the late 1970s and was popularized by African American and Latino youth.

Breaking is characterized by acrobatic and athletic movements that are performed on the ground. The style involves four main elements: top rock, down rock, power moves, and freezes.

Toprock refers to the upright dancing that takes place before a b-boy or b-girl goes down to the floor. It usually involves footwork and involves dancers moving in and out of each other’s personal space.

Downrock is the footwork and floor-based movements that take place when the dancer is on the ground. It includes moves like the six-step, the coffee grinder, and the windmill.

Power moves are the acrobatic and gymnastic moves that involve spinning, twisting, and flipping. They require a lot of strength and practice to master.

Freezes are the final pose or hold that the dancer strikes at the end of a set. It usually involves balancing one or more body parts.

Some famous breaking crews and dancers include the Rock Steady Crew, the New York City Breakers, and Crazy Legs. B-boy and b-girl battles are a common feature of hip hop dance competitions, and breaking has become a popular style all around the world.


Popping dance

Popping is another popular style of hip hop dance that originated in California in the 1970s. It is characterized by sudden, jerky movements that create the illusion of a popping or locking motion.

Popping involves contracting and relaxing the muscles in the body in time with the music. It also involves isolation, where specific body parts move independently of the rest of the body. Poppers use techniques such as waving, tutting and strobing to create different visual effects.

Some famous poppers and dance crews include Boogaloo Sam, Poppin’ Pete, Electric Boogaloos, and the Jabbawockeez. Popping has also influenced other styles of dance, such as contemporary dance and animation. Today, popping continues to be a popular style among hip hop dancers and is often incorporated into choreography for music videos and live performances.


Locking dance

Locking is a style of hip hop dance that originated in Los Angeles in the 1970s. It is characterized by fluid, funky movements, and distinctive pauses, or locks.

Locking involves quick and precise movements of the arms, legs, and hips, along with exaggerated facial expressions and theatrical elements. The style also incorporates steps such as the scooby doo, the lockstep, and the wrist roll.

Some famous lockers and dance crews include Don Campbell, the Lockers, Shabba Doo, and the Electric Boogaloos. Locking has also been popularized in mainstream media through music videos, movies, and television shows.

Today, locking continues to be a popular style among hip hop dancers and has influenced other dance styles, such as house and popping. Its unique blend of funk, soul, and theatricality has made it a beloved style within the hip hop dance community.


Krumping dance

Krumping is a high-energy style of hip hop dance that originated in Los Angeles in the early 2000s. It was created by Tommy the Clown, a professional clown and dancer, and his crew, the Hip Hop Clowns.

Krumping is characterized by aggressive and exaggerated movements, along with intense facial expressions. The style involves a lot of stomping, chest pops, and arm swings, as well as freestyle elements that allow dancers to express their individuality and emotions.

Krumping has a strong cultural and social significance, often being used as a form of self-expression and empowerment in disadvantaged communities. The dance style has been featured in several documentaries, including Rize and Battle for Hollywood.

Some famous krumpers and dance crews include Lil C, Tight Eyez, and the Krump Kings. Krumping has also influenced other styles of dance, such as clowning and jerking, and has gained popularity in mainstream media through music videos and live performances.

Today, krumping continues to be a popular style among hip hop dancers and is known for its high-energy and emotionally charged performances.


Tutting dance

Tutting is a style of hip hop dance that originated in the 1980s and is inspired by the poses and movements of Egyptian hieroglyphics. It is characterized by sharp angles and lines created with the arms, hands, and fingers.

Tutting involves intricate hand and arm movements that create geometric shapes and patterns, similar to the movements of King Tut’s mask. It also incorporates body waves, footwork, and other elements of popping and locking.

Some famous stutter and dance crews include Brian Puspos, Les Twins, and the Jabbawockeez. Tutting has also gained popularity through social media and has been featured in several music videos and live performances.

Today, tutting continues to be a popular style among hip hop dancers and has evolved to incorporate more fluid and creative movements. It is often used in choreography and freestyle battles, showcasing the dancer’s creativity and technical skills.



Hip hop dance is a diverse and dynamic genre of dance that continues to evolve and influence popular culture. In this article, we have explored five popular hip hop dance styles that every dance enthusiast should know: breaking, popping, locking, krumping, and tutting. Each of these styles has its unique history, techniques, and influential dancers and dance crews.

Hip hop dance styles are not only a form of artistic expression but also a means of social and cultural empowerment. They have been used to create a sense of community, promote individuality and self-expression, and provide an outlet for emotional release.

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