Hip hop dance remains to be one of the most popular, if not the most popular, dance styles today. Hip hop music enthusiasts also often are enthusiasts of hip hop dance, so it is not that difficult to see the connection. So what are the most popular and important dance styles? Check the list below and see.



12. Krumping

Krumping is increasingly gaining popularity in hip hop and electronica circles because of the energy and freedom is encourages. It has four basic moves: jabs, arm swings, chest pops, and stomps, or, if you look at it in a simpler way, basically anything you wanted to do with your body. It is very improvisational and expressive, at times even violently so, thus gaining popularity among younger performer.


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11. Harlem shake

It gained popularity again this year because of a viral Youtube video called “Harlem Shake,” but sadly no Harlem Shake was done in the video. And Harlem Shake originally came from the 80s. The shake’s origins are said to be from an East African dance called Eskista, but dancers most often compare the Harlem Shake to drunken dance. The Harlem Shake has no strict code of dance moves as it only involves creative convulsions of the body. No wonder the Harlem shake is popular even to those who are not adept at dancing.



10. Jerkin’

Jerkin is a fairly recent hip hop dance trend. It involves twitchy dances moves called ‘jerks’ wherein the performer executes a set of leg stretches in and out. Jerkin’ is more of a sub-culture trend, if taken together with its dress code of neo-coloured skinny jeans and Chuck Taylors. And yes, it looks much like the Dougie. And we’re quite unconvinced that it can be called a dance; more like jerkin’ around. Well…



9. Liquids and digits

Liquid dancing is oriented more towards dance hip hop and more laidback settings such as in glitch hop and drum n’ bass. It often involves smooth, ‘liquid-ish’ hand movements called hand flows, and digital manipulation, creating illusions and movements with the fingers. The performer’s body is used as a contour to express a feeling or a series of interpretative gestures. Liquids and digits, like turfing, is pantomime-like in nature, often involved in telling a story and creating a visual representation of the music.



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8. Robot/Mannequin

Robotting is pretty much similar to popping, but still many dancers use robot dance moves as their primary style. Robot dance is simply acting like a robot, (not necessarily in jive with the beat) and doing stiff arm and head movements that often contrast with smooth flow of the music.




7. Turfing

An acronym for Taking Up Room on the Floor, turfing is a dance style hailing directly from Oakland, California. It is much based on non-traditional ways of storytelling or ‘representing’ a particular ‘turf’ or place which a particular performer seeks to represent. Turfing is very improvisational and free-form, having dance moves that come from different traditions in order to fully express or narrate a particular life story.


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6. Floating

Hence the name, floating emphasizes slick ‘floating’ movements that gives the impression that the dancer is dancing in the air. Its three basic moves are ‘the float,’ ‘gliding,’ and ‘sliding.’ All three moves are focused on creating the illusion that there is no friction between the dancer’s shoes and the floor.


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5. Electric Boogaloo

Closely connected to popping, boogaloo is related to funk and its associated dance styles. Its often involves ‘rolling’ of the limbs and and twitching legs.



4. Popping

Often confused with locking, the popping style is a much different style from the others. It is often done standing up, in which the body is twitched or jerked in a way that goes with the beat. These twitches are called “pops” or “hits.” Many moves are related to popping, one popular example is the moonwalk as popularized in the 80s by Michael Jackson. Popping involves a great deal of motion manipulation such as animatronic moves (think of the Jabbawokeez, etc), miming to the beat, and isolation (creating illusions that isolate a limb or a section of the body).


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3. Locking

Locking is characterized by sudden pauses or freezes, often in jive with the beat. Originating way back into 1969 as popularized by Campbellock Campbell and his crew, The Lockers, locking has endured transitions from its funky origins into a common hip hop dance idiom. Some of its most popular move are the Scoo B Doo, Muscleman, Floor Sweep, Funky Guitar, and a lot of others.



2. Crip-walking

Crip-walking was popularized by the infamous rivalry between the Bloods and Crips gangs. Crips members are known to execute this move after killing a rival, thus capping off the kill with their signature. Nowadays, crip-walking has gone beyond its violent origins and is now often part of every hip hop dancer’s repertoire of moves. Snoop Dogg and Xzibit are known to have shown these in their songs’ music videos, “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and “Get Your Walk On,” respectively.



1. B-boying or breaking

Perhaps the most well-known of hip hop dance styles, b-boying or break dancing is one of the first pillars of the original hip hop movement. It is traditionally done within a circle or cypher where b-boys will execute their dances moves, often competing improvisationally with other b-boys. It remains to be the one of the most popular dance styles affliated to hip hop.

There you go, a list of the most popular and important hip hop dance styles of date. I have my own opinions regarding this styles and trends, maybe we can talk about it below. Hit the comment section and tell me your thoughts.