Hip Hop Dance Class for Kids

A lot has changed since the beginning of the Hip Hop era. In today’s age, we no longer just attribute Hip Hop to the days of beatboxing, breakdancing, and lyrical rap. De La Soul, Beastie Boys, the Nuyorican Poets were frontiers of this movement which includes dance, music, poetry, and a way of life are not well-known to everyday children who want to learn how to hip hop. In fact, many children just consider Hip Hop another category of pop dance. If you teach your child or teach any children Hip Hop dance, please consider giving a brief introduction about the history of Hip Hop.

Picture by Donald Tong

Besides common popular dance steps made famous by games like Fortnight, here is a list of must-know steps for a beginning foundation in the Hip Hop dance genre.

  • The Top Rock – The top rock is an intro step you do before doing a transition step to the floor for floorwork in breakdance.
  • The Shuffle – There are lots of ways to shuffle. Old school dancers remember steps like “The Running Man” and “The Roger Rabbit” back in the days of MC Hammer when Hip Hop started garnering a strong mainstream presence. 
  • The Six-Step – This is another breakdance step. It is the foundation ground work for all other floor work in breakdance. You do not have to become a breakdancer in order to be a good Hip Hop dancer but I recommend this step because it is a basic  step that accomplishes a lot for the dancer. It trains coordination, physicality, and is one of the few steps possible for dancers with less upper body strength to achieve in breakdance.
  • The Wave – The wave is a dynamic movement that teaches dancers to isolate different body parts and then connecting  them in a smooth flow.
  • Body Rolls – You can do body rolls many ways. The body roll can start from head to toe or go from toe to head. You can also incorporate things like ribcage rolls.
  • Contractions – Learn to contract and release your abdominal muscles. So much of Hip Hop dance stems from African dance.
  • Bounce – With kids getting on electronics earlier and earlier, they might not spend a lot of time listening to music. It’s important that they know how to find the beat in music.

These suggestions are a good place to start building a Hip Hop dance vocabulary. Remember to start your practice session with light cardio warm-ups and then stretch the major muscle groups as well as getting the ankles and wrists warmed up for dance. Enjoy your dance journey and let’s see where the next generation takes the direction of the Hip Hop movement. 

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