“Are you teaching breaking?”
“Then stop calling it hip hop dance.”
This is just a fraction of the problem with how society perceives what hip hop is and what represents hip hop.
What is the foundation of hip hop? It’s hip hop music. Long story short, DJ Kool Herc -> hiphop. What did Kool Herc do that was revolutionary in terms creating a new genre of music? He and many others such as Afrika Bambaataa noticed that people would dance in a significantly more energetic way during a particular part of a track — the break. When DJ’s realized the potential of looping the break (drum loops), they started creating tracks off of just the looped breaks. Looped breaks, along with heavy African-American and Western African poetry and musical influences, are the foundation of hip hop music.
In respect to genres, one of the more difficult lines to draw is between R&B (rhythm and blues) and Hip Hop. There are many technical differences, but there are no set parameters for either genre that truly distinguishes one from the other. On the other hand, there’s an entirely different discussion on if what is labeled as R&B in the status quo, is R&B at all, considering how much the genre has changed in respect of content (ex. a lot of current R&B is sexually suggestive) and technicalities behind the music’s production.
Hip Hop music may have its debates, but there is no dispute about hip hop dance. There is only one hip hop dance, and that is breaking/breakdancing/”The Break”/bboying.
People need to stop calling anything and everything else “hip hop dance”, such as choreography, as it is not hip hop dance. Popping and locking (and popping and locking are not the same thing…) are not hip hop dance, and nothing pains me more than when people put together doing popping hits and windmills as “breakdancing.” Neither are breakdancing.
If someone does a move or a stunt, that does not mean that they are doing a particular type of dance. It’s about movement, and if that movement is being taken out of context, then it cannot be applied to its intended definition. For instance, if someone is working on their vertical leap, that does not mean that they are playing basketball. They are only playing basketball if it is in an actual basketball court.
Just a self-reminder I need to tell this to people more often.
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.