Yes, of course. But the most popular dancing style has nothing to do with hip hop. The most popular style of dance in America today? Classical ballet!
To see why, look no further than the cover of American Vogue for October of this year, whose photos of the “fiercely modern American” are just as hip-hop-centric as some American rappers’ music. The style featured in the magazine is a hybrid of ballet and hip hop that is now the most popular dancing style in America, according to the Vogue website.
And what makes American hip hop so hip? The style contains many of the same elements as ballet, including an emphasis on the use of syncopation (moving in sync with your partner), acrobatics, movements of air or air in motion, and the use of syncopation to change pace.
While it might be difficult to remember all the elements and patterns of a ballet routine—especially when listening to a routine in which you can only hear hip-hop or pop—it may be easier to remember the dance of a single hip-hop dancer. “There is no better way to appreciate something, particularly something you’re not too familiar with, than to start from scratch and see the rhythm from a new angle,” explains David Wobbs, a choreographer and a student of American Vogue’s styles.
While most hip-hop dance is comprised of rhythmic patterns, you don’t need to have a dance background to play the parts. While you may not necessarily have the rhythmic timing of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus—or the technical prowess of a Michael Jackson—you can learn a choreographed hip-hop routine from Wobbs of S.T.A.M.E., a dance company in Los Angeles that he cofounded in 2006. The company teaches hip-hop choreography in a variety of different styles, including hip-hop and salsa.
“The reason you want to do hip-hop and ballet at the same time is because with rap and hip-hop, your rhythm is important and very hard to find in ballet,” explains Wobbs. “Without dance rhythms, even a simple choreography can be hard.”
While the focus of modern hip-hop is often on rap moves, some of its more popular dance routines include elements of jazz, and even modern ballet elements such as slow flutter sequences, as well as techniques and techniques for moving through a variety of speeds.
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