Street Dance History

Lots of information about the origins and history of Street Dance

You may have come across the term “street dance” and wondered what it meant. Nowadays, it’s often used soley as a synonym for “hip hop”, “funk” or sometimes even “house” dance. Well, the truth is, street dance refers to a lot of modern day dances. Let’s break down the term to understand it better. This will enable us to determine what a street dance is and what it is not.

First of all we have the word “street”. Many people think this refers to the Bronx, where hip hop was born, since “the streets” was often a nickname for it. Others think it refers to dancing in a street or using it to battle for ghetto or some other form of “urban” territory. All these term usages are perfectly legit, without a doubt.

In formal dance terminology, the word “street” in “street dance” meant any form of dance that evolved spontaneously outside of a professional dance environment as part of some form of culture. However, the term does not refer to just any non-studio developed dance, it refers to those such dances that developed vernacular as a reaction to some form of cultural movement that occurred within an urban society. “Street” thus refers to “urban counterculture”, and “street dance” refers to the dances evolving out that said counterculture. By calling a dance a “street dance” we can distinguish it from commercially developed dance styles such as Modern Dance or Zumba. Sometimes “street dance” may refer to both street and non-street dance being danced literally in a street.


So what was the first street dance?

When dances started evolving in urban rather than country environments, they were referred to as “street dances”. These dances, however spontaneous, were syncretic in nature and evolved from older forms of dance, such as folk, country, traditional and tribal. Street, folk, country, traditional and tribal dances all form as part of some geographical or musical culture, hence they all are known as “vernacular dance” categories. Vernacular is a term that refers to the apparently esoteric behaviour or language of some segregated group as part of their everyday culture.

Today, I will tell you the history of street dance. Such as how to birth street dance, how to evolved street dance and so on. The history of street dance is said to be divided into two eras.These are Old school and New school. Almost all of roots of street dance is African American culture namely, hip hop culture. Keep your mind that hip hop dance is one part of hip hop culture. Hip hop dance is categorized into New school. In Old school, there are B-boying, Locking, Popping etc.

B-boying is frequently called Break dance or Breaking but these names are not actually correct. B-boying was born in the South Bronx of New York in the early 1970's. In the beginning, B-boying is called Good Foot (It is the name of James Brown's hit tune.). Good Foot was different from B-boying in that Good foot didn't include acrobatic move. The middle of 1970's Good Foot became to called "boie-oie-oings". It is the base of today's B-boying, but it does not include acrobatic move too. The last 1970's, Puerto Rican young dancers revolutionized B-boying. They started acrobatic move in B-boying like Windmill.

Locking and Popping are less popular than B-boying but many people love them. Locking was born in Los Angeles in 1960's. It was perfected by "The Lockers". The roots of Locking is said Robot dance. In 1969, an African American young man became famous with his dance. His name was Don Campbell, and his dance was Campbell Lock. Campbell Lock was new in all point, it's move was unique and comical. In 1970, Don Campbell formed The Lockers. Their style was amusing and unique so many people were attracted by them.

Popping was born in Los Angeles in 1960's. It was created by ELECTRIC BOOGALOO. The roots of Popping is said Robot dance. As you may recognize, Locking and Popping is like brothers. But Popping's move is stranger than Locking's one.

In New school, there are Hip hop, House, etc. Hip hop has roots in all street dances. It means that Hip hop is free and it is difficult to define hip hop. Hip hop dance's history is with Hip hop culture. So, I cannot tell you who started Hip hop dance but certainly African Americans in down town made it. House is dance which uses house music. It has many roots like Hip hop. So, it is difficult to define its history but there is information about House in Wikipedia. The major source in house dance movement steams directly from the music and the elements within the music such as Jazz, African, Latin, Soul, R&B, Funk, Hip Hop, etc. The other source is the people, the individuals and their characteristics, ethnicities, origin, etc. You have people of all walks of life partying under one roof. Thus you have exchanges of information (body language) house dance is a social dance before these competitions. Holiday Building As you recognize, House is not effected by only African American culture. It is a cause of its popularity.