Skilled hip hop dancers make complex movements and stunts look easy to execute. It's as if they could do these moves with their eyes closed. However, practice, choreography, strength, flexibility and coordination are all needed to execute hip hop dance moves that seem to defy the laws of gravity. Add some pizzazz to your next hip hop show by creating your own stunts and the crowd will be left speechless.
Preparing Your Routine
Determine what type of routine you want to learn. Pick a theme, song, genre and perhaps a story to make your dance even more interesting. In hip hop, there are many different sub-categories of styles such as breakdancing, electric boogaloo, old school and new wave. Stick to a single style if you're still learning or mix a few together to create your own original stunts.
Research hip hop choreography to find samples with a similar style to yours. See if there are any moves you don't normally include in your routine and take notes on how to execute them. Inspire yourself with routines from well-known dancers, choreographers and teachers of your favorite style.
Create a routine that matches the song you picked by mixing in your favorite hip hop moves along with those you found inspiring during your research. Focus on making each move flow well into the other, matching the music and supporting your storyline. Include both leg and arm movements.
Ask other dancers to look at your routine to offer comments and ideas for improvement. Movements that may be fun to make as a dancer can look boring and simple to your audience. Have someone else critique your routine before finalizing it so you can gain a perspective similar to that of your intended audience.
Practice your routine until you know it by heart and don't need to stop and think about your next move. Make sure each movement is well coordinated with the music and that your technique is perfect. Try dancing your routine without the music to make sure you know your counts well. Play with the timing of your song and practice your routine at slower and faster paces.
Do a freeze move when you want to insert a break point in your routine. Crouch with your right leg in front of the left. Bring your left elbow toward your inner right thigh and your right elbow into your right hip bone.
Place both hands onto the floor to your right, turn your head to the front and kick off your legs so your whole body is in the air, supported by your hands only. Try the freeze with one hand when you are more experienced.
Spin around on your head. Get into a handstand position and outstretch your legs in a V shape. Swing your hips and legs to help you rotate in small circles, while using your hands to guide you and give your spin some energy. Increase your speed and the number of full rotations gradually as you get used to this move.
Finish your routine with a suicide move. Jump in the air doing a forward flip and land on your back or shoulders. Swing your legs alternately to give you the momentum you need to do a full forward flip.
Practice the movement gradually before putting all your energy into it. Learn to land safely. Use your hands to help you land as you get used to the movement. When you get better at it, let your hands fall straight on either side of your body.
Marie-Pier Rochon has been writing since 2005. She has served as a writer at PlaceForPoeple and a newsletter writer for the Creative Sydney festival. Previously, Rochon also worked as a communications adviser for various Canadian federal agencies. She earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in organizational communications from the University of Ottawa.