Love hip hop dancing? Read our guide to learn about this popular dance style and how to find hip hop dance auditions

Hip Hop Dance History

Hip hop dancing includes breaking, locking, popping, and funk. It came from the streets of New York in the 1970’s and quickly spread to the west coast. In the 80’s, the hip hop dance styles exploded, like the Running Man and the Moonwalk, became famous.

Even though hip hop and rap is criticized, they are still popular. Dance studios teach classes for adults and children, but many hip hop dancers become self-taught and learn different moves from each other. You can also join a dance crew and practice and perform with other dancers.

Hip Hop Dance Styles


Break dancing is one of the first and most popular hip hop style. You usually dance solo or inside a circle of other dancers. It is very athletic in form and unique in style. Dance moves like headspins, air flares and elbow hops require a lot of upper body strength and balance. Each move takes a lot of practice and can be mixed into endless combinations.


Locking was inspired by 1960’s funk music. The name comes from the sudden lock or freeze of your body in the middle of a dance move. It takes a lot of stamina to hold your body in a certain pose mid-dance so it takes a lot of practice. A certain technique is the quick contrasting and relaxing with muscle jerks. You hold each move and suddenly resume the dance.


Another funk style, you dance standing up. Your body twitches an jerks along with the beat. These twitches are called “pops” or “hits.” Many moves are related to popping like the moonwalk. You dance with a great deal of motion, miming to the beat, and isolation.


In krumping, you dance to a mix of hip hop and electronic music. It has four basic moves: jabs, arm swings, chest pops, and stomps, or, if you look at it in a simpler way, basically anything you wanted to do with your body. Krumping is very popular with younger performers because you can be as creative as you want.

Hip Hop Dance Audtions

TV Show Competitions

You can audition for all the talent competitions on TV like “America’s Got Talent” or “So You Think You Can Dance.” Dance crews like Jabbawockeez and Kaba Modern became famous from “America’s Best Dance Crew.”

Hip hop dance require a lot of strength so practice your dance piece until it is perfect. You only get one chance in front of the judges at the audition. If they think you are talented enough to compete, they will want you on their show.

Other Things You Need to Know

How to Find Dance Auditions

Audition Tips for Dancers

Popular Dance Styles