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Hip Hop Dance Crazes: A Journey Through Time

Hip hop dance has been an integral part of popular culture for decades, captivating audiences and inspiring people to hit the dance floor with its infectious beats and unique movements. From the early days of breakdancing in the streets of the Bronx to the contemporary dance crazes sweeping social media, this article delves into the evolution of hip hop dance crazes over history. Join us on this groovy journey through time as we explore the iconic dance movements that have shaped the world of hip hop.


The Birth of Hip Hop Dance

In the late 1970s, hip hop dance emerged as an expressive form of street dance in New York City. It found its roots in block parties, underground clubs, and community centers. The "breakdancing" style, characterized by acrobatic moves and fancy footwork, quickly gained popularity and laid the foundation for future hip hop dance crazes.


The Electric Slide (1989)

As hip hop music gained mainstream attention, dance crazes like the Electric Slide made their way onto the dance floors of weddings and social gatherings. This line dance, with its simple steps and catchy beats, became an instant hit and remains popular to this day.


The Running Man (1990)

The Running Man took the world by storm in the early 1990s. This dance craze involved a combination of fast footwork and a sliding movement, making it a challenging but entertaining dance for enthusiasts to master.


The Macarena (1993)

Although originating in Spain, the Macarena's catchy tune and easy-to-follow dance steps spread across the globe in 1993. This dance craze became a staple at parties, sporting events, and even presidential inaugurations.


The Harlem Shake (2001)

In the early 2000s, the Harlem Shake emerged as a freestyle dance in the hip hop scene. It involves a solo dancer's upper body shaking while surrounded by others seemingly unaware of the dancer's movements. This dance craze became an internet sensation when viral videos flooded social media platforms.


Crank That (Soulja Boy) (2007)

The internet played a significant role in making the Crank That dance by Soulja Boy one of the biggest hip hop dance crazes of the mid-2000s. Its signature move, the Superman, became a dance floor favorite, with celebrities and fans alike embracing the trend.


The Dougie (2010)

Californian hip hop group Cali Swag District popularized The Dougie dance craze in 2010. Named after the late 1980s rapper Doug E. Fresh, this dance style involves leaning and swaying one's body while performing coordinated arm movements.


The Dab (2015)

The Dab became a global phenomenon in 2015, with celebrities, athletes, and politicians all joining in on the trend. The dance move involves tucking one's head into the elbow of one arm while extending the other arm in a dynamic pose.


The Floss (2017)

In 2017, the Floss dance craze took over social media platforms, becoming an instant hit among kids and adults alike. Popularized by "Backpack Kid" Russell Horning, the Floss involves swinging your arms side to side in front of your body while moving your hips in the opposite direction. Its simple yet mesmerizing movement made it a viral sensation and a favorite dance challenge among celebrities and influencers.


The Shoot Dance (2018)

BlocBoy JB's hit single "Shoot" birthed the Shoot Dance in 2018, captivating dancers and music lovers across the globe. This energetic dance craze features rapid, rhythmic foot movements combined with finger guns and body rolls, creating an infectious routine that quickly became a staple in dance battles and social media challenges.


The Woah (2019)

The Woah, originating from the Texas hip hop scene, gained massive popularity in 2019. This dance craze involves making a quick, upward movement with both hands, then smoothly pulling them back towards the body. The Woah's versatility and potential for creative variations made it a favorite among dancers, especially in the context of music videos and TikTok challenges.


These are of course only a handful of dances that have taken pop culture by storm. Just a small sampling. Hip hop dance crazes have continually evolved and reflected the spirit of the times throughout history. From the early days of breakdancing to the contemporary dance trends spread through social media, these crazes have left a lasting impact on the world of dance and music.


As new styles and trends continue to emerge, it's essential to recognize and celebrate the cultural significance of hip hop dance and its power to unite people from diverse backgrounds through the universal language of movement. Whether you're a seasoned dancer or a casual observer, the rich history of hip hop dance crazes is worth exploring and embracing. So, turn up the volume, hit the dance floor, and let the rhythm move you as you celebrate the magic of hip hop dance crazes across the ages.


By: Steven Sandage

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