What makes you a Hip Hop Dancer?

I’ve started asking myself this question out of respect for the Hip Hop Culture. My first jam I ever went to was Bboy Summit 96′ in San Diego. The atmosphere was so raw and free. I remember seeing for the first time Flo Master, Ken Swift, Crazy Legs, Poe One, Mr. Wiggles, Easy Roc, Asia One, and Storm with his gazillion Head Spins! The funny thing was I didn’t know who any of these Legends were, but I knew I wanted to be a part of them. The energy was so infectious I would start freestyling any chance I got, and no one seamed to care that I wasn’t Breaking. Back then, I felt like I was accepted and was able to share the love/ freedom in the Hip Hop Culture. But now I feel like the Hip Hop Culture has started to cut people off, like me. Yes I know that Bboying is the original dance of Hip Hop, but why was I accepted in 96′ and now in 2009 feel like if I don’t Break then I am not a part of the Culture? Is it because I know more? Or is it because people want to own it?

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13 Comments

  1. They say that dance is away to express yourself, but how can you show yourself if you’re being cut out of something you love? Maybe it’s due to the fact that Bboying is being seen more through the movies, shows, and so forth. Or maybe, people prefer to see someone go from a windmill to a air flare, then to show one’s true self. Hip Hop to me is feeling the beat and then expressing yourself through the dance moves you produce. Or I’m just completely wrong.

  2. I agree with Christina. And I have also wondered the same question.
    I honestly think that it is because people are all about tricks and flips, even though it shouldn’t be like that. It sucks, but i think people are more wow’d over someone that can do a headspin or a windmill than someone that just dances. They both show the same amount of passion, but are viewed differently. I think it is harder for outsiders to understand because they do not know what dance is. It is a movement of emotion, love, and feeling. What you do when you freestyle, is one expresssing themself.

    I honestly think you are an amazing dancer and I have much respect for you. You are a wonderful choreographer and freestyler. Once I get my lliscence = Debbie Reynolds studio here i come! 🙂

  3. I agree with Christina. I think maybe bboying is seen more in movies and shows and stuff thats why its more associated with what hip hop is. As I see now, in the younger generations, if you’re not bboying, your not hip hip. … Maybe they dont understand the concept of freestyle and moving with the beat. I’m not a dancer… but I watch a lot of it and what do I think makes one a hip hop dancer? Feeling and moving with the music and being consumed by the beat. Regardless if you’re breaking on the floor, popping or free styling. No one “owns” a dance or any style of dance. But then again.. what do I know? I’m not a dancer.

    • well said. and you dont have to be a dancer. 🙂

  4. First of all I have to say that as a female hip hop dancers I look up to you so much Teresa. I love your style and your passion and the fact that you are a female that can bust a move. It seems to me that when females are thought of in hip hop you get the video girls shaking their butts and trying to be sexy. I am sorry but there is nothing more sexy than a dancer that is dancing with their heart and feeling and a female that can be sexy while busting it out with the guys or just like the guys if not better….super sexy.

    It does irritate me that the tricks and things are all people think hip hop is. Hip hop is attitude, its feeling, its struggle, its power, its happiness, its sadness. There are so many styles and elements to hip hop that everyone forgets about. If you arent doing tricks you arent doing hip hop in some peoples eyes and thats just sad.

    Ragdoll thank you and the other Beat Freaks for representing hip hop and females in such an amazing way. I am truly inspired.

    • and further more…..breaking takes a lot of athleticism and muscle that some people never have and never will…..there are some things they do that completely blow my mind but my body will NEVER be capable of that. Just like there are breakers that cant do choreography or just groove to a beat without trying to put in the flash……(not bashing…I have sooooo much respect for breakers). It’s a shame that you (Teresa) feel “cut off” because as a dancer that is not naturally flexible or trained I found a home in hip hop because I am all heart and passion in my dance. I love breaking but I am not capable of most of that stuff but always felt like it was okay because hip hop is not all about that.

  5. Hey Teresa! Awesome blog!

    To me, a hip hop dancer is someone who loves moving and expressing themselves through dance to hip hop music. You don’t have to be amazing at it, you just have to have the passion for it. A hip hop dancer can be a dancer from any street styles like poppers, lockers, breakers, and just plain freestylers. Every hip hop dancer has their own style, their own groove and funk. You don’t need to know every single style of hip hop to be a hip hop dancer. As long as you have your own style, you’re good. That to me is my definition of a hip hop dancer.
    I, as well, am a hip hop dancer. I’m trying to explore hip hop dance as much as I can and learning as much street styles and other styles outside of hip hop as well. Everyday, I watch other dancers for inspiration, practice, and I’m always dancing and freestyling in my head for new ideas.

    -Mia Salaveria

  6. well, i’m an aspiring dancer myself. i want to learn a lot of styles like breaking, popping and locking. For me, HipHOP iis a very broad term. HipHop is not always about breaking. I’m the kind of guy who enjoys tricks but looks deeper into the choreography. It’s a matter of self expression I say just like when I see you freestyling. Flashy moves are not everything that’s why I enjoy Rino, Maryss and You who do really dope choreo.
    I’m truly inspired to do the thing i love. Not only the Freak the Dream movement moved the hearts of every female aspirant but you also touched mine, a guy.=)
    -Lloyd Largo

  7. i never really appreciated or knew hiphop then til i saw you dance. and i only see videos of you and your crew. how much more upclose, you know what i mean?:-) don’t get drowned by all this bboying, being who you are is what i look up to..choreography is all that matters to me. and when it comes to choreography,you are hardcore! nobody does it best but you. i look up to you and i’m proud of what you can do. hold your head up high, because we are all here to support you. ❤

  8. Reading this post was like WOW. I always thought that too, atleast most of that.
    I HATE it when a lot of girls think they can hiphop style dance and all you see them doing is bootyshakign to “drop it low”.. lol thats just an example. But i’m sure you know what i mean.

  9. Teresa, I admire you.
    I think there is a point here… I live in Argentina..and we are just beggining at this Hip hop style. So everybody who dares to do something, move, sing, dress whatever is welcome and celbrated but the rest.
    But, you up there maybe the differents stlyes of Hip hop started to mark their own limits.
    I do Krump in Argentina… Everybody celebrate my crazyness when I battle… because it´s all about passion. But if I would travel to La… and do the same… in a Krump session… They will look down on me… they would not like a blondie “act” like if she was one of them.
    Is what I think.
    I do break too… and whatever silly movement I can make… all are celebrating my succes!!
    When everything changes in the usa?
    Maybe the world REPRESENT means way too much more than enjoy dancing!?

    Teresa a pleasure to have know you in the distance!!
    Val
    batatakley@gmail.com

  10. hi teresa how you doing,

    i just wanna say something about what you said.

    i think there is a lil difference between be hiphop and do an original hip hop dance.

    maybe in 96 when you started to dance with these bboys, it was in a circle, so you have the spirit and the energy of the hip hop.

    hip hop was born in parties, from what i learned breaking was originally a vertical dance, breaking is about circles. so whatever you do in the circle give you the spirit of hip hopyou are hip hop, but doesn’t make you a do the hip hop dance.

    i can”t be wrong, but i try to explain what you lived.

    i will give my opinion later of what is a hip hop dancer for me lol

    take care everybody

    sorry for my english

    tothebeat

  11. you have a great blog here. Started dancing hip hop myself 4 years ago and never looked back! Keep spreading the joy of hip hop dance!


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