Hip Hop History


Earliest forms of hip hop dance were invented


Earl Tucker (aka Snake Hips), performer at The Cotton Club, invents a dance style similar to today’s hip hop moves, incorporating floats and slides, which would later inspire an element of hip hop culture known as breakdancing.


Jamaican dance hall gets it start/or becomes more known.


Boogaloo developed in California, a fad dance used with several songs like “Do the Boogaloo” and “My Baby Likes to Boogaloo”. From being fad, it then developed into the street dance style called Boogaloo in Oakland, California.


James Brown records “Live at the Apollo” and his drummer Clayton Fillyau introduces a sound that is now known as the breakbeat. This would later inspire the break dance movement.


Clive Campbell moves to the US at age of 11, where he attended Alfred E Smith High School, with the nickname of Hercules, due to his imposing size….  He would later become a graf writer and change his name to Kool Herc.


Uprock, Breaking, Funk Styles were created/ developed. Breaking in the Bronx, New York, developed as elaborations from James Brown’s “Good Foot” dance which debuted in 1972. Started out as top rock. Influence on TOPROCK was UPROCK, created in Brooklyn, New York. UPROCK similar to TOPROCK but more aggressive, performed in partners.

1970's cont.

In California, funk styles developed, such as roboting, bopping, hitting, locking, bustin’, popping, boogaloo, strutting, dimestopping.

Most popular Funk Styles developed and widely done are Locking and Popping. The television show Soul Train played a large role in giving these styles commercial exposure. Dance crews “The Lockers” and “The Electric Boogaloos” performed on this show, heavily responsible for the spread of these styles and culture.


Aretha Franklin records a well known break dance song, “Rock Steady". The Rock Steady dance crew would go on to rule in the world of break dancing, members scattered all over the globe.


DG Kool Herc invented the break beat; a rhythmic, musical interlude of a song that has been looped over and over again to extend that instrumental solo. Capoeira (Brazilian style martial arts), as well as gymnastics, highly influenced break to become more versatile, with more floor work integrated.

1520 Sedgwick Avenue- the famed address of where many of the first parties of DJ Kool Herc took place, where his sister, Cindy, helped to make these parties what they were.

Grandmaster Flash further innovated the art of DJing by using his headphones to pinpoint exactly where the beats started and ended.

Afrika Bambaataa also expanded turntabling techniques.


Hip Hop social dancing (party dancing) started to develop, with novelty and fad dances like the Roger Rabbit, the Cabbage Patch, the Worm... Followed by the Humpty Dance, the Running Man and SO MANY MORE!!!  These social dances continued to develop and new ones were created all the time.. like the Cha Cha Slide, the Dougie, and so on.