What is urban dance? 

Time for some improvisation! Urban dance is a sport that doesn’t have many rules, but does require a lot of technique and creativity. Discover a few of the many dance styles that fall into this category.

woman and man dancing in a warehouse

An integral part of hip-hop culture, urban dance is all about diversity, sharing and creativity. It’s an art form that is in a constant state of evolution! The few styles mentioned in this article represent only a fraction of the many urban dance styles developing around the world.

two dancers taking a break in a warehouse

The origins of 
hip-hop

Hip-hop originated in the 1970s in the Bronx, New York. More than just a style of music or dance, it was a collaborative cultural movement that incorporated many art forms including DJ'ing, rap, break dance and graffiti

Hip-hop was developed by artists in the African-American, Puerto Rican and Caribbean communities of the Bronx at “Block Parties”, neighbourhood parties where everyone would gather in the streets to enjoy a good time.

From these inspirations and influences, came many urban dance styles that were defined by their own histories, codes and early adopters, while still being rooted in the culture of hip-hop. 

woman sitting down ready to practice urban dance

Different styles of urban dance

BREAKING - POPPING - LOCKING - HOUSE DANCE...

Breaking: calling all b-boys and b-girls

Breaking, or break dancing, as it is commonly called, is one of the most well known styles of urban dance. Artistic and acrobatic movements are seamlessly linked together, and can sometimes look like a martial art (some moves are even inspired by martial arts).

Break dancing moves engage all of the muscles in your body; your arms, neck, thighs… Athletes who perform this type of dance are generally in excellent physical shape, and have great agility, strength and flexibility. 

Add to that a creative spirit and a talent for improvisation! All of these elements allow break dancers to express their personalities and universes through dance. 

Popping

A funk dance that appeared in the 1970s, Popping is a dance that requires you to contract and relax your muscles to the rhythm of the music. There are still many variants of the style today, including animation, boogaloo, the robot, etc. These muscular isolations can be done in a fluid or jerky motion, according to the desired energy of the dance. 

As you can imagine, Popping requires excellent muscle control and lots of concentration! 

Locking

This funk dance style is full of energy and joy!
As the name indicates, Locking consists of holding certain positions with the music and making marked stops in the succession of rounded movements performed with the arms, hands and feet

Put your cardio and your coordination to the test by diving into the rich vocabulary and varied techniques of this type of dance! 

House dance

Developed in the 70s and 80s in Chicago and New York, House Dance is a light and airy style with rhythmic steps performed on the tiptoes (you need strong calf muscles for this one!). 

This dance style is all about freedom of expression, improvisation and total symbiosis with the music. 

urban dancer doing a complex move

In conclusion

Since its early days, urban dance has always been about creativity and innovation. Find the style you enjoy most that allows you to express yourself!