As promised in Part One, here are a few more hip-hop styles explained.
This dance style, which is also called “flexing,” was born in Brooklyn, NY. Recognizable by its often shirtless performers and its grotesque visual aesthetic, bone breaking’s movement vocabulary combines rhythmic contortionist movement with tutting (see below), waving and gliding.
Bone breaking was featured on America’s Best Dance Crew in Season 3 for the first time. Check out a video of the Ringmasters dance crew below.
It should be noted that Bone Breaking did not evolve out of hip-hop culture; rather, it grew from a Jamaican style of street dance called Bruk-Up, which has been described as “a reggae style of popping.” The previous link shows Bruk-Up’s founder, George Adams, performing some of the style’s trademark moves. Be sure to read more about this style in the explanation under the video.
To be honest, this style is completely new for me, too, and you can bet I’ll be on YouTube watching Bruk-Up videos for quite some time…
The term “Tutting” is derived from the name of the Egyptian King Tutankhamun, or “King Tut.” Dancers robotically synch isolations in their bodies and limbs with music in an homage to the flexed hands and bent arms that are often seen in Egyptian hieroglyphics.
“Tuts” can range in size, and as such can include full sections of the body or simply a finger at a time. Check out this clip of Quest Crew on America’s Best Dance Crew for an example – the tutting section begins at 1:33 and lasts until 1:47. Look for an arm wave, which I’ll explain below, immediately after the tutting section.
You have probably seen waving incorporated into popping and other funk dance styles, but dancers like David Elsewhere make it clear that waving has legs all its own. The main idea of this style is to make it appear as though a wave is traveling through the dancer’s body.
Gliding / Floating / Sliding
These three terms are footwork-based dance techniques that are related closely to popping. The main idea in all three techniques is to make it appear as though the dancer’s body is floating smoothly across the floor. You may be most familiar with this style thanks to a small-town performer named Michael Jackson and his trademark Moonwalk. Look for it at 3:37.
The krumping dance movement was born in South Central Los Angeles and has roots in clowning and street youth culture. This dance form is characterized by free, expressive, exaggerated and highly energetic movement that involves the whole body. Though some spectators view krumping as an overly aggressive dance form, krumpers emphasize that the dance is a form of non-violent self-expression.
Be sure to rent Rize, a documentary made about the krumping movement, to learn more about its origins.
**Also, be sure not to confuse “krump” with “crunk,” the latter of which is a term coined by Lil’ Jon that blends the words “crazy” and “drunk.”
Clowning is a style of dance that was invented by Thomas “Tommy the Clown” Johnson, who incorporated hip hop dancing into his act as a birthday clown. Check out this interview with Tommy as he preps for a battle night.