Discover the Best Hip Hop Dance Classes in NYC
Hip hop is a style of dance that originated from black culture in the 1970s in the United States. Street dances were performed as a method of self expression for black youth. With the rise of rap in the music industry, hip hop entered the mainstream. Hip dance battles rose to popularity in the 1980s and captured the attention of youths from all ethnicities. Today, hip hop is a dance style commonly seen in movies, stage performances, music videos, and advertisements.
There are three styles of movement involved in the core of hip hop dance. These include popping, locking, and breaking. Moves for locking and popping are dictated to the beat of the music. While popping involves explosive outward movements, locking is the inverse with contractions. Freezing momentarily in place for both movements is done for emphasis. “Breaking” is a common term to refer to breakdancing. Though breakdancing can be categorized as its own style of dance, athletic movement and footwork from it are an essential part of hip hop.
Why You Should Learn Hip Hop Dance in NYC
Hip hop is a fun and energetic style of dance. Unlike many other dance styles, participants are encouraged to express themselves and move in ways that feel good to them rather than being constrained by specific movements or steps. This ability to freestyle can improve one’s sense of fun, creative thinking, and self esteem. As individuals realize their skills in a new talent, their levels of confidence rise. Learning to dance within a group and in front of other people is also known to decrease symptoms of anxiety. In short, people who attend dance classes generally receive a boost in feel-good brain chemicals and learn to feel more assured about themselves.
Physical exercise is also known to increase dopamine in the brain, and hip hop is a dance known to make participants sweat. Some people pursue dance classes as an alternative to the traditional gym. Hip hop is categorized as aerobic exercise, and the bonus is it’s fun! Dancing is often recommended as a form of exercise for seniors as it improves range of movement and flexibility. Dancing is also known to increase body strength.
Attending hip hop dance classes will introduce you to a whole new circle of people. This community will be a source of advice and encouragement. Bonding with people over shared experiences can result in finding a sense of belonging and even forming lasting friendships. Should you choose to stick with learning hip hop, recognizing oneself as belonging within a community can improve well being and self-esteem.
Many people choose to learn hip hop purely for the joy of it. However, should one choose, it is possible to monetize one’s dancing skills. Hip hop dances are commonly paid to perform in advertisements, music videos, concerts, shows, and other special events. Street dancing can also be a source of income, and some students progress to getting full or part time jobs as instructors themselves.
In-Person Hip Hop Dance Classes & Schools in NYC
CourseHorse gathers all in-person hip hop dance classes in NYC into one place for easy searching. If you don’t find the courses you are looking for, check back for future offerings or contact individual schools to express interest in specific dance classes.
Currently, most hip hop classes in NYC are offered by Fit4Dance, located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The studio focuses on dance as a fun and exciting form of physical fitness. Zumba is the studio’s most popular dance class, but they teach many other styles, including hip hop, Jazz, and Ballet, among others. Most classes are open to all age groups but some are segregated for children, teens, and adults. Classes generally last around 1 hour and cost $20 per person.
Hip Hop Dance is a course available for adults and teens of at least 15 years old. New students should expect to hit the ground running as they dive into the rhythm of hip hop and discover their style of movement. Teens aged 19 or younger may also attend Hip Hop Teens Ages 8+. This course focuses on elements of breakdance to develop coordination, body strength, and flexibility.
Hip hop enthusiasts may also be interested in Fit4Dance’s Jazz Dance class. Hip hop is considered to have been born from Jazz, and today the two dance and music styles are influenced by one another. Like hip hop, Jazz is an energetic dance style that encourages self expression. Essential Jazz dance movements include percussion (similar to popping but sudden and sharp), swinging (swaying back and forth), and sustaining (slow, continuous, and even motions).
92nd Street Y
92nd Street Y is a community center dedicated to bringing people together through culture, art, and entertainment. The center is located on the Upper East Side and offers a handful of in-person classes involving dance of various styles. 92nd Street Y welcomes a diverse community of different backgrounds, faith, and ages and offers classes on a wide variety of topics with the goal of continuous learning, self improvement, and enjoying life.
Though 92nd Street Y currently does not have any hip hop class offerings, it has provided such in the past. Students may also be interested in the Solo Jazz for Newbies course. This class teaches the lingo of jazz as well as specific dance moves, such as the Charleston and Suzie Q, among others. 92nd Street Y has provided other hip hop adjacent courses in the past such as Jazz Funk – a style of dance from the 70s from which hip hop evolved.
Femme Body Fitness
Femme Body Fitness is a school located in Flatiron near the Empire State Building. The studio focuses on fitness specifically for women, with the goal of improving self confidence and muscle strength. Dance classes focus on sensual movements and body sculpting. The studio offers courses in dance styles such as ballet, belly, lap, and pole, among others. Students must be 18 or older. Classes usually last an hour and cost $30.
Though Femme Body Fitness does not offer courses in hip hop, enthusiasts of the dance style may be interested in their Beginner Twerk class. Twerking is a move known in hip hop that involves the motion of the hips and lower back. Squatting is often required to pull off the move, thus this class builds lower back and leg muscles. Not for the faint of heart, this class promises to have your legs burning!
Virtual Hip Hop Dance Classes & Schools
If you can’t find hip hop dance classes in your area or dislike the commute of in-person classes, you can attend virtual hip hop dance classes online from anywhere in the country. All you need is a reliable internet connection and enough space to get your groove on. Virtual tools allow instructors to emulate the personability of physical classrooms. Students can hear the instructor’s dance music, ask questions, and see each other in real time over online video.
Many online classes have material requirements that students must shop for and supply themselves. With dance courses, all that is required is comfortable clothing. If you don't have breathable clothing that lets you move, you would have needed to purchase these items for a physical class as well. The only other equipment you may wish to pick up is a video camera or standing mirror to view your own moves and identify mistakes, but neither of these is required.