August 2013 | 2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Focus on Foundations

Tips Hip-Hop
By Geo Hubela

Tip 1
As hip-hop is evolving, I see more urban styles that convey emotion. Lyrical hip-hop, which combines the nuances of lyrical dance with the vocabulary and foundational movements of hip-hop, is more interpretive than standard hip-hop. There are still isolations, gliding, smooth movement, and waves, but they are more fluid and less hard-hitting. And, as in lyrical dance, emphasis is placed on storytelling and conveying emotion. But stay true to the foundations of hip-hop or else call it lyrical.

Tip 2
The foundations should always remain true to the art. A pet peeve of mine is seeing elements of jazz in hip-hop routines. Double pirouettes, kicks with pointed feet, and jazz poses compromise the integrity of a hip-hop routine. Get creative and transform technical elements into hip-hop. Instead of lifting and elongating the body, bend the knees more and hunch over; instead of pointing a foot, flex it. Show your dancers the differences in movement and placement so they know each style must stay true to its foundation.