May-June 2013 | 2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Dressing the Part

2_Tips_HipHopBy Geo Hubela

Tip 1
Clothing that complements the hip-hop style and makes students feel comfortable is important; if they don’t feel comfortable, they won’t dance to their full potential. Loose-fitting clothes and materials that move well against the skin accentuate many styles of hip-hop. Popping always looks better in sweatpants or a polyester warm-up suit. Many boogaloo-style poppers wear dress slacks instead of jeans because the slacks move well with popping leg movements. Long sleeves add flow to popping and waving.

Tip 2
For shoes, encourage students to wear classic street sneakers. (I’m not a fan of jazz sneakers with split soles and slippery bottoms.) Sneakers provide a better grip, allowing movements to be sharp and to stick. For gliding, a shoe with a stiffer sole and smoother bottom facilitates rising on the toes without pain and easy sliding. Michael Jackson always wore classic penny loafers onstage because he did so much gliding; it made him appear as if he was walking on air.