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Where did street dance come from and why is it so popular?

15th February 2016

Where did street dance come from and why is it so popular?
Dance is the most basic human form of communication that there is. It is the ability to communicate through movement, to show what you think, what you feel and express yourself using your body. There is no better embodiment of those principles than found in street dance. Whilst traditional forms of dance such as ballroom are full of passion and romance, they are within parameters. There are classic elements to a salsa that make it a salsa and without them, it's just a mish mash of ballroom styles.

Street dance however is all about the freedom to do what you want.

What is street dance?

The simple way to explain street dance, is that it's dancing that is done outside of the studio. The moves and routines often incorporate the environment around you and are very spontaneous. Any outdoor space becomes a dance floor. It largely draws influence from break dancing, popping and locking which are common features of dance within hip hop. Hip Hop arguably could be credited for the creation of street dance.

Street dance has become increasingly popular in recent years and is the fastest growing dance form around. It started out in New York City, with dance troupes break dancing against one another on the streets. It was very much an underground style and since then it has taken off and become mainstream.

It's inclusion in popular culture has been a big part of the reason for this. For example take the 'Step Up' franchise of dance movies. They're all about freestyle dance and expressing yourself. They shows rival dance groups compete against one another, ultimately for pride. The 'Street Dance' movie franchise tows a very similar pattern to many other dance movies; 'You Got Served', 'Battlefield America' etc.

It's also become extremely popular on talent shows for dance 'troupes' and individuals. A quick look back through recent winners on Britain's Got Talent reveals Diversity who have become well known for their hip hop styled dance routines and their dance work within local communities. George Sampson won for his dance routine in 2008 aged just 14, and since has gone on to have a successful acting career.

Street dance is now very commercialised and despite its name is often practiced within a dance studio and can be taught. In some cases, it is also taught as part of Physical Education to children and as part of Theatre courses.

Why is a street dance class good for you?

There are a whole range of health benefits! Regular dance classes are great for weight loss, physical fitness and increasing muscular strength. They also improve your balance, flexibility and co-ordination.

It's a challenging cardiovascular workout and requires a lot of energy, even if you're trying the more basic moves.

However the best aspect of a street dance class is that it's just so much fun. Performing in a group and taking on a challenging routine will give a great sense of achievement. Plus there is the added bonus that you'll be able to dance afterwards... which is a lot more difficult than people think!

Importantly, it's not just for youths! Whilst films may portray street dancers as baggy jean wearing teenagers with baseball caps and hoodies, this is not the reality! Anyone can do a street dance class, regardless of experience or regardless of whether you are looking for an adults or a children's street dance class.

However they are particularly good for children, especially in terms of building confidence. The ability to be able express yourself freely and creatively makes a big different to how a child acts and thinks. It can really make a big difference in their development.

How to find a street dance class

If a street dance class is what you are looking for, then finding a class is easy on Dance Near You. Simply visit the website homepage and search using your postcode to find the dance studios and dance instructors offering street dance classes in your area.

Once you have a found a class to suit you, leave the instructor and enquiry to find out a bit more about it. Alternatively, with some studios you can now secure your place in a class by booking online through their profile!
Source: Dance Near You