Kids Hip Hop 101

Written by Jessica Clayton

Hip Hop has been a very popular dance style in the past few years thanks to shows such as America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance. As a ballet dancer, Hip Hop has always been a foreign style to the classical lines that I have been taught my entire career. So you can imagine the sheer terror when I’ve had to sub a hip hop class or…gulp…teach a full session.

How do you make it work? Here are a couple tips and tricks to help you in the process.

Step 1:
Start your class with fun easy warm ups that include cardio (Jumping Jacks, Grape Vines, Jump Rope etc), stretching, and Isolations (moving one body part at a time).

Step 2: Teach simple basic Hip Hop Steps.
If you aren’t sure what the basics are, I would suggest taking a hip hop workshop in your area.
Some basics include: Kick Ball Changes, Rock Steps, Crip Walks, and more.

Step 3: Once the students have a general understanding of the basics you can expand on those. As Jeff in the video shows, you can change your rocks stops going to the front, back, or catching a wave like a surfer. Then expanding the move even more to be performed on one foot!

Step 4: Teach fun old school moves! Kids will love learning all the dance moves you did as a child! Coffee Grinders, Robot, etc. You can even start creating your own hip hop moves. A made up hip hop move the kids always love is called stir the soup! That’s where you put your hands above your head in two fists, circle them around your head, shimmy to the floor and jump up and do it again. Watch the video closely, you’ll see it performed in their dance!

Step 5: Don’t be afraid to challenge your students. Each week try a more advanced dance move. Maybe it’s togher isolations, popping, or a more advanced break dance move.

Step 6: At the end be sure to put all that they learned together in a fun dancing combo!

Enjoy the video!

Don’t forget to join us for our next dance teacher training coming up on 1/6/2012. We will be focusing on Ballroom Funk: Creating a Fun Child Friendly Ballroom Class!


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