Finding the best hip-hop dance class in London
First we have to discuss what ‘best’ actually means.
According to Merriam-Webster, the adjective ‘best’ means ‘excelling all others’. Sometimes there is no doubt who or what the best is, but even then, an alternative opinion may be offered.
Now, there are a number of hip-hop dance classes in London but, as mentioned, we think we have something special. Before we touch on that, however, we have to ask..
What is hip-hop dance?
It’s widely recognised that the original hip-hop dance is b-boying (or ‘breakin” or ‘breakdance’). You knew that, right?
B-Boying came about in the south Bronx in hip-hop’s birthplace at hip-hop’s birth time, in the early seventies. It’s recognised as one of the four elements of hip-hop and the others include emceeing, DJ and graffiti.
Now, some people say that breakin’ is a funk style because the music that was being played at the parties was funk music and funk breaks. James Brown and artists of that nature. In fairness, Kool Herc would play the drum break from a lot of different kinds of music. That’s the beauty of the DJ!
Breakin’ was actually born before rap records or hip hop records. At the parties, an emcee could chant over the music but there weren’t really songs that you could go out and buy just yet. Despite this, breakin’ is still recognised as the original hip-hop dance form.
As music changed, so did dance and the culture. In the mid 80s, artists such as Boogie Down Productions, LL Cool J and Run DMC epitomized a sound known as Boom Bap. Boom Bap is a particularly sparse kind of hip-hop music with strong drums and not much melody (if any). More melodic hip-hop tunes like ‘Know the ledge’ by Eric B & Rakim also punctuated a changing era. This vibe was unlike typical breakin’ music (though b-boys still jammed to these tracks) and dance changed in response.
Dancers tended to stay on their feet rather than touch the ground and hip-hop dance, as we know it, was born. Hip-hop was now recognised as social dances and party dances. These party dances may have been from popular songs or they may have been inspired by Pop Culture but typically these were the inspirations for hip-hop dance as we know it.
Hip-hop dance nowadays still reflects these traits: The Music, The Dance, The Culture and The Energy.
So, what should we expect at a hip hop dance class in London?
Hip-hop dance class: Explained
Firstly, the music. We’d expect to hear hip hop music at the hip hop class. In real life you can dance to any music you like but at a hip-hop dance class you would expect to hear some hip hop music at least sometimes.
Secondly, you would expect your teacher to have hip hop vocabulary. This could be reflected in different grooves. It could be different hip-hop social dances. It could be recognised hip-hop dance theories such as isolation, usage of the floor, behaviour & gesture and things like that. One should expect their dance teacher to be able to show at least some of these elements when they dance and teach.
The third thing that may occur at the hip hop dance class is learning a routine.
This routine should contain some hip hop vocabulary, some hip hop groove or at least something we can recognise as hip-hop form. If you attend a hip-hop dance class and there is no hip-hop music, there is no real vocabulary that you can understand and appreciate and there is no routine that reflects the hip-hop feeling – you may not be a hip-hop dance class.
Is important to point out at this point that in reality you can dance to whatever music you like in whatever way you want but our class that is labelled as hip-hop. You should expect and deserve hip-hop.
Next we want to talk about why we think we are the best hip-hop dance class in London number one are teachers love hip hop culture.
Our 7 class ingredients
The whole hip-hop package
The boys and girls that teach hip-hop for our firm love everything about hip hop culture. The music, the clothing, the slang, the energy and of course the dance. This is important because when you attend our classes you can feel that energy from the teachers.
Our teachers know the foundations of their dance. They can name the moves, make references to different songs and different people. When you listen to them you can be assured that you are receiving the real knowledge. We gain our foundation from the class, the club and the culture. By receiving instruction from the greatest in the game (‘class’), exploring their form in the street in the club (‘club’) and researching the history of the dance (‘culture’), a well rounded education is formed.
On the scene
Our teachers are active in the arts. They regularly perform, battle and create both underground and commercially. Because of this you can rest assured that you are receiving the freshest information with a real-life energy attached.
We listen to our students
Sometimes you may attend a class where you may feel you are just a number in the class. You may feel like you are a passive participant in an activity. In our classes we listen to our students. If they have desires, where possible, we want to fulfil those desires. If we can’t fulfil those specific desires, typically we’ll make suggestions so that students can still grow or gain an understanding of what’s interesting for them.
A field trip is important to us here because hip-hop dance is not from the studio. It’s from the street or the club so periodically we will invite our students to join us at an event. This helps them leave the studio and utilise what they’ve learnt in a real-life setting. Surely there is no greater way to learn!
We maintain correspondence with our students via our Facebook and WhatsApp groups. Although they initially may sound like an unnecessary distraction, we have found that actually students are very communicative and find this medium useful for the development. Talking to us before and after classes help them to develop things that we have discussed. Also, they can more easily develop things that they have learnt and gain a more well-rounded experience as a dance student. And finally..
Our online tutorials
We have recently created lessons that people can learn online. The benefit of this is that you can practice at any time, even if we can’t come home with you (sorry!). Another benefit is that we can educate people in a number of different places so that when you are on holiday you can still learn. You can go over techniques that you may have missed in class at your own pace. Online tutorials are amazing, so go take a look here.
This is why our classes rock! Have we missed anything from the list? If you’re already one of our students, leave it in a testimonial.
Next we’d like to make some..
Honourable Mentions for an alternative hip-hop dance class in London
For the intermediate / advanced hip hop dancer, definitely take class with Kofi Mingo. Kofi is from Rain Crew and is widely regarded as the best hip-hop dancer in the UK at this time of writing. His range of personalised techniques will help you become an artist the likes of which you had never known.
Kashmir‘s international battle credits speak for themselves and he has a large reputation in the Far East. Hailing originally from Birmingham, Kash is an honorary Londoner now. With a hard-body training style and bundles of knowledge – YOU. WILL. GROW.
Next is Kloe. Kloe is the director of Myself UK dance company, an all female hip-hop dance collective. Her understanding of foundation, choreography and performance is mostly unparalleled in the London street dance scene. Attend Kloe’s classes for a feminine touch on the hip-hop realness.
Finally we like to shout out Kenrick Sandy MBE. Kenrick has seen everything, done everything, choreographed everything, performed everywhere and won everything! He is truly peerless in our community. Kenrick’s classes typically have choreography in a real hip-hop feel. To get understanding of how hip-hop can be performed, Kenrick’s class really is the one. He is a director of the world famous Boy Blue Dance Company, who’s credits boggle the mind.
In conclusion, have you been to a hip-hop dance class in London before? Did it meet your expectations? Find out if the class that you went to features our 5 street dance class tips in our other post. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in class, which you can book here.