A hip hop dance teacher as the name indicates teaches hip hop dance movements and techniques. The music that accompanies the dance is also called hip hop music in keeping with the culture that defines the ’70s.
The dance started in the 1970s. The style of dancing evolved from the styles created by Black and Latino Americans. What makes the dance distinctive is it is in freestyle. Hip-hop dance has three main elements: freestyling, battles and cipher.
Freestyle is the improvisations you make while dancing. Unlike other dance forms, hip-hop does not have uniform steps that you need to master. Battles pertain to the dance competitions that the dancers engaged in. And finally, a cipher is a circle formed when the dancing starts. The dance is often associated with all these three elements.
The most popular hip hop dance styles that a teacher should know are breaking, locking and popping. Breaking first started in Bronx, New York in 1970’s. Breaking has four foundational moves: toprock which is performed standing up and involves a lot of footwork; downrock, footwork with the aid of hands supporting the weight; freezes, poses using the hands and finally, power moves, which are complicated acrobatic moves.
Locking was introduced in Los Angeles by Don Campbell. The dance move is like freeze or sudden pausing but the dancer freezes for a longer period of time. The dancer continuously locks in place then freezes and moves again.
Popping is a move created by Sam Solomon from Fresno, California. The technique involves contracting the muscles and quickly relaxing it to cause the body to jerk. Popping can be liquid or strobing. Liquid when the movements are so smooth that the jerking movement is not noticeable at all. Strobing is the opposite of liquid. The dancer uses, quick, static and jerky body movements.
Due to the popularity of the dance, it is not unusual for a number of people who want to learn it. The dance is not only impressive but also a good way to stay fit. This is the reason why there is a growing demand for the dance lessons.
An instructor does not need to have formal training of the dance. If you are passionate about the dance and have the necessary dancing experience then you can teach it. But he or she does need to acquire some basic skills in order to teach effectively.
It is important to know your skill level of this dance style. A more advanced level is desirable because you can teach a wide variety of students. If you are just starting out with the dance most likely you can only teach the basic level.
Get certification in teaching general aerobics. The training you will get in aerobics is invaluable. It complements the rigorous steps that you need to teach.
A dance teacher can also observe other dance classes of hip hop. Visit local gyms or dance studios to get ideas. There are instructional videos on teaching it that can provide you a clear idea on what to teach.
Just like any other dance class, teaching hip-hop requires that you remain safe and avoid injuries. A good warm-up at the start of the lesson and a cold down at the end are necessary part of the training. This will help make sure that the students are prepared for the physical demands of the dance.
Preparation is the key to teaching. The dance may mostly be freestyle but it is best if you have specific routines in mind before coming to class. This way, as a hip hop dance teacher, you can determine beforehand what moves to teach your students.