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Street Dancing

Dancing in the street

Street dance is an umbrella term used to describe dance styles that were originally danced mostly at night clubs or outside in the streets, mainly because of their social nature that encourages performance and "battles".

Many street dance styles were formed as an answer to needs among youths of various urban areas, such as the lack of affordable dance schools. They also offered a solution to gang violence, by giving these people something else to do, allowing them to have outlet for strong feelings through non-violence, and opening up new ways to form social bonds.

Characteristics
In opposite to many other dance forms, most street dances encourage individuality and originality, and that dancers interpret the existing moves freely and even invent new ones to create a personal style of their own. Improvisation is the heart of most street dances, though choreography is also seen, mostly mixed with improvisation or used for prepared shows.

Generally, a street dance is based on a unique style or feel that are expressed through the dance, usually tied to a certain genre of music. As new moves evolve based on this feel, the dance is under constant development, and if the feel starts to change it might give birth to a completely new dance form.

Battles
Most street dances involve "battles" of some sort, where individuals or groups of people, so called "crews", dance against each other, with the observing crowd or a group of judges deciding the winner. Battles are very improvisational in nature, and the winners are often those who best manage to adapt to the music, their opponents and the current atmosphere. Though battles can become quite energetic, most dancers consider it very important to show respect to all other dancers, even to adversaries. To let the feelings in a battle become too personal is generally frowned upon.

Competitions
Today, serious street dance competitions are getting increasingly popular, and a number of large reoccurring international events are taking place around the world, such as Battle of the Year, Juste Debout and . These contests focus mainly on judged battles but also on choreographed shows.

Styles
Some of the most famous street dance styles of today, such as breakdancing, popping and locking, began appearing around the 1970s, with breakdancing soon becoming a part of the hip hop culture. Popping and locking are considered funk dances rather than hip hop dances, but are today commonly associated with the hip hop scene and breakdancing as well, as they share many street dance elements.

More recently, new street dance styles are emerging that are further inspired by hip hop and its music. Krumping, with its focus on highly energetic battles and movements, is an example of such a style that just recently became publicly known. It's also common to see some characteristics of street dance being mixed with other more traditional dance forms, creating styles such as street-jazz, a hybrid of modern hip hop styles and jazz dance. Such styles are generally focused more on choreography and performance and less on improvisation and battles, and are not always considered pure street dances.


Source: Wikipedia


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