5 min read 3,599 views

Let’s Break Through The Top 5 Elements Of Hip-Hop Dance

Hip-hop dance is a singular dance style, it is dependent on the 5 main pillars. These pillars are also known as the 5 elements of hip-hop dance.

When it comes to the western dance forms, there is doubt about the fact that hip-hop dance is of the most popular and perhaps one of the most sought-after western dance forms all across the globe. Hip-Hop can be defined as a style of dance where the movements are characterized by bounce and rocks, and all these movements are performed to Hip Hop music.

elements of hip-hop dance

However, the roots of the dance form can be traced back to African American culture that emerged in the black communities living in New York. Though hip-hop dance is referred to as a singular dance style, it is dependent on the 5 main pillars. These pillars are also known as the 5 elements of hip-hop dance. Therefore, in this article, we will talk about the top 5 elements of hip-hop dance and its significance in making hip-hop an integral part of the western dance culture.

Related Article: An Insightful Guide On The Classical Dance Legends Of India

5 Elements of Hip-Hop Dance

The 5 main elements of hip-hop dance are-
a) Deejaying
b) Emceeing
c) Graffiti
d) Breaking
e) Beatboxing

Though artistic elements associated with hip-hop dance will change over time these 5 are the core elements of hip-hop dance that will remain the soul of this dance form. So let’s get into the depth of beats and dance.

1. Deejaying

elements of hip-hop dance

One of the primary and perhaps the most important elements of hip-hop dance is Deejaying. The foundation stone for deejaying was laid down in the 1970s and the element is well supported by innovative and groovy breaks and percussive sounds. Deejaying is a title given to young and incredibly talented people who can create new music by using already recorded songs, music, sounds, etc.

Deejaying comes in various forms and some DJs also make their mixes beforehand, and then they sell those mixes to the listeners, while many people prefer to listen to the art at the moment, thereby creating new beats that cannot be found anywhere. Initially, the earlier form of deejaying was done to loop drum breaks of some songs and they even used turntables to make “break” that lasted longer than a few counts. Deejaying is a highly creative-driven process and it leads to innovation not only in music but also in the culture of hip-hop as a whole.

2. B-Boying

elements of hip-hop dance

B-Boying is a popular street dance that originated in the United States of America, and b-boying is also known as breaking. After gaining a massive following and popularity in the US, b-boying started spreading across the world, and to this day it continues to be the popular dance form worldwide. Certain unique dance traits make it a popular dance choice amongst the kids. Some of these traits include floor-based movement, physically impressive techniques, synchronized rhythm, and lots of fun and excitement.

Just like hip-hop dance, even b-boying is backed by 5 elements such as top rock, footwork, back rock, freezes, and power moves. All these elements are included under the single umbrella of b-boying.

3. Graffiti

elements of hip-hop dance

Graffiti can be defined as an artistic and visual expression of hip-hop dance. The graffiti made its first appearance on the streets of Philadelphia by a high school student who wanted to attract the attention of a girl, and ever since then it has grown out to be a much-appreciated art form and you can find them everywhere. From buildings to walls, buses, sidewalks, etc. Graffiti is also showcased in art galleries, and it is also covered by popular singers and rappers.

When it comes to the elements of hip-hop dance, graffiti is much more than just tagging- that is it shows the expression of Hip-Hop culture which is dominated by the community of active listeners. Just like b-boying, even graffiti has its elements including tags, slaps, paste-ups, throw-up, blockbuster, wildstyle, heaven, and stencil. These are the different and perhaps some of the most important elements of graffiti and every element have its history of development and use.

4. Beat-Boxing

elements of hip-hop dance

Beat-boxing is regarded as the spiritual foundational element of Hip-Hop, and it can set the proper tone when it comes to Hip-hop music. A beat-boxer will create a repeated beat, they will also create various sounds that will be accompanied by the rapper himself. That is how beatboxing can set the scene for some of the important hip-hop events such as rap battles, thereby transforming the mouth and body of the beatboxer into an instrument. Similar to breaking, even beat-boxing has its share of inspiration and that can be derived from various forms of vocal percussion.

A lot of practice goes in so that the beatboxer can make the right sound, along with some special techniques for breathing and this will enable the beatboxer to effectively and efficiently use pauses. This will in turn increase their endurance and stamina. Just like any other element of Hip-hop, even beatboxing has undergone a series of transformations thereby reflecting on new techniques, new sounds, and group beatboxing.

5. Emceeing

Emceeing is the short form for Master of Ceremonies, and it got its name from Jamaica, as it was the first place to give rappers the title of an MC. Specifically, in hip-hop culture, an MC is the most visible individual. They are responsible for entertaining the crowd through the high-paced rhythmic delivery of rhymes, keeping in sync with the music playing in the background, and providing a platform for the dancers to perform. As a popular art form, it can take some time to get comfortable with capturing the true essence of rhymes and matching those words with the beats of the music. Mostly all the hip-hop events are very vibrant and energetic.

Related Article: Top 8 Indian Classical Dance Styles With Its Origin States


These are the 5 core elements of hip-hop dance culture. However, these 5 elements don’t always collide with hip-hop dance, but they are an integral part of the culture. And just like any other dance form, even the hip-hop dance form is born from the love of hip-hop music and the need for creative self-expression. Moreover, as a dancer, it is very important to understand the 5 core elements of hip-hop dance and you must pay your respects to how these elements grew and created a new culture. And that new culture is helping so many people across the world.

If your child has an interest in hip-hop dance form then you can enroll them in our online hip-hop dance classes. The online hip-hop dance classes offered by PiggyRide, are well curated in terms of curriculum. Your kids will thoroughly enjoy themselves. They will be trained under the guidance of highly qualified and experienced choreographers. Get ready to hit the dance floor with some swag!

Alternative Text

Ridhi Dogra

Hi Friends! I am Ridhi Dogra.
I am working as a Content Writer with PiggyRide. I graduated from Delhi University with a bachelor's degree in Home Science and I did my post-graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University. I am an avid reader, a passionate traveler, and a movie buff.

Leave a Reply

Notify of