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More Than Movement Dance Education: Hip-Hop Glossary for the Rae Community

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Happy National Hip-Hop History Month, and welcome to a special edition of More Than Movement's Dance Education spotlight! These spotlights are dedicated to sharing the history and culture of various Black and Brown dance forms. For this special edition, we are highlighting the foundation of Hip-Hop by compiling resources of over 100 Hip Hop steps that are used in everyday dances.

The following information, video references, vocabulary, and steps are here to help better serve you as a Hip Hop teacher or a teacher that borrows from Hip Hop culture. Please continue to use vocabulary in your classes and enrich history whenever possible. We at Rae Studios continue to recognize and highlight our pioneers of Hip Hop along with other dance forms.

Please share this when teaching and tag fellow teachers who may need a "refresher".

Thank you for your time and energy!

Have a dance form you would like to see spotlighted next? Let us know at!

A Brief History of Hip-Hop

Hip-Hop has a rich history and culture, but here is a brief history of how this groundbreaking art form was popularized!

  • During the late 60s/early 70s, the Black, Latiné, and Caribbean American communities living in the Bronx faced systemic oppression and benign neglect.

  • On August 11th, 1973, Jamaican DJ, DJ Kool Herc, and Jamaican Graffiti Writer, Pep-1, threw a back-to-school party to raise money for school supplies at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, New York.

  • DJ Kool Herc pioneered the merry-go-round technique. The merry-go-round technique is when a DJ takes two funk records and extends the instrumental section, or "the break." This became known as the birth of Hip-Hop music. DJ Kool Herc also coined the term "break boy" and "break girl" (more commonly known as BBoys and BGirls).

  • Hip-Hop culture became a way for these communities to express joy and find an escape from oppression.

Want to learn more about the history of Hip-Hop? Here are some resources as a starting point:

Hip-Hop Party Dance Foundation

The basic foundation for Hip-Hop Party Dance comes from the bounce. The bounce began as a down bounce which you can see in Old School moves like Smurf, Steve Martin, or Cabbage Patch. As Hip-Hop dance evolved, some New School movements began incorporating a back or up bounce which you can see in moves like Dougie, Monastery, or Harlem Shake.

Check out this video of Moncell Durden breaking down the basic bounce.

Hip-Hop Party Dance Steps

1) 70 Hip-Hop Dance Steps from Phoenix Starr

2) New Skool Hip-Hop Dances and Trends from Phoenix Starr

3) New School Dictionary ft Buddha Stretch, Henry Link, and Caleaf Sellers

4) Hip Hop Dance Moves List - Blog from FraGue Moser-Kindler

5) THE MOP TOP CHANNEL'S Next School Dictionary Playlist

Our Hope

Thank you for checking out this blog. Our hope is for our readers to be more educated on the history, culture, and foundation of Hip-Hop dance and be able to take this knowledge back to their dance spaces whether as a student or teacher.

Hip-Hop dance has become one of today's most commercialized dance forms, but many do not realize the dance form was birthed from oppression, an oppression that continues to exist today, and for many, this dance form was and is an outlet for survival.

As we continue to benefit from this beautiful Black and Latiné creation, it is important we honor the dancestors and those who continue to be harmed by systemic oppression by educating ourselves and others on its history, culture, and foundation.


Resource List

Interested to learn more about Hip-Hop or how to be a respectful guest in Black Dance Forms? Visit our living resource document which we are continuously updating with more resources on different dance forms!


Learn More About More Than Movement

If you have any questions or comments regarding our More Than Movement program or have any resources you’d like to share, please email our More Than Movement Committee leads, Lexi and Kristie at

Please continue to follow this page, our Rae Studios newsletter, and on social media for upcoming events, workshops, speaker series, panels, performances, materials for dance educators, and more. We look forward to growing as artists and community leaders that will show the world that what we do is #morethanmovement.


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