I used to dismiss hip hop as a dance form. Man, was that stupid.

I never gave hip hop dancers any credit, until I started dancing hip hop and realised just how fucking hard it is.

Since I have started dancing hip hop myself – badly, I might add – I’ve found an intense admiration for hip hoppers. It’s an incredibly intense dance form.

In the past, I kind of subconsciously disparaged it. And that may well be because I’d never encountered hip hop dance growing up – and had never even seen a professional crew. If I had, my attitude may have been wildly different.

I mean, you can say that many forms of dancer are intense:

  • tap is intense for your concentration, legs and butt – not to mention that your rhythm has to be bang-on or it sounds awwwwfulllll.
  • ballet is intense for standing, breathing, moving, breathing, concentration, breathing. Did I mention breathing?
  • contemporary is intense for its feel and physicality, which in many respects is opposite of both tap and ballet.

But hip hop combines musicality, physicality, attitude, timing, strength, and speed in a way that the forms listed above simply do not.

To be fair, I’ve done maybe 10 hip hop classes in my entire life. I’m the oldest in my hip hop class now by (guessing) maybe 12 years minimum, and 22 years maximum. I’m a very upright kind of dancer now, having spent the last eight years studying ballet, contemporary, jazz, and tap.

But hip hop?

I have to learn how to look relaxed, tough, unconcerned, and unfuckwithable, all while moving at the speed of light, hitting the beats, being low to the ground like I have no achilles tendons, and still exude attitude. All while hitting every moment on every beat, with the precision of a tap dancer.

It’s an incredible, diverse, and challenging form of dance. I fall more in love with it with every class I take.

Don’t tell my husband though. He might file for divorce. Metal and hip hop together is like the most unholy of unholy unions. 😛

Meanwhile, here’s a competition performance by a local Flava crew, from 2010: