Let your body go with the flow
It was born in the ghettos in the late 60s, evolved in the 70s underground and hit the mainstream in Madonna‘s videos of the 80s and 90s.
And now, with stars like Usher, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera carrying on its unique dance styles, streetdance has never been so popular.
Think locking and popping, stepping and sticking, breaking and boogaloo, and that just begins to cover the mass of dance moves under the streetdance umbrella.
It’s a combination of many techniques derived from American ghetto street games and comprises elements of hip-hop, funk, electric boogie and breakdance.
Streetdance – also known as hip-hop – has been widely misrepresented in the past, with somewhat unfair associations of gun-yielding gangsters dressed in bling-bling jewellery driving flashy cars.
But the contemporary dance form has managed to pull itself out of the ghetto gutter and re-position itself as the dance of the 21st century.
It has moved from the underground to become a mainstream phenomenon thanks to the influence of A-list pop stars, who have used streetdance to get ahead of the competition.
Every self-respecting star is now trying their hands and feet at streetdance.
Just look at how Justin Timberlake made the successful transition from boy band to solo success and Christina Aguilera went from fresh-faced teenybopper to Dirrty star.
And continuing the REV! campaign in conjunction with “Coca-Cola” this weekend, there will be an exclusive Streetdance Taster Day for Evening News readers hosted by some of the country’s top dance experts.
Held at Dance Base tomorrow from 10am until 5pm, readers will have the dance form broken down into easy-to-follow steps and will be taught how to emulate moves such as the Beyoncé booty shake, the Justin Timberlake body-pop and the Madonna vogue.
Spanish streetdance teacher JC Ferron will be hosting this weekend’s event and such is his passion for all things hip-hop, JC is now internationally renowned.
Currently living in Edinburgh to expand his experience and meet the rising demand for classes, JC now runs a variety of sought-after streetdance classes and says streetdance is now the trendiest way to look good on the dance floor.
“Streetdance has always been around and has always been popular to an extent in Europe, but it’s only in the last few years that it’s really become big in the UK,” explains JC.
“Dance has always been around in Britain with breakdancing being especially popular, but streetdance in this country is more new.
“It’s because of the growing popularity and acceptance of hip-hop-style music.
“Interest in hip-hop and streetdance has grown a lot with the growth of R’n’B and the popularity of Justin Timberlake, 50 Cent, Usher and all those new singers. People are getting into the music and getting more used to the style of dance.”
He adds: “It’s the Justin Timberlakes, the Britneys, the Michael Jacksons and the Madonnas that have made streetdance so popular now.”
Paul Joseph, co-founder of Glasgow-based leading streetdance school Kultyer, agrees. “It really started with Madonna. She was one of the first really big stars to use underground, club styles of dance – the way she did with ‘vogueing’ on her Vogue video – and bring things like that into the mainstream.
“She was using streetdance moves in her videos, and it was suddenly no longer just a club culture thing, it was something that you could do yourself when you’re out with your mates on a Saturday night.”
Bootilicious steps of movers and shakers
THE AGUILERA DIRRTY SHAKE:
The shake as seen by Christina in her video Dirrty and also by Destiny’s Child in their Bootilicious video. Vanessa says: “Stand with your feet apart, raise your heels off the ground and slightly bend your knees. Rock gently from side to side and shake that bum!”
THE BEYONCÉ BOOTY SHAKE
A hard one to recreate, according to Vanessa, because of the African dance influences. She breaks it down for wannabes and says: “Put legs slightly apart and bend knees, keeping knees soft and bouncy. Push your rear back and your chest forward, with elbows bent, arms at chest height, with hands as fists. Raise yourself up on to your toes. Drop your weight down quickly and as you do so flick your hips back and forward as fast as you can, your upper body should remain as still as possible while your rear goes up and down.”
THE MICHAEL JACKSON MOONWALK:
JC explains: “This involves gliding on the floor by making alternate steps close to the ground as if one is moving on an icy surface. This move gives the appearance that the body is not affected by gravity. It?s achieved by stepping on and off the ball of the foot, and sliding the other foot away.
“Begin by placing one foot on its ball with the other flat on the ground. Slide the foot which is flat on the floor backwards whilst the other, which is on the ball, is placed flat on the ground. Then put the foot that slid backwards up on its ball and repeat with the other foot.”
THE MC HAMMER RUNNING MAN
JC explains: “The step appears like you’re running on the spot and it can be divided into two steps. First, make a small jump raising one leg and keep the other down, then, the leg that is up in the air steps forward whilst at the same time the leg that is down steps back in a gliding motion. Then the opposite two steps are made. This is repeated.”
THE MADONNA VOGUE
As seen in her Vogue video. JC explains: “This involves a series of arm movements such as making a T-shape with the arms held out horizontally side ways with the forearms pointing directly upwards, then one could lower the left forearm down leaving the right pointing upwards, creating an Egyptian-style effect. The arms can be positioned in many shapes during this move, symmetrically or asymmetrically. Different sequential patterns can be created.
Article by Sarah Howden