Street Dance Styles

What is Street Dance Exactly?

So what types of dance styles do we cover in our Groove Therapy beginner adult classes? Is it just hip hop? What are the different types of street dance?

The overarching term we use to describe our beginner dance class is ‘street dance’ because all the genres of dance that we cover at Groove Therapy falls under this broader category.

Street dance is basically any type of dance that is born outside of the dance studio context

That is, dance styles born on the street. The most common dance styles we cover in our beginner adults class hails from hip hop culture, but some of the other street dance styles that you may learn about include Afrobeat (Nigeria/Ghana) and dancehall (Jamaica).

Let’s do a quick run down below.

Hip Hop

This is best described as any street dance style that is typically performed to hip hop music. There are a wide range of styles that fall under hip hop, but it’s origins are widely tied to breaking/break dance which was born in the 1970s in the USA and has continuously evolved since:

With TV shows such as Soultrain and films like Breakin’, Beat Street and Wild Style, hip hop rose to the mainstream market and gained commercial traction all over the world.

In order to try create choreographed routines that embodied this ‘hip hop’ flavour, dance studios created a commercial version of hip hop, also known as street jazz by some.

Street Jazz routines are typically very choreography-heavy, have a characteristically jazzy flavour and lean heavily into formations and Euro-centric dance technique. It’s a contentious style as it often merely leans into having an ‘urban flavour’ without the actual historical knowledge, foundations, technique and cultural nuance.

Groove Therapy’s street dance classes for adults leans into the origins of hip hop moves more than the commercial studio style.

Our priority is that you learn the basics of how to groove and execute iconic party dances such as the running man, moonwalk and body roll.

Our online dance courses also teach hip hop party dances and grooves.

House Dance

House dance is a social dance and street dance that is primarily danced to house music. It is often intrinsically linked to hip hop culture and is very footwork heavy.

The main elements of house are the jack, footwork and lofting. This is a style that was born on and for the dance floor, so it is heavily rooted in the ability to freestyle.

If you’d like to learn the essence of this rad footwork, ask your Groove Therapy teacher to cover some basics in your beginner dance class. All of the Groove Therapy teachers have house dance knowledge.

Keen to start practising now? Check out our online house dance courses!

How does class work?

Our adult street dance classes for beginners follows a fairly simple format;

We begin with basic street style grooves, so think of it as a fun warm-up that teaches you how to move your shoulders, loosen your hips, nod your head and body rock. Check this archive footage of the Groove Therapy founder, Vanessa Marian, breaking down the chest isolation:

Once we’ve got these fundamentals down we follow up with a break down of street style social dances. Think the running man, dougie, charleston or the butterfly. You can see an excerpt from our online course to get an idea of how we teach moves like the butterfly:

Once we’ve nailed a few of these moves we end class by stringing a few of them together into a combo. Rather than walking away with a frazzled head from complex choreography, you will learn a few solid party dances which can be applied on a dance floor (or in the privacy of your house if you’re not ready to show the world).

Check out our Sydney Groove Therapists, Feras and Amy, performing a mini-combo they made for their beginners class:

If you’re keen to join a beginner adult dance class across Sydney or Melbourne, you can check the schedule and book here.

Our Ethos

When we first launched Groove Therapy we decided to focus on street dance classes for beginners in an effort to make social dance more accessible to the general public.

The world can sometimes lack a vibrant dance floor culture and we are proud to be at the forefront of the dance movement that is changing this. We believe that our street dance classes teach you how to rock a dance floor so you walk away from class with us armed with huge party dance vocabulary. It’s a much more practical application for your new found skills (because who whips out choreography in real life anyway).

Each of our street dance classes for adults across Australia will draw from a different sub-category of street dance, and each of our teachers has their favourite styles and areas of expertise. You will be getting a fun mixed bag of skills for your next dance floor encounter. Whether you’re taking Ben’s class and learning some fundamentals of the top rock in a break dance context to breaking it down with Rachell whilst the infectious rhythms of the latest Afrobeat tracks play, you won’t really know what you’re getting yourself into each time you step into one of our beginner street dance classes. All we can guarantee is that you’ll walk away with some legit foundations and a big smile across ya gorgeous face.

Where do you live? Want to get amongst our beginner adult street dance classes? Check out our schedule and book yourself in bebe. It’ll be the best thing you’ve done for yourself all week.

Feature Image: Liam Cameron