Learn Modern & Contemporary Dance Moves
As society has evolved, so have our styles of dance. Modern and contemporary dance styles have emerged in the last 50 years, breaking boundaries, pushing limits, and foregoing traditional dance rules.
Howcast makes it easy to learn the most popular modern and contemporary dance moves with a free video tutorial library. Our videos feature professional instructors and choreographers, step-by-step guides, and are easy to follow.
Anyone can learn the most popular forms of dance, like Hip Hop, Breakdance, and Street Dancing! Let’s get moving!
Hip Hop Dancing
The Hip Hop dance style was born from the genre of music. It’s a style of street dance that is an integral part of Hip Hop culture. Since the insanely popular TV show, “Soul Train,” Hip Hop has been on the map. A long list of other TV shows and movies thrust the style of dance into the spotlight with mainstream exposure.
Originally, the main styles of Hip Hop were Breaking, Locking, and Popping. Since growing in popularity, hip hop dance moves grew to include Jookin’, Turfing, Jerkin’, Krumping, Tutting and more.
A common theme of the Hip Hop style is that a song or style of music inspires many of the dance techniques. Hip Hop today is extremely popular and is portrayed in many movies, theater, online content, and television. There are a large number of worldwide Hip Hop dance competitions, freestyle competitions, and dance battles. Learn the latest hip hop dances with our free video lessons!
Club dancing doesn’t have a specific routine or characteristics—though you can of course incorporate popular contemporary dance moves into your routine. Instead, dancing in a club is a direct response to the music played by the DJ. Some basic moves might include bouncing to the beat of the music, moving your arms to the beat, nodding your head, rolling your shoulders and hips, and more.
A very social dance, clubbing typically involves a group of friends or a couple dancing to songs in succession. Usually in a dark environment, there are no rules when it comes to club dancing, and the style focuses on improvisation. Don’t ever show up to the club again without knowing how to dance! We’ll teach you the basics and even some advanced moves so you can hit the dance floor with confidence.
House dancing is a ‘post-disco’ style of street dance that gained prominence in Chicago and New York. The House style of dance involves a lot of improvisation and freestyle. It is considered both a celebration of a fascinating new form of music and an escape from everyday life. As a very expressive form of dance, House started as a combination of established dances but grew to be a standalone genre.
House dance is characterized by quick and complex foot movement combined with fluid and smooth body movements. Your body flow and movement should be a direct response to the music, with improv encouraged. Subtle riffs, rhythms, and melodic components are used to create footwork routines that follow the music carefully. House dance can be performed to Jazz, Latin, Soul, Hip Hop, R&B, African, or Funk music styles.
An athletic form of dance that emerged in the streets of the United States, breakdancing is incredible to witness. Also called b-boying or b-girling, breakdance includes plenty of room for improvisation and creativity.
Dancers can put their own spin on the style—but some of the staple dance moves are top rock, down rock, power moves, and freezes:
- Top rock is a foot movement done from a standing position. This move is one that most breakdancers will work hard on perfecting when just getting started. The most commonly performed style of top rock is The Indian Step.
- The down rock is a transition move with the dancer on their hands and feet. It has a foundation in the six-step and can be used to transition into exciting moves like a windmill or flare.
Power moves are reliant on speed, momentum, athleticism, and style. These moves include spins, headstands and handstands, floats, swipes, windmills, and flares.
Freezes are moves that bring the dancer’s body to a complete halt in the middle of the routine.
Breakdance is an impressive style that requires extreme vigor and flow. Learn how to start breaking today with our free video lessons!
Street dance has a unique and interesting origin. The style was born outside of dance studios among students who wanted to dance in any space available—alleyways, schoolyards, in the streets, at parties, parks, nightclubs, you name it.
The trend began in Bronx, New York, in the 1970s, and with the growth of Hip Hop from Soul Train and other pop culture exposure, it continued to expand across the United States. Street dancing was born in a social setting and continues to be a social dance, with a significant focus on improvisation and versatility. Many modern and contemporary dance styles, like breakdancing and hip hop, can be performed in the street and may be considered under the broader street dancing genre.
What’s Your Style?
Have you discovered your favorite modern and contemporary dance moves? We hope you’re having fun with our video lessons. For even more great dance tutorials, check out our main How to Dance page, or discover new styles in our guide on the most popular types of dance.