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How to Freestyle in Hip-Hop Dancing

Learn how to freestyle in hip hop dancing from choreographer Matt Steffanina in this Howcast dance video.


What's up? My name is Matt Steffanina, and today I'm going to teach you guys how to free style. When you're free styling, the most important thing is to stay on beat. You really can do any move as long as you keep the music in mind first. Let's start with some basic grooves. In hip hop, we can either bounce forward or back. So I'm going to turn sideways, so you guys can see these grooves. The first one is going forward, forward, forward. Meaning every time the beat hits, my body is going forward, both my chest as well as my head are knocking to the front. Now, I can also do the same groove, but knocking back, back, back, meaning every time the beat hits, my head and my chest are going back. This is really important because if your grooves are solid, you can do any step and
make it look fun and cool.

For instance, if I take something like a step touch, step touch, step touch. If it's stiff, this is a very boring step. But if I add one of these grooves to it and just let my head and my chest rock back, now you have a groove. Now, from here, all you have to do is add in some arms. Your arms can cross and uncross. They can push and pull, go up and down, whatever feels comfortable for you. But again, it's about staying on beat. Let's try some arms with that step touch. We have step touch, step touch, step touch, step touch, step touch, step touch. The other things you have to remember when your free styling is you never want to stay in one area and you don' want to always face the same direction. Whether you're in a club or a battle, you always want to think about turning your body around throughout your free style.

So in the example of our step touch, let's see how we can turn this around. By stepping after each touch, you can turn your torso and face a different direction. Each time I step together, I can turn my body at a new angle so that I can travel in any direction and take up some space on the floor. Once you get down traveling and your basic groove, it's time to add in some extra, advanced moves. These can be anything from popping, waving, ticking, even different moves like shuffles, the reject, floor work, anything else you want to add in. But you want to remember that no matter
what styles of hip hop you are doing, it always has to stay on beat. So practice with some music on, start with your groove, and build from there.

Remember, there's no right or wrong.

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