Lyrical Hip Hop Dance

Lyrical hip hop dancer


Lyrical hip hop dance is a recent development to the hip hop genre. Some people call it a different style completely, but most refer to it as a sub-style of hip hop dance.

There are choreographers who have been doing lyrical hip hop for a while in studios, performances and classes.

However it had not really been in the public eye until recent TV dance shows like So You Think You Can Dance.

What Is Lyrical Hip Hop?


To describe lyrical hip hop perhaps it is best to go back a little further and understand what lyrical dance is.

Lyrical dance is a style of dance that incorporates elements of various style from jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary without being any of them.

Perhaps the key to understanding lyrical dance is emotional connection. The dancers try to tell the story of a song by using gestures, facial expressions and any other means as well as movement.

In lyrical as they are trying to tell a story it is normal to ride through the beat kind of flowing through moves.

Now back to hip-hop. Hip-hop is usually danced in relation to the beat with moves hitting the beats for effect. It is primarily about feeling the beat.

So lyrical hip hop dance is a mix between the two. It is the mix of telling the story of the song and a dancer's emotions while using hip-hop movements and lyrical style to be as expressive and connected to the emotion of the music as possible.

The rhythm of the dance is unique and a good quote from Shane Sparks helps us understand more clearly, "In hip hop, if you were dancing with a partner, you would punch and stop at his face. But in lyrical hip hop, you would punch and go past his face. Lyrical hip hop contains movements across measures."

It looks like hip hop choreography, with elements and movements that are more free flowing, contemporary inspired movements all while telling a story.