Dance styles

These are terms you may encounter frequently in streetdance. This list is only meant to give you a basic overview of the styles, not meant to lock you into certain restrictive labels. Feel free to add comments or corrections. Many terms overlap and controversy exists about the specific definitions, so please help expand and improve the list.

The most general umbrella term that includes popping, breaking, and other styles. Basically any dance that is meant to be performed on the streets instead of in a club. Alternatively, any dance that is more of a performance by a single dancer instead of a collaborative dance.

Essentially, and dance performed to funk influenced music. Recent term created by the Electric Boogaloos to differentiate popping and locking from hip hop dances.

Generally used as an umbrella term for all popping related styles, mainly differentiates these styles from bboying. As its own specific style, it denotes the flexing and contraction of muscles to the bass or synthetic clap of the music.
Notable performers: Popin Pete, Mr Wigglez, Onion

Body effects
Any illusionary effect that you can achieve with your body. This includes waving, strobing, snaking, and others.

The ability to move one part of the body independently from other parts of the body.

The ability to stop a movement as abruptly as possible. The term originates from the expression “to stop on a dime”.

An umbrella term for various moves, it is essentially based on rolling isolated parts of your body.
Notable performers: Boogaloo Sam, Boogaloo Junior, Mr Wiggles, King Boogaloo Tut

Conflicting definitions. Similar to popping, but the percussive body effect is from internal movements (like pushing out your diaphragm in your chest for a chest bop) instead of contracting your muscles.
Notable performers: Boppin Andre

A series of stop-and-go movements that create the illusion of a person dancing under a strobe light. The same principle behind animation, where the dancer moves like a primitive cartoon at a low framerate.
Notable performers: Boppin Andre, David Elsewhere, Flat top, Madd Chadd, Salah

Creating the illusion that the dancer is an animated figure. Largely inspired by the Harryhausen films like Jason and the Argonauts and Sindbad. Also used as an umbrella term for a number of body effects. See also strobing.
Notable performers: Boogaloo Shrimp, Mr Wigglez, Mr Animation, Boppin Andre

To perform a certain movement twice as fast as normal. Often confused with strobing.
Notable performers: Mr Wiggles

Robot (botting)
Where the dancers imitate the movements of a humanoid robot. Uses body isolations and dimestops to create the effect of a robot awkwardly recreating the movements of a human.
Notable performers: Tyson Eberly, Madd Chadd, Boppin Andre, Robert Shields

The illusion of a wave (of water or energy) passing through the body. A consecutive series of isolated movements along the body create this illusion. Sometimes further classified into abstract waving for more advanced forms.
Notable performers: Popin Taco, Shallow, David Elsewhere

To contract the muscles so tightly that they begin to shake when moving the body part. Creates an illusion that is similar to strobing, though the two illusions are different.

A number of illusionary moves that are based on pantomime. These include reacting to imaginary objects or obstacles (like a wall), the imitation of animal movements or machines (robot), or moving in a way not normally possible (backslide/moonwalk).
Notable performers: Michael Jackson, Jeffrey Daniels, Tyson Eberly

Dancer recreates the movement of a puppet. Limp extremities, body sags to the floor, bobbing head. Sometimes another dancer mimes pulling the strings of the puppet.
Notable performers: Michi Kasuga, Skeeter Rabbit, Robert Shields

Floating (incl. slides and glides)
Floating denotes feet movement as if walking on a low gravity environment like the moon. Slides and glides denote moving your feet as if the floor provided no friction (like walking on ice). Can be performed forwards, backwards (i.e. backslide/moonwalk) and sideways.
Notable performers: Michael Jackson, Jeffrey Daniels, Boogaloo Shrimp, Mr Animation

Snaking (or cobra)
Recreating the movements of a snake, particularly that of a cobra. Some overlap with boogaloo rolls(a consecutive series of body rolls).
Notable performers: Popin Taco, King Kobra

Bending the arms and hands from the wrist and elbows (as well as leg and upper thigh from the knees) to 90 degree angles. Meant to resemble the hieroglyphic figures found on Egyptian pyramids, the name comes from Pharaoh Tutankhamen.
Notable performers: King Boogaloo Tut, Mr Wigglez

Marked by wild movements, particularly in the arms, alternated by sudden abrupt stops (i.e. locking the body into a position).
Notable performers: Gregg Campbell, Yoshie, Skeeter Rabitt

A dance originated by the gay and transvestite dance scene. Marked by flailing arm movements and femine body gestures. Some visual similarity with locking in the hand movements and wrist twirls.
Notable performers: Katie lee

Liquid and digitz
Dancer moves his/her body similar in a manner similar to water. Particular focus on illusionary effects by the fingers Resembles waving, although the execution of the illusion may differ. Sometimes called liquid pop.
Notable performers: Liquid Pop Collective, Skywalker

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  1. September 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm

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