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Hip Hop Teacher Training – Classical Music and Street Dance Choreography – Can They Work Together?


Street Dance choreography is primarily created to RnB, Pop, Commercial or Hip Hop music. Having been in the Street Dance industry for the last 18 years and having taught internationally this is my advice; If you are a new Street Dance teacher, I would advise that you use music that your students are expecting to hear, namely RnB, Pop, Commercial or Hip Hop music.

Why should I use music that students expect to hear?

Customers, in general, like to get what they expect. For example, if you turned up to a solicitor's office, with an urgent and important matter that you needed them to address and they were all in casual clothing and they were laughing, joking and dancing around and listening to music in their office, you may question their ability to meet your needs. Why? Because we all expect designers to dress in a certain way and to carry themselves in a certain manner. Dressing in such a relaxed fashion and behaving in this way, may not fit with the professionalism you are looking for from a solicitor.

In the same way when your students come to your Street Dance lesson, they will be expecting to hear RnB, Pop, Commercial or Hip Hop music. If you are not playing this kind of music, they may think that you do not know what you are doing. It is important as a teacher that you gain your students trust and respect and give them what they expect. If you do not, you may lose students.

Are there any exceptions?

Having said this, if you have a class that you have been teaching for a while it may be more appropriate (and less risky in terms of losing students) to experiment with the music that you use.

I have seen countless examples of beautiful choreography created to classical music and there before would strongly advise established Street Dance teachers to experiment with all different genres of music. As long as you are listening to what the music invokes in you as a choreographer and keeping the dance style in line with what Street Dance choreography is, then the two can work perfectly together.

My top tip if you are going to use different genres of music, is to totally commit to using the tracks you choose. You need to love the choreography you create and be totally inspired by it, so that your students will be too. You will have to believe in what you create, so that your students can also believe in it and feel confident enough to really go for it and to enjoy the dance.

If you are willing to experiment, why stop at classical music. Have you considered choreographing to rock music? Country music? Slow ballads – the options are endless. Have fun with it and who knows what exciting and inspirational choreography you might create.

Source by Hayley Hall

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Mitchel Turner



I’m a journalist from Oxford specializing in hip-hop and culture.