Create Your Own Hip Hop Dance



As a result of participating in this learning experience children will be able to do the following

  1. Perform five-six Hip Hop movements suggested by the students
  2. Create a Hip Hop dance using all five or six movements and include a tempo and level change.
  3. Collaborate with their group to create, practice and perform their Hip Hop Dance.



Students will collaborate in groups of 4, 5 or 6  to create, practice, and perform a hip hop dance.


Equipment Needed

Student self assessment forms, paper and markers for writing the hip hop steps, composition sequence cards, poster or chart paper and markers.



Today we are going to create a Hip Hop dance using movements that you suggest. Remember, you were asked to watch TV, or online videos, or look in magazines for hip hop moves that you could bring to class. Today is the day, we are going to use your ideas. Where have you seen hip hop dancing? What did you think about the movements you saw?


Before we begin to list and learn your moves we need to warm-up our bodies. Find a personal space. When I say go begin to jog in place slowly for 10 seconds. When I call out stop, freeze in a straight, round or twisted shape. Ready jog slowly, stop and freeze. Next, jog at a medium speed for 10 seconds, ready, go. Stop and freeze in a different shape. This time you will jog in place at a fast tempo, ready go. Stop and freeze in a low shape. The last jog is at a super fast speed, ready go. Stop and freeze in a stretched shape. Stay in the stretched shape and bend it slowly forward, then to the right side and to the left side. Finally, I want you to practice a link step that you can use in your hip hop dance. [Teacher demonstrates a side to side step and asks the students to mirror]. Stand and face me. As I step to my left with my left foot, you will step to your right with your right foot. Then my right foot will move beside the left and your left foot will move beside your right. This is called a side step. Letís practice moving to the right and left. Here we go, step together, step together, step together, step together. Great, now you have a step you can use for your dance.



Now we will create the movements for the dance. Can someone demonstrate a hip hop movement? I see Roberto is showing us his step, what is the name of your step? [Teacher records the name of the step on the whiteboard or chart paper. Everyone observe Roberto and follow him as his demonstrates his step. [Students observe and practice the step. In this way, student leadership is used to teach a step.] This can be one of the steps you can use in your dance.

The teacher continues to ask for students to demonstrate a step, name it and teach it to their peers while the teacher writes it on the whiteboard or chart paper and gives it a number. This continues until there are four more student suggested steps.]

Now you all know five hip hop movements that you will use to compose your dance. I will organize you into a group and you will practice the five movements. [Groups of four or five are organized and students collaborate to remember the dance movements and practice together]. Refer to the list of five movements on the whiteboard or chart paper and practice each one.


Each group will decide on an order for the steps. This is your dance order. You can decide how many times to repeat each step before you add the next one. Practice the order with your group. [Students practice the steps in their selected order while the teacher observes and offers help where needed.]

Next, you need to make two changes to your dance. First, one of the steps is performed very slowly and another movement is performed at a low level. [Students decide on which of the five steps will be performed slowly and which one is performed at a low level. They practice their dance with the added changes.]

I have one more part to add to your dance. Find a still beginning shape and a still ending shape. Everyone can be in the same shape or you can all be different. This is like the group is posed for a picture in the beginning and at the end. Practice the whole dance with the new beginning and ending. [Students practice making different group shapes and add one to the beginning and to the end of their dance.]

Dance Order: Frozen beginning shape + Step 1 + Step 2 + Step 3 + Step 4 + Step 5 + Frozen ending shape.


Culminating Dance

Each group will now perform their dance for another group. I will organize you into paired groups. One group is the observers and the other group is the performers. Then you will switch. The observers will look for one slow step and one low step and give the performing group two thumbs up if they see the slow and low steps or a one thumb up if they see only the slow or only the low and no thumbs if the slow and low steps are not seen.



Students complete a self assessment of their own performance and identify which step they like performing the best.


Look For

Students who are reluctant to try any of the steps and feel they cannot perform. Help students to adapt the step for their ability level.

Student suggested steps that are not safe or inappropriate. Ask students to delete or change the step

Students who have a background in hip hop and can be used a student leader to help others learn the steps.


How Can I Change This?

Students can add more steps or decrease the number of steps in the dance.

The teacher can show a videotape, DVD or online video of appropriate hip hop steps as the steps students can choose for their dance.

Ask students to bring in music that is appropriate for use in a school environment.

Students can add solo performances that are variations on the selected steps. For example, students can add waving their arms above their head or making the body twist on each step.

Students can add a prop to their dance such as a playground ball, hoop, scarf, or other manipulative equipment.


Assessment Suggestions

Student Self Assessment - Affective.  At the end of the learning experience, students complete a self assessment describing how well they perform each step.  They will also identify their favorite and least favorite movement and provide a reason for their choice. Outcome 1

Exit Slip Self Assessment
Check the level of your effort in learning and performing the hip hop dance.
A = High energy, total body movements throughout the whole dance
B = Medium energy using only foot movements
C = Low energy hardly moving.

What was your Favorite Hip Hop Step _______________________________________________
What was the hardest one to learn __________________________________________________

Peer Assessment ĖPsychomotor  Students will complete a peer assessment after observing a groupís performance and identify if the performing group can move slowly and at a low level. Outcome 2.

Did the group use a low level in one of their moves?     Yes   No
Did the group use slow motion for one of their moves?  Yes    No

Teacher Assessment - Cognitive and Affective. The teacher observes students as they are in the process of organizing and practicing their dance. A checklist is used to record the observation  Outcome 3


Interdisciplinary Connections

Visual Art: Students can create a poster using graffiti type letters or pictures to accompany their dance.

Theatre Art: Students can create costumes using scarves, or their own clothing such as hats, hooded sweatshirts, gloves or belts.

Music and Language Arts: Students can create a rhyming rap to accompany their dance or use it to introduce the dancers or the dance.

Math and Music: Students can add the counts for each step and then complete a count total for the entire dance.

Social Studies: Students can research information on the origin of hip hop, breakdance, crumping, b-boys or b-girls.