Introduction to Hip-Hop Dance

This introductory survey course gives equal weight to scholarly study and embodied practice, using both approaches to explore a range of hip-hop dance techniques, as well as the cultural and historical contexts from which these dances emerged. Special attention will be given to breaking – the most prominent hip-hop form – as a foundation for exploring other forms of movement. By critically exploring these physical and historical connections, individuals will adapt and apply their own philosophies to dance in order to develop a personalized style.

Sample reading list:
Jeff Chang, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of Hip-Hop Generation
Joseph Schloss, Foundation: B-Boys, B-Girls & Hip-Hop Culture in NY
Imani K. Johnson, Hip-Hop Dance, In the Cambridge Companion to Hip-Hop
Jorge Fabel Pabon, Physical Graffiti, In Total Chaos

Reading/Writing assignments:
The course includes approximately 80 pages of reading per week, and four short papers. Two of the papers are 1-2 page response papers addressing issues discussed in class. One paper will ask the students to reflect upon the relationship between the two portions of the class (also 1-2 pages). The final paper will consist of a more thorough analysis of a subject of the student’s choice related to hip-hop dance (5-7 pages).




Learn more about the course in this brief interview with instructor Raphael Xavier …



Fridays, 11:00 am - 1:20 pm


Tuesdays, 12:30 - 2:20 pm