Hip Hop Stereotypes: Do’s & Don’ts

As I was doing some reading online today, I stumbled upon a website that literally made me chuckle.

There are some Hip Hop stereotypes that I must debunk right here and now. At the same time, I hope that you’ll find some tidbits of information between the lines and get a realistic feel for what the Hip Hop dance community is really like.

Let’s begin with…

 

Grillz

Really? (see Britney). We aren’t trying to be here. I promise it’s possible to have swag without trying to hold foil on your teeth. I’ve heard some pretty brutal stories about foil cutting gums, too. My advice would be to stay away from things that aren’t actually meant for your mouth.

Fat, long, huge, gold chains

Um, what? — maybe in an old school movie. But realistically, if you’re doing any sort of actual dancing, that chain is going to get in the way. Even my tiny trinket necklace that I never take off gets caught in my hair or hits my teeth when I’m dancing. That’s correct — as far as accessories, they may look cool, but personally save them for the stage because when you’re practicing, you definitely don’t want anything getting in your way!

Sagging – Wearing your sweatpants lower than your hips

Again, I’m all about functionality. How are you supposed to dance when you can’t even keep your pants on while walking?! This one is just a big fat “NO.”

Hats and beanies

These are a bit iffy for me. Of course hats and beanies look really cool and add a bit of swag to your outfit, but are they really necessary? If your hat is tight enough that it won’t go flying off with a sudden turn of your head, then go for it. Beanies I have to admit look really good as well, but I have seen many dancers alter their head movement and/or lose it as they’re dancing. I’ve tried manyyy times to figure out how to make my beanie stay on while I’m dancing and have yet to be successful. If you can comfortably wear your headgear without it hindering your dancing, I’d say why not!

SUPER baggy clothing

Though dancing Hip Hop in skin tight clothing does not sound fun to me either, you do not need to go out and buy sweats and t-shirt five sizes larger than your usual clothes. In fact, clothes that are too baggy drown your movement and you have to work that much harder to make it look like you’re hitting every beat. Go with comfortable. You don’t want to be wearing spandex, but don’t exaggerate the baggy and you’ll be just fine.

Keep it real…

Overall, try to avoid the “Hollywood” Hip Hop stereotypes and think about practicality. Hip Hop is fast and you will sweat. Wear light, loose-fitting clothes that will allow you to move and feel comfortable. Wear shoes that you have broken in and that will support you when you do quick, heavy footwork. You don’t need to break your bank on “Hip Hop clothes.” Honestly, the cheap $10 sweatpants at Target or Wal-Mart work just fine. Pair them with an old t-shirt or loose tank and you’re golden. So before you stress too much over the clothes and accessories you choose to wear for your next Hip Hop dance class, be reminded that it’s really about being comfortable and having fun.

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