As the pictures on the home page show, African dance is done bare foot and clothing from the shoulders to the waist area. This can differ amongst groups and individuals, but is most common because it allows more agility for the quick and energetic movements.
African dance elements are found in Hiphop culture from the vibrations and pulsations of the upper and lower back. Dances like the Harlem Shake (a dance originated in Harlem , N.Y. ) and Jukin’ ( a dance originated in Tampa , Fla. ) involve the extensive back use.
The Harlem Shake moves the body from side to side in a continuous rapid motion. The arms are bent and work in opposition to the direction of the body.
Jukin’ keeps the feet grounded to the floor only moving the upper body in a swivel motion from left to right.
Break dancing is largely associated with Hiphop. Within the element of break dancing is pop-and-lock. Pop-and-lock has jerky movements that work each muscle as an individual piece. The jerky movements appear as if the body is frozen and segmented. A danced called the “Snakehips” was popular in the antebellum plantation South and Georgia Sea Islands during slavery. This dance is still performed in modern times with the same name. There is slight variation to the step and is performed as a pop-and-lock movement.
Dance in Hip Hop Culture
One dance in African culture that is performed by Gambian people is called Mandinka. A traditional Mandinka program consists of several parts. When the three drummers begin to play the women of the village form a big circle.
Two dances found in the Mandinka is the Madiba and Barawulo.
The Madiba is a dance ‘with power’ for young people. The neighbours or age groups will organze this ‘more than dancing’ rhythm for women who have difficulty becoming pregnant.
The Barawulo encourages the boys and girls to clean up the village.