What Do Hip Hop and Ballet Have in Common?


Hip hop and ballet are two art forms that may appear to be from two different worlds, but they have more in common than you might think. Both styles of dance take a lot of skill, dedication, and hard work. They also share a great deal in terms of history, technique, and philosophy.

History: Hip hop was born in the 1970s in the Bronx borough of New York City. It was a movement of self-expression, creativity, and rebellion among young African-American and Latino youth who were experiencing economic hardship and discrimination.

Ballet is much older; it originated in the Italian Renaissance during the 15th century as a form of courtly entertainment. Both styles have evolved over time as they’ve been passed down through generations, with hip hop continuing to be influenced by popular culture while ballet has become refined by formalized training.

Technique: Hip hop and ballet both require precise footwork and body control. In hip hop, dancers use popping, locking, and breaking to create intricate rhythms with their arms, legs, and torso while maintaining their center of gravity.

Ballet technique emphasizes poise and grace through movements like pliés (bending at the knee) and relevés (lifting up on the toes). Both forms also emphasize musicality—dancers must move with the beat or melody to express themselves fully.

Philosophy: Despite their differences in age, both hip hop and ballet share an emphasis on self-expression as a primary goal. Hip hop is often seen as an outlet for pent-up energy or frustration; it’s used to tell stories about society or to simply let loose on the dance floor.

Ballet is more about conveying emotion; the focus is on creating beauty through movement that resonates with an audience’s feelings. Both styles offer dancers a platform for telling their stories without having to rely on words alone.

Conclusion: Although they may look different at first glance, hip hop and ballet have much more in common than one might expect—they both draw from centuries of history while sharing techniques rooted in strength and expression. From their shared appreciation for music to their emphasis on self-expression, there are many ways these two art forms can come together to create something beautiful.

What do hip hop and ballet have in common? A lot more than you might think!