What Are Some Popular Hip Hop Dance Moves?

Hip Hop Moves to Show Off at the Club

Hip Hop Moves to Show Off at the Club

If you’re a regular at the top clubs in downtown San Diego, you know hip hop music and the dance moves it inspires are all about high energy, heavy beats, and a fast-pace. Hip hop dance captures the confident, bold, and irreverent attitude of the music, emphasizing footwork and special moves that often look deceptively easy to pull off. From popping and locking to the running man, the humpty, and the classic moonwalk, hip hop dance moves can be everything from super simple to crushingly complex. Here’s a look at some of the most popular hip hop moves you can use to slay when you hit the dance floor. 

Popping & Locking

Popping and locking has been a staple of hip hop dancing for years. You have a lot of freedom with this style because it’s so improvisational. Follow these basics to get started:

  • Alternate between contracting and relaxing the muscles in your arms, torso, and legs in quick motions that “pop.”
  • Flex those muscles, roll your shoulders, pause, and stay in place for a few seconds to “lock” it. For instance, try bending your arms at the elbows, holding your hands in the air, and locking your move.
  • Hold that position in time with the music, then pop another move and lock it. 

The Running Man

The running man is one of the most popular hip hop dance moves of all time, and it’s also one of the easiest to master. You’re sure to have fun with this one.

  • Starting with your feet together and your arms relaxed at your sides, turn to the side.
  • As you lift your left leg high up and bend your knee at a 90-degree angle, bend your arms and close your fists like you do when you run.
  • Push back and down with your left leg, then repeat the motion with your right leg while relaxing your fists and pushing your arms down.
  • Repeat these steps several times in a row, and you’ve mastered the running man.

If you need a little help learning this move, check out this great YouTube video

The Moonwalk

The moonwalk blew up the music world in 1983 with Michael Jackson’s iconic performance of “Billie Jean” on the Motown 25th Anniversary Special. This move is still popular almost four decades later, which tells you how much of an impact it’s had on hip hop and pop music culture in general. Even though it looks complicated, the steps are actually pretty simple.

  • Lift the heel of your left foot and leave your toes touching the ground. At the same time, slide your right foot backward.
  • Shift your weight smoothly and repeat the move on the opposite side.
  • Repeat these moves several times in a row, and you’re moonwalking.

The Humpty

This is a bouncy move with a leg cross that makes it perfect for any hip hop track that features a double bass—think of that “boom boom” groove you hear in songs like “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama. 

  • Bend your knees as you circle your hips to one side.
  • Next, jump and cross your legs while briefly tapping the floor with your feet.
  • Jump back to your original position, with your legs apart.
  • Once you’ve got the footwork basics down, add in a windmill motion with your arms to complete the move.

When you’re ready to show off your dance moves at the city’s top hip hop clubs in San Diego, head to Onyx Room Nightclub, a staple of the Gaslamp Quarter nightlife scene. Our open-minded and incredibly friendly clientele is up for anything, which is what makes our nightclub stand out from the rest. With music genres including hip hop, top 40, urban Latin, reggaeton, bachata, salsa, merengue, regional, cumbia, and Banda, we have something to please everyone’s taste. Our inviting atmosphere and welcoming staff will ensure you have an experience unlike any other. To learn more about why Onyx Nightclub is the premier San Diego nightclub, call us at 619-876-8044.