Hip Hop Series: Commercial / New Style

The term “new style” was created by dancers outside of the United States. According to Moncell Durden, adjunct professor at Drexel University and director of the film History and Concept of Hip-Hop Dance, the 1992 dance documentary Wreckin’ Shop From Brooklyn was very influential to hip-hop dancers in France and Japan. These dancers wanted to move like the New York hip-hop dancers who were profiled in the documentary.
They called the social dancing (party dancing) they saw “new style” which was short for “New York Style”.

Commercial / New Style Dance Video: The Company Presents “Turn Down For What”

In the context of the commercial dance industry, hip-hop (or new style hip-hop for dancers in France and Japan) is choreographed urban party dancing with studio technique added to it. From a technical aspect, it is characterized as hard-hitting involving flexibility and isolations—moving a specific body part independently from others. The feet are grounded, the chest is down, the posture is hunched, and the body is kept loose so that dancers can easily alternate between hitting the beat or moving through the beat. Like African dance, new style hip-hop is very rhythmic and involves a lot of footwork and radial movement of the hips. In addition, emphasis is placed on musicality — how sensitive your movements are to the music—and being able to freestyle (improvise). As long as dancers keep the foundational movements, they can add their own (free)style and have a performance that is still hip-hop.