Get In The Groove: New Jack Swing and 90s Hip-hop Dance

Get In The Groove: New Jack Swing and 90s Hip-hop Dance

In honor of The 5th Element’s R&B party #BABYGIRLDANCEPARTY  taking place on Saturday, August 15th, we decided to travel back to the golden era of the 90s. The musical landscape we all know and love as hip-hop was changing, reinventing itself once again to make it better and more addictive than before. Street dance went through a revival and b-boys were coming back with a vengeance after mingling with other street styles such as popping, locking, housing, vogueing, waacking, lofting — the list goes on.

One of the most interesting changes in club culture from the 80s to 90s was the switch of interest. If guys were initially breaking and popping to get the attention of the ladies, it started to become clear that the women were losing interest watching the guys dance. They wanted to be danced with. Commence social dance. Commence party dance. Commence 90s hip-hop — kept alive, spread and now thriving by the infamous pioneers themselves, Elite Force Crew in New York.

Party dancing in full force, with men and women blending together, a flip in music took place to suit the mood. Hip-hop and r&b merged, creating a new genre, new jack swing, that would peak in popularity with the release of Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. We’re all familiar with new jack in one form or another, whether our familiarity stems from the fashion forward DJ Jazzy Jeff in Fresh Prince, or because we still have Heavy D and Bobby Brown in our iPods. Godfather and creator, Teddy Riley, never imagined the popularity and traction that new jack swing would have on hip-hop and the music industry at large.

The hip-hop dance of this era began to flourish, being displayed in music video after music video, making everybody want to get up and party, be a part of the action, be a part of the quintessential cool. For fun’s sake (and so that you could get yourself prepared to showcase your best 90s throwback moves at our party), we thought we’d try and provide you with some vids to help you get your hip-hop dance on!

So sit back, relax and check on these timeless vids of Link and Buddha Stretch of Elite Force Crew breaking down the vocabulary of hip-hop movement by era.

Hip-hop Old School

Hip-hop Middle School

Hip-hop New School

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Noelle Marie

Noelle Marie is a writer and personal essayist that covers topics ranging from social justice to the Asian diaspora to hip hop and street dance. She's currently finishing up a novel covering her roots in the Philippines, and she's the dance editor at the 5th. You can also catch her at any street dance event in LA either competing, judging, or performing.

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