The Most Difficult Hip Hop Dance Style: Uncovering the Toughest Moves

Choose the style you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 06:38
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate platform for all the hip hop enthusiasts out there! We know you've got the groove, and now it's time to make your voice heard in our latest ranking: "What is the most difficult Hip Hop dance style?" Dive into the world of intricate footwork, jaw-dropping power moves, and electrifying choreography as you vote for the dance style that challenges even the most skilled dancers. With thousands of polls and rankings on a plethora of topics, we invite you to join the conversation and make your opinion count. Don't see your favorite on the list? Fear not! You can also suggest a missing option and share your unique perspective. So, let's get this party started and explore the exhilarating realm of hip hop dance styles together!

What Is the Most Difficult Hip Hop Dance Style?

  1. 1
    Krumping is characterized by exaggerated, aggressive movements and intense facial expressions, making it one of the most difficult hip hop dance styles to master.
    Krumping is an intense and energetic hip hop dance style that originated in the early 2000s in the neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles. It is characterized by its raw, aggressive, and expressive movements, often involving sharp and exaggerated arm and leg motions. Typically, krumping involves freestyle dance battles where dancers interact and compete with each other while conveying their emotions through their performance.
    • Intensity: High
    • Aggressiveness: High
    • Speed: Fast
    • Musicality: Important
    • Emotional expression: Key
  2. 2
    Popping involves quickly contracting and relaxing the muscles to create a popping or jerking motion, which requires a great deal of precision and control.
    Popping is a difficult and dynamic style of Hip Hop dance that focuses on contracting and relaxing various muscle groups to create a sharp and robotic movement. It originated in the 1970s street dance scene in Fresno, California, but gained wider recognition in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Los Angeles. Popping is known for its signature hits, pops, and locks, which are abrupt movements and freezes that create rhythmic illusions and visual effects.
    • Muscle Contractions: Popping involves isolating and contracting muscle groups, particularly in the arms, legs, chest, and neck.
    • Hits and Pops: Poppers create sharp and sudden movements to hit and pop their muscles, creating distinct sounds and visual effects.
    • Locks: The dancer holds a position to create a freeze or lock, often in contrast to the continuous fluid movement of other dance styles.
    • Waving: Popping incorporates waving motions, where the dancer creates a ripple effect through their body by sequentially contracting and relaxing different muscle groups.
    • Ticking: Ticking is a fast and precise movement technique in Popping, characterised by small, precise hits and rapid muscle contractions.
  3. 3
    Locking is a funk dance style that emphasizes sharp, exaggerated movements and fluid transitions, making it both difficult and visually impressive.
    Locking is a funk-based dance style within Hip Hop culture that originated in the late 1960s. It is characterized by a combination of fast and rhythmic movements with sudden pauses, freezes, and exaggerated body gestures. The primary objective of Locking is to create a strong contrast between fluid, continuous motion and abrupt stops or freezes, giving the dance a distinct and dynamic feel. The name 'Locking' comes from the distinctive locking and unlocking movements of the joints, particularly the arms and legs, which adds to the style's uniqueness and precision.
    • Music: Often performed to funk and soul music.
    • Signature Moves: Points, locks, drops, wrist rolls, and freezes.
    • Syncopation: Rhythmic movements emphasize the downbeat and off-beat accents.
    • Energy: Combines explosive and quick bursts of energy with relaxed and fluid motions.
    • Characteristics: Pantomime, exaggerated expressions, and unpredictable transitions.
  4. 4
    Breaking, also known as breakdancing, involves a combination of acrobatics, footwork, and freezes, all of which require incredible strength, flexibility, and coordination.
    Breaking, also known as b-boying or breakdancing, is a dynamic and acrobatic style of Hip Hop dance that originated in the streets of New York City in the early 1970s. It is characterized by a combination of intricate footwork, power moves, freezes, and stylish rhythmic movements. Breaking is often performed as a competitive dance form in battles, where dancers showcase their skills and creativity.
    • Footwork: Intricate steps performed on the floor, with a focus on fast and intricate movements of the feet.
    • Power Moves: Acrobatic and physically demanding moves, such as spins, flips, and tricks performed with momentum and strength.
    • Freezes: Static poses where the dancer suspends their body using their hands, elbows, head, or other body parts.
    • Toprock: Upright dancing performed at the beginning of a breaking routine, which typically involves engaging footwork and rhythmic movements.
    • Downrock: Footwork and movements performed closer to the ground, often involving intricate leg work and contortions.
  5. 5
    Tutting involves creating geometric shapes and patterns with the arms and hands, which requires a great deal of creativity and dexterity.
  6. 6
    Waving involves creating a series of fluid, wave-like movements with the arms and upper body, which requires a great deal of control and finesse.
    Waving is a complex and intricate Hip Hop dance style that focuses on creating smooth and flowing movements with the body, giving the illusion of waves rippling through the dancer's body. It requires a high level of control, isolation, and precision, as dancers manipulate their muscles and joints to create continuous waves of motion.
    • Flow: Fluid and continuous movement, emulating waves
    • Isolation: Precise control of specific body parts while maintaining fluidity
    • Musicality: Syncing movements to the rhythm, beat, and flow of the music
    • Wave concepts: Body rolls, arm waves, ripple waves, tutting waves
    • Emphasis on illusion: Creating visual effects with the body to give the impression of waves
  7. 7
    Liquid involves creating smooth, flowing movements with the body, which requires a great deal of musicality and coordination.
    Liquid is a unique and challenging style of Hip Hop dance that focuses on creating fluid movements with the body, resembling the properties of liquid. It involves intricate body isolations, wave-like motions, and illusionary movements that give the appearance of being fluid and seamless. The style creates an illusion of the body being made of liquid, as dancers flow and morph through different shapes and positions.
    • Body Isolations: Precise and controlled movements of individual body parts
    • Waves: Creating wave-like motions throughout the body
    • Joint Flexibility: Utilizing and showcasing flexibility in different joints
    • Flow and Transition: Seamless transition between different movements and positions
    • Illusionary Techniques: Creating optical illusions through body contortions
  8. 8
    Memphis Jookin
    OG Jaquency · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Memphis Jookin is a dance style that originated in Memphis, Tennessee, and involves a combination of footwork, gliding, and popping, all of which require a great deal of speed and precision.
  9. 9
    House is a dance style that originated in the Chicago club scene and involves a combination of footwork, spins, and fluid movements, all of which require a great deal of stamina and musicality.
    House is a high-energy and complex Hip Hop dance style that originated in the early 1980s in the clubs of Chicago. It fuses elements of various dance styles, including disco, Latin, and African dance. House is characterized by its fast footwork, fluid movements, and energetic yet controlled style.
    • Tempo: BPM ranges from 120-130
    • Footwork: Fast and intricate steps, often emphasizing syncopated rhythms
    • Groove: Lively and rhythmic movements that flow with the beat
    • Freeze: Incorporation of freezes - moments of stillness or abrupt halts that contrast with the continuous flow
    • Loose Upper Body: Relaxed and expressive upper body movements, including arm swings and fluid gestures
  10. 10
    Flexing is a dance style that originated in Brooklyn, New York, and involves a combination of contortion, bone-breaking, and isolation, all of which require a great deal of strength, flexibility, and control.
    Flexing is a highly intricate and visually captivating Hip Hop dance style which originated in Brooklyn, New York. It is characterized by its unique combination of bone-breaking movements, contortion, animation, and exaggerated isolations. Flexing showcases the dancer's ability to manipulate their body in ways that defy normal human capabilities.
    • Origins: Brooklyn, New York
    • Key Characteristics: Bone-breaking movements, contortion, animation, exaggerated isolations
    • Musicality: Fluid movements synchronized with the beats of music
    • Influence: Pioneered by Jamaican dancehall, African tribal dancing, and martial arts
    • Substyles: Gliding, pausing, hat tricks, tutting, and etching

Missing your favorite style?


Ranking factors for difficult style

  1. Complexity of moves
    Consider the intricacy and variety of the dance moves that make up the style. Styles with numerous complex moves that require high levels of body control and intricate footwork are likely to be more challenging.
  2. Physical fitness and strength
    Some Hip Hop dance styles demand a high level of stamina, strength, and flexibility. Assess the amount of energy and muscle power needed to perform the dance moves correctly and consistently.
  3. Rhythm and musicality
    Take into account the ability to understand, interpret, and adapt to the varying rhythms and beats of hip hop music. Some styles require dancers to be highly musical and capable of executing moves in sync with the rhythm, while others may place less emphasis on this aspect.
  4. Coordination and balance
    Assess the level of coordination and balance the style demands from its dancers. Complex dance moves that require a sense of equilibrium and strong body alignment can make a style more challenging.
  5. Technique and skill level
    Evaluate the technical requirements of the style: how much training, practice, and skill is needed to execute the moves precisely, smoothly, and accurately?
  6. Performance and expression
    Consider the level of performance and artistic expression needed for the style. Some hip hop dance styles require dancers to develop their unique flair, style, and stage presence, making it more challenging to excel in those styles.
  7. Adaptability and versatility
    Assess the agility and adaptability the dance style demands from the dancers. Some styles require dancers to switch between various moves quickly and seamlessly, while others may require maintaining specific postures and styles throughout the performance.
  8. Choreography difficulty
    Consider the complexity of choreography and routines typically associated with the style. Intricate routines with many challenging moves, formations, and transitions will make the style more difficult.
  9. Foundation and basics
    Evaluate the difficulty of mastering the foundational elements and basic moves of the style. A style with challenging and complex basics may be more difficult to learn and master.
  10. Popularity and availability
    Some hip hop dance styles might be less accessible for learners due to their popularity and the availability of resources (classes, workshops, etc.). Less popular or niche styles might pose more of a challenge because of the limited opportunities to learn and practice them.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult Hip Hop dance style. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or style is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 161 votes
  • 10 ranked items

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Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each style once every 24 hours. The rank of each style is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


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More information on most difficult hip hop dance style

Hip Hop dance is a cultural phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. From music videos to dance competitions, hip hop dance has become an integral part of popular culture. With its roots in African American and Latino communities in the United States, hip hop dance has evolved into various styles, each with its unique flair and complexity. When it comes to difficult hip hop dance styles, there are several that come to mind. From the intricate footwork of krumping to the acrobatic moves of breakdancing, each style requires a high level of skill, strength, and agility. Other styles like popping and locking, which involve isolating specific body parts and creating sharp, robotic movements, also require a great deal of precision and control. Ultimately, the most difficult hip hop dance style is subjective and depends on individual preferences and skill levels. However, what remains constant is the passion and dedication that hip hop dancers bring to their craft, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and inspiring others to do the same.

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