Hip hop dancing is a relatively new genre, but there is already a considerable number of famous dancers in hip hop. Because this type of dance is the most popular movement style for music videos and a considerable presence in dance performance shows, hip hop dancers are in high demand. While most dancers will never become famous, a few have made their way to the top of the performance and choreography circuit.
Famous Hip Hop Dancers
The following performers and choreographers are some of the biggest names in hip hop dance.
Young and vibrant, Wade Robson rocks the under-30 scene when it comes to hip hop dance. Originally from Australia, Wade moved to the United States with his family when he was nine to pursue his dreams of entertaining. He hit achievements some only dream of before he was even in high school, including a teaching job at the age of 12 and the chance to choreograph for world famous singer Britney Spears when he was only 16. He went on to choreograph Britney's tour performances, her HBO special, and some of her most famous videos. He has also choreographed for boy band N'SYNC. In 2007, Wade Robson won an Emmy award for his choreography on the ever-popular TV show So You Think You Can Dance.
Dan Karaty has written routines for singers such as Jessica Simpson and Kylie Minogue. He is also known for being a judge and choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance, and choreographs for America's Got Talent. The child of two Broadway performers, he attended New York University and has performed on Broadway himself in the musical Footloose.
A native of Arizona, Brian Friedman's mother was a college dance teacher and he was discovered by an agent in Los Angeles while taking a trip to visit a friend. He ditched high school to become a professional dancer at 16, gleaning his education instead from dance greats such as Twyla Tharp and Kenny Ortega. He guest judges on various television talent shows and has been nominated for awards for his choreography, including an MTV video music award in 2003.
Charles "Chucky" Klapow has won numerous awards, including an Emmy, for his eye-catching choreography. He is best known for his work on the High School Musical series of movies, however he has many other commercial and television credits to his name.
Starting out in California at the age of 12, he quickly moved up in the dance world to become an assistant choreographer at the age of 15. In addition to all of his choreography work, he is also famous for his dance moves. He was chosen to be one of only eleven dancers who were going to perform on Michael Jackson's This Is it tour before the superstar's untimely death in 2009.
Trained in classical ballet, jazz, and tap, Robert Hoffman got his early inspiration to dance from Michael Jackson. His style is all his own, but Wade Robson was his biggest hip hop influence.
A dancer and actor based out of Los Angeles, Hoffman has appeared in many movies including She's the Man, and worked on choreography for several more. He has also been a double for singer Ricky Martin in music videos, and makes his own films when he isn't busy with hip hop performance or choreography.
Popularity of Hip Hop
As hip hop continues to win new followers as a hot dance form, additional dancers may make their way to the top of the list. To get more exposure to the work of some of these big names in hip hop, be sure to check out television shows like America's Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance, and America's Got Talent. While the dancer contestants themselves come and go, the choreographers and professionals creating these exciting shows include some of the biggest names in the business.