Hip Hop Dance Choreographers

Tamara Warta
hiphop

Hip hop dance choreographers have revolutionized the world of movement with their unique spin on classic steps and styles. Read on for more info on hip hop dance choreographers who have changed the face of dance history, as well as tips if you plan on becoming the next big name in the industry.

Influential Hip Hop Dance Choreographers

Since hip hop is only a few decades old, the choreographers in the industry today are still considered to be pioneers of the craft in certain circles. Michael Jackson can be credited as one early hip hop dancer and choreographer, however today's stylings and demands are much different than they were at the height of Jackson's fame in the 1980s. Hip hop dance choreographers are finding fame and recognition as creators of impressive music video sequences, as well as judges on popular dance television shows. No matter what road they take, the choreographers listed below are worthy of recognition for all they've contributed to the hip hop industry.

Shane Sparks

Born in Ohio, Sparks began dancing when he was 11 years old. He eventually moved to Los Angeles where he joined a dance troupe called Cold Krush. This team performed in talent competitions, which eventually led to his next gig as the crew transformed into a singing group called the Cold Premiere. Eventually, they broke up and Sparks went on to dance in music videos for prominent artists of the day such as Brandy Norwood.

His turn as a choreographer came when he was accidentally mistaken for a dance teacher, and asked to teach a class he was attending. He faked his way through the first portion of the class, and was then recruited by the actual teacher to be a dance assistant. He stretched the studio's capacities, bringing the hip hop class up from three students to over 175. This evolved into opportunities to choreograph for big events such as the American Music Awards, and also to work with big artists in the music industry.

Sparks' latest career recognition has been in the forms of both choreographer and judge on "So You Think You Can Dance," which continues to be a wildly successful television show. He has been noted for his compassion and ability to work well with others, steering clear of the typical "diva" stigma associated with Hollywood successes.

Wade Robson

An Australian native, you may know Robson from MTV's popular TV show, "The Wade Robson Project." He started his career by winning a dance competition, in which he performed his own rendition of a Michael Jackson routine. This led to a relationship with the King of Pop, and Jackson eventually invited Robson to perform with him when he came to Australia for a concert tour.

Robson went on to choreograph for some of the biggest names in pop music, particularly Britney Spears and 'N Sync. Eventually he went on to form "The Wade Robson Project," which is a televised talent search for the next big hip hop dancer or group. He has also worked with the Disney company, and has developed his own brand of dance shoes.

Nacho Pop

As a veteran of TV ads and dance competitions, Nacho Pop is from New York City. Growing up in this urban environment, he picked up on dance moves he learned from friends, and began to create his own unique style. Today he is known as a popping and locking fundamentalist, able to really put people in their place if they don't know what they're doing when it comes to the purist side of hip hop dance. This passion has driven him to the height of success, and while his bluntness may intimidate some within the industry, his students and others who have followed in his footsteps readily agree he is one to exemplify in terms of technique and self-expression. Nacho Pop has appeared on "You Got Served," as well as other popular hip hop dance competition shows.

The Secret To Success

If you are looking to become one of the best hip hop dance choreographers yourself, then you need to have a fair bit of drive and tenacity woven into your personality. People in this industry don't deal with niceties, instead seeking out the next great talent rather than handing out citizenship awards. If you are tough and believe you've got what it takes to make it in the hip hop world, make sure your work gets seen. Enter as many festivals and competitions as you can, and don't be afraid to get bold. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to see your name in lights just like Robson, Sparks, and so many others who have come before and after them.

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Hip Hop Dance Choreographers