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Street Dance

Street Dance department

The most important mission for the street dance section is to raise awareness of different street styles and raise the appreciation of the street culture. Our section works as a link between dance schools and street dancers. Our section strives to develop and forward it’s own genre; the key in all development work is pluralism, respecting the traditions in different styles but most of all being open and curious to everything new and being a forerunner in these matters and also having a constructive attitude against fresh and abnormal visions. Our section builds different cooperation’s between the dance community in Finland and abroad. It also operates as a channel  where people can propose development ideas.

Heidi Hartzell, Oulu

Members of the department
Pauliina Finne, Vaasa
Heikki Hautajoki, Helsinki
Sanaz Hassani, Jyväskylä
Ida Jousmäki, Vaasa
Anni Lämsä, Helsinki
Katri Miettinen, Helsinki
Evaleena Vuorenmaa, Tampere

Hip hop

Hip Hop dance is part of a larger Hip Hop culture, which was born among  black and latinx ethnic minorities. Hip Hop dance is thought to have been born in New York, USA around the 1980s. Hip Hop dance is a social dance and its main elements are groove, rock, bounce and various “party steps” or “foundation steps”.  The dance technique also includes e.g. insulation, footwork and floor technique. Musicality (rhythm, dynamics, nuances), the versatility and originality of the dance are valued factors. The dancer should embody the music, utilizing the basics of Hip Hop and varying techniques.


House is a fusion dance where you combine steps form different dancestyles like jazz, salsa, step, breakdance, capoeira and afro. In this fast-paced dancestyle there’s a lot of fast footwork, but the most important thing is bringing the rhythm of the music in to your body, jacking. House was born together with house music in the end of 1980´s in Chicagos warehouse parties, where the music styles name is also from, but it’s has evolved in to it’s current form in the clubs of New York with the impact of different cultures.


Popping is a funk based dance style that was born in the 70's in California (USA). Popping basics include muscle tensions (pops/hits) made in music rhythm. Other impressive moves seen in Popping are also different isolations and movements. Technique and moves are important but also the groove aka practicing terpsichorean. Popping and also other street styles are based in freestyle movement. Dancer should rehears and manage the basics but also develop his/her own variations that cover the musical flow.


Locking was invented by Don “Campbellock” Campbell in 1970 and everyone wanted to dance like him. Locking brought new moves to his contemporaries while dancing in clubs. Jimmy “Scoo B Doo” Foster developed locking’s footwork, like James “OG Skeeter Rabbit” Higgins with other street dancers. The dance was brought to the world by the dance group The Lockers, which appeared in the Soul Train program.

Locking belongs to the family of Funk dance styles. Locking is a dance whose most important feature is to stop the movement suddenly from the grooving movements. It uses fast hand movements combined with spectacular footwork. Locking has a handful of hand techniques: Lock, Muscleman / Up, Point, Twirl, Pace and Give Your Self a Five, as well as variations derived from these. The legs are used in techniques called Scoo B Doo, Scoobot, Stop & Go, Skeeter Rabbit, Which-a-way, etc. Locking also includes the acrobatic “power movements” skilled by each dancer, the most typical of which for Locking are Alpha, Swan Dive and Kick Split.

The dancer must implement four basic elements:

  • Attitude - “I can do this”
  • Character - your locking character
  • Style & Grace - elegance and dignity “we train movements to be stylish”
  • Pure Funk - Dancing to different instruments and feelings of music - musicality


Typical moves for breaking are for example toprock, uprock, footwork (sixstep, threestep, babyswipe etc.), freeze (babyfreeze, rocksteady/chairfreeze, hollowback, scorpion, west coast freeze), powermoves (flare, indmills, headspins, 99's, turtle, cricket, swipes etc.). All kinds of acrobatics must be weld in to these movements.


Voguing is part of the ballroom culture born in the 70’s Harlem, New York gay community. Voguing is characterized by model-like poses integrated with angular, linear, and rigid arm, leg, and body movements. In voguing you can find different categories like runway, old way, new way and vogue femme. Voguing has taken impact from the fashion words, Egyptian hieroglyphs and for example martial arts. In vogue femme there are five elements; hand performance, floor performance, the catwalk the duckwalk and spins’n dips.


In 1970’s Waacking was originated from the LGBT+ community in Los Angeles. The original name ‘punking’ came from the degrading term ‘punk’ which the community tried to turn positive through the dance. The term ‘waacking’ or ‘whacking’ was born later in the dance community.

Punking and waacking first became popular in the TV show Soul Train. For example dance crew ”The Waackers” performed with Diana Ross and got their own spotlight from the show. A lot of knowledge about waacking and punking disappeared after many pioneers died in 1980’s HIV and AIDS epidemic. A new rise of waacking started when Brian Green started to teach the style in 2003 and the older representatives started to share their knowledge with the new generation of dancers.

Waacking is a social dance which is originated from the club culture. One of the main values is to celebrate diversity, self-expression, freedom, storytelling and drama. Some of the main influences for the expressions came from the old Hollywood silent movies and Looney Toons cartoons. The arms movements got their inspiration from martial arts like Japanese nunchaku (a baton with a rope combining two wooden sticks).

The basic move ‘waack’ (originally written ‘whack’) is a movement of the arm as if you would be hitting something. In the movement your shoulder is lined with the elbow, fingers touching your collarbone and your wrist is taken loosely over your head to touch your shoulder blade. In addition to this waacking technique contains ‘hairbrushes’, punking, lines of the arms, posing and footwork. The movement is strongly associated with the interpretation of the rhythm of the music.