New York City is known around the world as the birthplace of hip-hop. From the Boogie-Down Bronx to Crooklyn, New York has dope beats coming out of every borough. But what used to be considered an underground culture born on the streets, is now majorly mainstream. Proof?: The city that reveres Biggie and the Beastie Boys as much as the Statue of Liberty is full of places where kids as young as four (!) can learn the freshest hip-hop dance moves. We’ve rounded up just a few of our favorites here; click through to ch-check it out.
photo: Hip-Hop 4 Kids at the Ailey Extension. Photo by Joe Epstein
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
The world-renowned Alvin Ailey Dance Theater offers Hip-Hop 4 Kids to little ones, ages 7-11. Get funky with experienced teachers who will guide your tiny dancers through basic hip-hop moves, focusing on alignment, technique and most importantly, fun.
Cost: $435; Sept 13, 2015 – Dec. 20, 2015
405 W. 55th St.
Brooklyn Arts Exchange
Kids ages 10-13 will learn all of the basics of hip-hop dance, including power moves, popping, freezing and crumping to the latest hip-hop and pop music at this Park Slope cultural center. Dancers will be encouraged to come up with their own funky dance sequences based on their knowledge of the basics. Tuition assistance is available.
Cost: $358, Sept. 30, 2015-Jan. 30, 2016
421 Fifth Ave.
Mark Morris Dance Center
Brooklyn is holding its own as a cultural mecca. The Mark Morris Dance Group, located in Downtown Brooklyn, has helped put the borough on the map. Its Dance Center offers classes for young dancers ages 6 – 18, including Jazz/Hip-hop fusion and Breakdance Basics. Students learn hip-hop fundamentals as well as the elements of safety while performing.
Cost: $470; Sept. 16, 2015 – Jan. 1, 2016
3 Lafayette Ave.
photo: via Downtown Dance Factory Facebook page
Downtown Dance Factory
This TriBeCa studio was founded by two local moms who had a desire to offer fun and creative classes that would allow young people to express themselves through music. Kindihop, geared towards preschoolers ages 3-5, teaches the basics of jazz and hip-hop technique to the funkiest beats. Got a budding B-boy? Kindiboys teaches the fundamentals of b-boying including footwork to preschoolers. Once they’ve perfected their B-boy stance, DDF offers Jazz/Hip-hop fusion and Street Hip-hop classes for kids in grades K – 8.
Cost: $750; Sept. 16, 2015 – Feb. 1, 2016
291 Broadway, 5th Fl.
American Youth Dance Theater
To say that hip-hop dance involves fast-paced, intricate steps is an understatement. Classes at this Upper East Side dance studio focus on helping kids ages 4 and up build the strength and endurance they need to keep up with the choreography. Experienced teachers work with students on learning hip-hop style and technique in a fun and creative way. Students have a chance to showcase their work at the school’s annual holiday and spring recitals.
Cost: $673; Sept 8, 2015 – Jan. 30, 2016
428 E. 75th St.
Upper East Side
Hip-hop is in high demand on the Upper West side the the JCC! Kids as young as four and as old as nine learn the basics, as well as strengthening exercises and choreography, while gaining coordination, body awareness, teamwork skills and more. A final show caps off every semester.
Cost: $550/members; $705/public; Sept 9, 2015-Jan. 13, 2016
334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St.
Upper West Side
92nd Street Y
For over 100 years, the 92nd Street Y has given some of the best artists a platform to showcase their work. Today, students ages 6 and up can study hip-hop technique as they learn to create their own basic choreography. The budding B-boys and girls get to show off their best moves in a final performance showcase. Older dancers (ages 12-18) can audition for the Fresh Y Crew, a Jazz/Hip-Hop performing group.
Cost: Cost and dates vary by class; see website for details.
1395 Lexington Ave.
Upper East Side
photo: via Soul Arts Academy Facebook page
Soul Arts Academy
Old school is cool at Soul Arts Academy! This downtown studio prides itself on giving students a well-rounded dance education. Students ages 6-13 learn about the history of this creative form of dance, building a foundation of basic moves that they then transform into more complex series of steps.
Cost: $595; Sept. 16, 2015-Jan. 25, 2016
photo: Lotus Creations
One of the goals of non-profit performing arts organization Lotus Creations is to offer affordable dance instruction to all who wish to learn. Drop-in youth hip-hop classes, for kids ages 7-11 are offered for $10 every Saturday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. If your kids gets really good, he or she could be invited to be part of the organization’s Traveling Lotus Youth Group which performs throughout the city.
Cost: $10/class with discounts for bulk lesson purchases; Sept. 19-Dec. 19
143 Waverly Ave.
Trilok Fusion Center for the Arts
Queens Dance Project
Hip-hop pioneers LLCoolJ and Run DMC hail from Queens, so this borough takes the art form very seriously. Weekly classes are available for kids beginning at age 4, and give them an education in the fundamentals of hip-hop dance. Don’t be surprised if your kids ask you for a pair of Adidas and a Kangol hat when they’re done!
214-26 41st Ave.
Does your child take hip-hop in the city? Tell us where in the comments below!