Skill Level Descriptions
Skill Level Overview
Beginner – 0-2 years of experience
Intermediate – 2-4 years of experience or training
Advanced – 5 or more years of experience or training
All levels are basic and a person’s level is very individual. Some dancers can train for years to reach a certain level, while others can master the same techniques in just a few months. To make your experience on this site more enjoyable please select your skill level according to your experience and abilities.
A beginner’s a beginner. You do not need any prior dance experience to begin taking a hip hop class. Sometimes beginner classes can seem repetitive, but luckily with hip hop, you will usually learn something completely new and exciting in every class! Most classes begin with routine stretches to music, possible across-the-floor exercises, and then proceed to simple center floor combinations. Patience and practice is key for a beginner. Hip hop is an extremely fun and creative dance form with lots of emphasis on musicality and developing your unique style. Do not feel overwhelmed if your style does not exactly match others in the class. It’s all about making the choreography your own and simply having fun!
NOTE TO ALL BEGINNERS
Hip hop has open classes that are recreational and allow you to pay per class. These are typically classes for all levels of dancers but make sure you check with the studio ahead of time. Recital classes also exist where you learn a routine and work up to a end of year performance with other dancers. At a more advanced level, competition level studio classes are an option. Some studios will allow a hard working dancer to take higher level company or competition classes to help them progress at a faster pace.
*See “How to Choose a Dance Studio” section
Intermediate dancers have been in recital ballet classes for at least two years. Most intermediate recital classes are a bit more strict and require you to make up a missed class or learn the work from another dancer if you are absent. At this level, competition hip hop and hip hop crew/company work require a strict in-class schedule and attendance to every class is mandatory. Ability to quickly pick up choreography and style should match most of the other dancers in the class however this is not always the case.
A beginner can naturally be a fast learner while an advanced dancer might struggle with learning speed, but excel in her style and execution. Intermediate hip hop classes require more difficult combinations and sometimes involve floor work and more intricate moves. If you or your child have reached the level of intermediate, prepare for higher intensity and a potentially larger time commitment depending on the studio.
Coordination, musicality, intricate footwork, and a faster teaching pace are all attributes of an advanced hip hop class. At least five years of prior dance lessons should usually be required for these advanced class, however there are always exceptions and the classes are based upon skill level rather than age. Generally, advanced classes will be very overwhelming for a beginner dancer. Without the basic knowledge acquired from beginner and intermediate classes, it will be difficult to keep up. Unlike ballet, by taking and advanced class, you can still complete the class and benefit from your experience in some ways.
Even just observing some advanced classes as a beginner will help you set goals for yourself and get excited about the opportunity to progress to a higher level. These classes will most likely be for artists wishing for advanced performance opportunities or professional work in hip hop.