Dance by Design

However, despite this, it is important to explore the effect that hip-hop has on youth sexuality as well as the cultural impact that it has on youth culture in general precisely because of this importance. The purpose of this essay is to explore the links between the use of the body in hip-hop culture and this much explored and maligned sexuality that is associated with hip-hop dance. In doing this exploration, it will become clear that there are many positive forces associated with hip-hop, although there are definitely negative aspects of the strong link between hip-hop and sexuality, particularly female sexuality. Hip-Hop Culture Hip-hop culture is one that is usually described by scholars as being ‘misunderstood’ (Rose, 2010, p59), despite the fact that it generates millions or billions of US dollars in its industries and many people believe that it ‘ascends to the level of art and cultural heritage’ (Rose, 2010, p59). There are many reasons for the misunderstanding associated with hip-hop culture. … e itself is at its most influential and important in the United States (Dimitriadis, 2009), where it is commonly associated with African Americans or Latinos, and therefore many of the elements of hip-hop culture are direct derivatives of these two influences (Rabaka, 2011). It is important to note that hip-hop culture itself is not just limited to the music (which is commonly seen to include rap), but includes a whole variety of different dance styles (including breaking, locking and popping) as well as art forms such as graffiti and cinematography (Rabaka, 2011). In this way, hip-hop can be seen to be associated with a greater scheme of design, rather than just being limited to a music genre. It is perhaps from this perspective that it becomes obvious how such a wide-ranging culture has come to be associated with sexuality, because it permeates all aspects of life for those immersed in it (Dimitriadis, 2009). Traditionally, hip-hop is associated with youth (or seen as a youth movement) precisely because of the age of the culture (having started as a movement in the 1970s) and the people that partake in hip-hop dance (Schloss, 2009). The Relationship between Hip-Hop and Sexuality One important factor involved in the fact that hip-hop is perceived as a youth movement is that it will probably always be involved in some discourse on sexuality, predominantly because of the obvious link between young people and emerging sexualities. There are a number of reasons why hip-hop (dance in particular) and sexuality have often been highlighted as having such a strong link. One is that there is a hugely sexual range of motions involved in hip-hop dance, particularly with the phenomenon of grinding (Schloss, 2009). This type of dance is so sexually explicit that many towns in the

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