Originally introduced from the US, hip hop has now become a living movement of many young people in Vietnam. In Hanoi, it is easy to find hip hop dance groups wherever you can dance: hotel halls, theaters, memorials … but most are in parks.
Lenin Flower Garden on Dien Bien Phu Street (Hanoi) gathered about five hip hop dance groups with all genres: breaking, popping, hip hop dance … These dance groups also have their own audience, most of is a student who likes to learn hip hop. In recent years, big dance groups such as Bigtoe, Halley … have rented their own gym, giving the park stage to new dance groups.


Around 5 pm, the corner of the park, the garden suddenly became more noisy because the sound was quite strange. Young people sway, turn, tumble … to the music. This place was breaking, there was hip hop dance or popping … There were high school girls just after school who rushed to the gym, their faces were sweaty but their eyes were radiant. The training lasts until 10 pm to finish. Huy, a college student in tourism, said that the group was going to practice later in the day, sometimes until 1-2am.
Vietnamese “max”, a bboy (male break dance called bboy, female is bgirl) is quite popular in the hip hop dance world, said: “Like in the US, the first hip hop dance people in Hanoi also started dancing. from the streets ”.
In the 1990s, hip hop started following international students from the United States or Europe. However, hip hop is quite discriminated against by its American origin. Viet’s contemporaries “max”, Son Break, Bigtoe’s Citadel … practice their dance moves on a piece of mats in a cement yard or a park lawn. At that time in Hanoi, to practice dancing, I had to save money for breakfast gifts to buy batteries for listening to radio or music tapes.
As for the ban of the family is natural – Vietnam “max” said. Hip-hop dancers of that time still recounted escapes protecting the area they practiced dancing or were arrested by the police as the most memorable memories. Many times they are mistaken for a circus performance or called crazy by jumping and dancing. That is not to mention the injuries caused by improper jumping and falling on hard cement field. Thanh, who has been with Bigtoe for nearly 20 years, said in 1991 Bigtoe was founded, but only six months later the group disbanded because no one could afford the dense training schedule with too difficult movements.


Up to now, Hanoi’s hip hop is still a movement of spontaneous dance groups, most do not really understand the nature of hip hop, with copied or wrong dance techniques and eloquent pronouncements. change the face of Hanoi hip hop.
Before the Internet, Hanoi’s hip hop dance scene mostly imitated Michael Jackson’s moonwalk. According to Viet “max”, in the first years of hip hop, the capital of the world was nothing like a dancing dancer. After the imitation period, hip hop developed quite aggressively with many different trends. In addition to breaking, young people also know about new styles, popping, krumping (see box) … And the only person who teaches them new styles is still “Internet teacher”. The groups search for themselves different styles, sometimes following the dance groups of the world. A number of dancers returning from abroad also open classes with the ambition to provide Hanoi’s hip hop with the necessary knowledge.


Tiep, a student at the University of Mining and Geology, said: “Dancing just because I like it, I never thought of becoming a professional dancer.” Vietnamese “max” also said that no one knows how long they will be able to dance, nor can they anticipate accidents that forced them to give up hip hop. But Bigtoe’s Citadel wants hip hop to become a community-valued art and hip hop dance will be a career. Thanh said that soon, after attending the Battle of the year Asia in Singapore, Bigtoe will deploy a project to build a hip hop dance school with enough gyms, accommodation, stage, etc.

Jake Paul
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