Perfecting the Hip Hop Butterfly Dance

The Butterfly dance move is an iconic staple within the hip hop dance realm that captures the essence of the ’90s groove. It sends dancers gliding with elegance and flow, reminiscent of the gentle creature it’s named after. This rhythmic wave of motion not only adds a dynamic flair to any routine but also serves as an excellent way to add a touch of nostalgia to your dance repertoire. Embrace the freedom and grace as we break down the enchanting steps of the Butterfly and learn how to incorporate this mesmerizing move into your dance arsenal.

Video Demonstration

Dance History of The Butterfly

The Butterfly dance move wafted into the hip hop scene in the 1990s, capturing the fluid, expressive nature of that era’s music and dance culture. While there’s no single identified originator, it quickly spread across clubs and dance floors, popularized by music videos and party-goers who were drawn to its playful and accessible style. The Butterfly resonated with the vibrant energy of hip-hop during this time, becoming an enduring symbol of the period’s creative spirit.

While the Butterfly found its fame in the hip hop circles of the 1990s, it shares this kinship with the Caribbean rhythms, reflective of a diverse blend of musical influence. When dancing to the Butterfly, the potential for Reggae-inspired improvisation adds another layer of richness to this dynamic move, showing how hip hop often meshes distinct cultural beats into a unified expression of dance.

Step By Step Instruction

  1. Starting Position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower Body Movement: Shift your weight to the balls of your feet. Bend your knees slightly and sway them inwards towards each other, then outwards, creating a fluid in-and-out motion.
  3. Upper Body Synchronization: As your knees come together, lean your torso slightly forward. As your knees move outwards, bring your torso back up to a neutral position.
  4. Rhythm and Flow: Keep the movement continuous to mimic the natural rhythm of a butterfly’s wings. The upper and lower body should move harmoniously, and the tempo should match the beat of the music.
  5. Final Touch: Add your personal flair by incorporating hand gestures or varying the intensity and speed of your movements.

Here is a great tutorial from HowCast on how to do the butterfly dance.

Tips For Learning The Butterfly

  • Begin practicing slowly, focusing on the coordination of your knees and the corresponding torso movements.
  • Mirror practice can be highly beneficial for visual learners to maintain the symmetry of the Butterfly’s “wings.”
  • To avoid strain, ensure you warm up your knees and legs before attempting full tempo.
  • Feel the music and allow it to guide the fluidity of your movements—it’s more about smooth motion than precision.

Conclusion

The Butterfly transcends time to remain a beloved part of hip hop dance culture. This move, with its smooth, wavelike motions, teaches dancers the importance of interpretation, coordination, and flow within a routine. Like the delicate dance of its namesake, the Butterfly move enriches the dance floor with a touch of grace and nostalgia, making it a timeless hip hop feature that anyone can enjoy and master.

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