10 Famous Street Dancers: Videos And Where To Follow Them
Updated: Mar 16, 2021
With thousands of talented street dancers all over the world, how do you filter just 10 famous ones to watch and learn from or follow? This is the perfect post for any aspiring street dancer as a source of inspiration.
Good news, I've compiled a list of my top 10 famous street dancers for you, many of which I hope will wow and inspire you.
As a street dance tutor and company director for nearly 20 years, I have been, and still am, fully invested in learning about the history of the genre and more about its pioneers and influencers, some of them are here on this list.
With 50 years of famous dancers to choose from since the beginning of the birth of street dance, it was hard to compile a list and not leave out some big names, so do note, this is just a small handful, but not a definitive list.
In no particular order, here is my list of 10 famous street dancers, a little about them, where to follow them and even watch some clips right here of their skills!
PLUS bonus 'number 11' we simply could not leave this one out, read on to find out
First things first...
What is Street Dance?
Street dance is an umbrella term for a large number of social dance styles, hip hop dance is one of them, however, 'hip hop' is not solely a dance style - it's a culture, more on this on my page about dance styles.
What are 'social dance styles' I hear you ask? These are styles, with many accompanying steps, created organically from a culture, a moment in time, a way of life, by the natural social interaction between people.
Street dance evolved in the 1970s, now around 50 years on, the genre is still evolving with new generations of talented dancers, all whilst paying homage to the originators and the foundations.
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10 Famous Street Dancers List
1. Buddha Stretch
Buddha Stretch is known for being a big player in bringing hip hop dance to a mainstream audience and as the first choreographer of the style. Buddha has performed with legendary artists such as Salt-N-Pepper, Big Daddy Kane and even Michael Jackson. Buddha stretch was an original member of Elite Force crew, along with Brooklyn Terry, Henry Link, Loose Joint, Bobby Milage and Ejoe 12. Fact: It was on the set of the Remember The Time video that the name for the Elite Force crew was coined.
2. The Late Don "Campbellock" Campbell
The world lost a legend in 2020, when Don Campbell, a.k.a. Don Campbellock, the inventor of Locking, passed away. Don Campbellock is one of my personal idols, his passion for sharing his dance style is inspirational, in his words "I want you to take my dance and make it yours". Fact: Don Campbellock actually messaged me back in 2007 when Hip Hop Pop (HHP) hosted the South East Hip Hop Dance Championships to "keep up the good work", a memory I will always cherish.
Don was a founding member of dance group The Lockers, along with Toni Basil who also features in this list. The Lockers were an incredibly influential group who featured on shows such as Soul Train, Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show to name but a few.
Don continued to teach, judge competitions and speak at engagements on the subject of Locking for many years after Locking's creation.
Where to find out more about Don Campbellock: Cambellock.com
3. Norah, Yarah and Rosa (Let It Happen)
Bringing things right up to the present day, I've followed this viral young dutch sister trio on Instagram and YouTube for the past year and they just get better and better. To me, they are a visual representation of past and present street dance styles, delivered with pure joy.
The sisters have appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show a couple of times, have millions of followers and James Brown's daughter even invited them to dance as a tribute to the godfather of soul on his birthday.
Where to find out more about Nora, Yarah and Rosa: Instagram
4. Kenrick "H20" Sandy MBE
Kenrick "H20" Sandy MBE is of the UK's most respected choreographers and artistic directors. Kenrick is the co-founder of Boy Blue Ent., Associate Artist at the Barbian, a collaborator on the London 2021 opening ceremony and his work has even won an Olivier award.
Time Out London named Kenrick as one of 100 most influential and innovative minds in the creative industry.
5. Mr Wiggles
Steffan Clemente, a.k.a. Mr Wiggles grew up in New York in the 70's learning and mastering his craft. Mr Wiggles is a member of Rock Steady Crew and The Electric Boogaloos, and he is still very much an influential figure in street dance culture today.
Mr Wiggles has appeared in music videos with the likes of Missy Elliott, Madonna and Usher to name but a few. He continues to teach at guest workshops and pass on the history of hip hop culture to the youth of today. I was lucky enough to personally sit in on one of his speaking gigs about the history of hip hop.
6. Brian "Footwork" Green
Brian "Footwork" Green, first learnt tap, jazz, ballet, modern and African dance, a few years later picked up more skills and styles including popping, hip hop and house. From 1987 Brian fully immersed himself into house culture forming a very fast footwork style that gave him his name "Footwork".
Brian has danced or choreographed for some big names including Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepper, Busta Rhymes, Fergie and more. Brian has judged at countless competitions, even So You Think You Can Dance in Singapore. Brian continues to teach the history of funk, hip hop and house culture.
7. Toni Basil
There are many inspirational female dancers in the street dance community but Toni (Antonia Christina Basilotta) stands out as a key player in bringing street dance to the public. Toni is one of the founders and original Lockers alongside Don Campbellock, who opened and toured for Frank Sinatra.
Toni's long list of choreographic credits between 1965 and 2009 include the Once In A Lifetime music video for Talking Heads, Tina Turner's 50th Anniversary Tour and the Legally Blonde movie to name but a few. Even at age 75 in 2019, Toni choreographed for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. What a career to be proud of, and it hasn't finished yet, inspirational!
Where to find out more about Toni Basil: Instagram
8. Les Twins
French dancers Laurent and Larry, better known as 'Les Twins' first made their mark at a 2008 dance competition called Juste Debout, and followed shortly after as finalists on the french equivalent of Britain's Got Talent. The duo's fame blew up even more after their 2010 performance at World Of Dance went viral.
Since their viral success the pair can boast of performances with the likes of Beyonce and Missy Elliott, they teach their choreography and style all over the globe and even have their own dance on the Wii game Just Dance.
Where to find out more about Les Twins Instagram
9. Ashely Banjo
Ashely Banjo is quite possibly the most recognised name in terms of famous dancers in the UK right now. Founder of dance group Diversity who won the third series (2009) of Briatin's Got Talent, Ashely has led the group from strength to strength selling out arena shows all over the UK.
Before their success on Britain's Got Talent, I had the pleasure of meeting Ashely and him leading a day of workshops for students at HHP. We first saw Diversity at the UK Street Dance Championships where they had the crowd on their feet in support. From that moment it was clear Diversity were destined for great things. Both Diversity and Flawless dance groups, who competed in the same series of Britain's Got Talent, are assets to the UK dance scene.
Ashely can be seen as a judge on Got To Dance, Dancing On Ice and even Britain's Got Talent, and this year he brought out a kids book with his brother Jordan: Fly High Crew
Where to find out more about Ashely Banjo: Instagram
10. Marlon Swoosh
Marlon "Swoosh" Warren founded dance group Flawless who made it to the final of the 2009 series of Britain's Got Talent. Flawless had been a leading name in the street dance scene way before their success on BGT and they continue to perform and share their knowledge all over the globe.
Marlon and Flawless can be seen in the movies Street Dance 3D 1 and 2, they also headlined for the Royal Family at the Queens Jubilee concert. Marlon is an innovator and an extremely talented creative. I have had the pleasure of knowing Marlon since 2007 when he was a judge at our South East Hip Hop Championships. Marlon is still as humble, kind and hard-working today as the day we met.
11. Additional Name For The List: Twist and Pulse
Ashely Glazebrook and Glen Murphy, better known as Twist and Pulse were runners up in the 2010 series of Britain's Got Talent, and nine years later went on to win the title 'Champion of Champions' at Britain's Got Talent: The Champions contest in 2019.
The pair seamlessly mix street dance and comedy in what they coined as streetomedy. With clever musical mixes and exciting choreography Twist and Pulse performances will put a smile on your face. One of my favourite performances from the duo is when they teamed up with presenters Ant and Dec on Saturday Night Take Away, check it out below:
Twist and Pulse have taught students at Hip Hop Pop 5 times over the last decade and we can't wait to have them back again as guest teachers. Not only are Twist and Pulse talented performers and teachers, but they are also genuinely lovely, down to earth guys. This wouldn't be a list of our 10 favourite famous dancers without them.
In conclusion to my list of 10 famous street dancers
The hardest part of writing this article was choosing what 10 dancers to include. This list purposely showcases dancers from varying decades, influences and backgrounds to give you a board spectrum of talent from around the world.
As I said at the start of this post, this is not a definitive list, simply a small handful of a much longer list. I look up to everyone on this list and have learnt from them or hope to learn from them in the future. This is the perfect post for any aspiring dancer as a starting place for inspiration.
If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it and tag us in your posts. You might also enjoy our posts about the top 5 street dance movies as voted for by dancers or what dance films there are currently on Netflix.
Jen - Director of Hip Hop Pop
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