Saturday, February 24, 2024

Clowning dance, Tommy the Clown & variations Vs Krumping

What’s clowning dance?

Clowning dance (often known as clown dancing) is a singular and entertaining type of dance expression within the early 1990’s. It was developed by Thomas Johnson, in any other case often known as Tommy the Clown. He mixed hip-hop dance parts with clown performances to create a brand new style often known as “hip-hop clowns.”

On this article we’ll discover its traits, how clowning dance took place, cultural affect, notably on the event of krump. Then we have a look at clowning dance vs krumping to differentiate what actually units every aside. Lets get on with it.

An image of a clown at a fair. Article about Clowning dance
Picture by james-lee-YmG-jLBgfS0 on unsplash

How Clowning Dance took place

The historical past of clowning dance begins again to the early Nineteen Nineties, when Thomas Johnson, often known as Tommy the Clown, created this so as to add his personal spin on children party clown acts. This gave beginning to the brand new fashion of “hip-hop clowns.”

In bringing collectively the unlikely bed-fellows of hip hop and clown acts, Tommy created a brand new dance kind. This finally grew to shock him, in what an enormous motion it grew to become.

In these early years of clowning dance, because the years handed, it matured as a mode and in consequence, others started to undertake it.

The expansion of clown dance laid the inspiration for a associated dance fashion often known as krump or krumping, closely influenced by “Tight Eyez” “Large Mijo”. The 2 dance kinds might share their roots however there are essential variations, which we are going to discover later on this article.

As they took off clowning and krumping started getting media protection. In 2005, a documentary named ‘Rize’ directed by David LaChapelle, captured the expansion of this dance. Tommy the Clown’s affect was central to this.

For years, Clowning dance continued to unfold all through Los Angeles. Clowning dance served as a substitute for folks attempting to keep away from gang involvement, giving them a inventive technique to specific uncooked feelings in a non-violent, however highly effective means. Bringing folks collectively and fostering a way of neighborhood. There’s are even organized ‘battles’ and clowning dance colleges, together with lessons by Tommy devoted to the fashion.

Clowning dance might not have been round lengthy in comparison with many dance kinds, however this has not stopped it having an actual affect on each American popular culture and the world of dance. Our perspective is that its good to see dance is regularly evolving and adapting to resonate with the wants of various communities and cultures.

Traits of Clowning Dance


What units this dance aside from most different avenue dances is:

·      Humour: Due to its roots, clown dancing is all about humor and getting amusing

·      Props: Clowning performers typically use numerous props and comedy skits

·      Mime-like: face portray and sometimes colourful costumes takecentre stage. On this video Minnie Mouse is even introduced out on the finish for a kid’s social gathering, who appeared to adore it.


Power & Motion:

Clowning dance, as a avenue dance, emphasizes freedom and vitality in dance. Attribute actions in clowning dance embrace:

·      arm swings

·      chest pops

·      stomps

·      exaggerated gestures.

Collectively these actions create a dynamic expertise for each dancers and the viewers. It many of the movies, there’s a crowd of neighborhood, they’re a part of the expertise and sometimes becoming a member of in with parts.


Clowning dance is an actual efficiency, with dancers expressing themselves by means of their physique actions and exaggerated actions.

Krumping vs clown dancing

As clowning dance gained recognition, it additionally impressed the event of a extra intense and emotionally charged various referred to as krumping. Whereas krumping shares some stylistic similarities with clowning however has extra high-energy, aggressive actions, and it’s typically used as an outlet for self-expression and social commentary, as we’ll describe beneath. Clowning is nonetheless extra theatrical, lighthearted dance fashion that includes humor and leisure. It includes exaggerated actions and sometimes contains parts of mime and comedy.

Similarities between krump and clown dance

Clowning dance and krumping each grew to become in style as a consequence of their sturdy roots in religion and neighborhood. Miss Prissy notes in a research by Brenda Dixon Gottschild “people who’re impressed by and enthralled within the Holy Spirit merely stand up and dance because the spirit strikes them”.

Starting as a method of expression in underprivileged communities and a constructive outlet for emotion and creativity. As ‘Dragon’, one of many authentic Krump dancers places it “that is our ghetto ballet” the place different selections may haven’t been obtainable.

“Within the Starting was Physique Language” by Sarah S. Ohmer CUNY, Lehman School, is an in depth social research, the place she argues there are lots of extra layers to this traditionally and culturally.  In communities which have been historically discriminated in opposition to and marginalised, dance offers a a lot wanted type of expression.

“Krump and Clowning have helped people work by means of and witness private and communal trauma, enact neighborhood constructing and non secular resistance. Krump and Clowning exemplify hip hop dance that works in opposition to discrimination and selective amnesia sure to questions of race, socio-economic marginalization, and gender”

Variations between krump and clown dance

In contrast to krumping, clowning dance is understood for its sexual innuendo, whereas additionally mixing with different dance kinds reminiscent of C-walking.  It’s designed to be a free-spirited expression of 1’s physique, permitting dancers to take pleasure in themselves and share that pleasure with their viewers.

Krumping is nonetheless characterised by intense, aggressive actions and emotional expression, Clowning is understood for its theatrical, lighthearted method, incorporating humor and leisure.

Extra actually, a transition from one to the opposite may even be seen within the face paint utilized by the dancers, which shifts from the normal enjoyable circus clown picture to indigenous and tribal conflict or dance paint.

This video exhibits Tommy clarify a few of the variations in his class:

Ultimate phrases

Clowning dance is a vibrant and fascinating fashion that captures the fun-loving spirit of its roots within the LA neighborhood. With its distinctive face portray, humorous strikes, and fascinating efficiency, it continues to entertain and encourage audiences worldwide – of all ages.

You may also be focused on are articles about avenue dance kinds, well-known avenue dancers and hip hop strikes.

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