BUCK DANCING VS. JERK DANCING: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?

Published for Senior Project at Clark Atlanta University

Being a native from California, I know about all the misconceptions that people from other areas of the States had about California. For example, when I first transferred to Clark Atlanta University one of the first things that came from people’s mouth that never been to California was a statement about gangs.Back in the day, gangs were a huge problem in California, practically Southern California; however, when Krump dancing, a.k.a. Buck dancing was created gang violence started to decrease.

The word Krump stands for Kingdom Radically Uprising Mighty Praise. Krump dancing started in 1992 in Los Angeles by a guy who goes by the name of Tommy the Clown. Tommy was asked by a friend to perform at a birthday party and since then he has been performing at parties all over California and he then started an academy to bring youth off the streets.

“Groups of people would get together and have what most of society would call a ‘dance off.’ When the movements took on the appearance of a fight, Krump was born and the dance offs became battles,” Tommy said.

When Krump dancing started to become more popular, it expanded across California from Los Angeles to the Inland Empire to the Bay Area and back. Now of course in the Bay Area they had their Hyphy movement, so when Krump entered the scene battles between Krump vs. Hyphy emerged.

“When it comes to Krump and Hyphy, Hyphy will always when because they feel themselves. They’re movements are so technical that they keep moving in a fast pace that makes you go ‘Wow, that looks pretty fun,” Willie Bemmin, of Long beach, states.

From Krump, the word Buck also emerged. To get Buck means to step up your moves a notch. You must be able to do this to succeed in a battle.In the Inland Empire the word Buck is used more often then Krump. Around 2005, San Bernardino started to become a “mini Los Angeles,” meaning that the gang violence in the area started to increase. Therefore Buck sessions were started where Inland Empire youth were able to escape the streets and gear towards a more positive direction. From the sessions in San Bernardino, a group called Buck World One was created. Buck World One was created under Rickerby Hinds, Hindsight Productions and University of California Riverside Theater professor.

Buck World One has performed in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as well as at other colleges across the states.Buck World One has changed the lives of several of the youth involved in it.

“The reason why I get Buck is because I’m good at it and sometimes when stuff is on my mind I can just let it out through my Buck moves. It just makes me feel better inside and it keeps me occupied. It keeps me off the streets. I forget about all the negativity. Another reason why I like it is because it’s like a spiritual thing, deep down into the Buck World. You have to know more about that but it’s Christ up all the way, Chris Jackson, 20, said.

Another movement that originated from Krump was Jerking. Jerking is another style of dance that has started to take over the nation. There has been a misunderstanding of where Jerking started. Some say that Jerking started in Los Angeles while others say it started in the Inland Empire.

According to Willie Beemin, real Jerking started in the Antelope Valley, which is the Palmdale and Lancaster area. Jerking started to skyrocket in mid November of 2008; however, all the jerk music came from the Bay Area. “Jerking has hyphy all in it, “ Willie said.

When jerking started to expand across the globe so did the change in the type of clothing that youth started to wear. Skinny jeans, plaid and bright colors were seen on youth everywhere. Some people thought it was gay, but according to Willie it was all apart of the movement.

“Urban dancing is elevating, and with that the fashion is also elevating. People want to be clean and less baggy. Nobody wants to go out there and gang bang anymore,” Willie said.

At the end of the day when it’s all said in done, Krump, Jerk and Hyphy dancing is just that dancing. Dancing is always a good stress reliever and form of exercise. It doesn’t matter what type of dance, dance is a way of people expressing their selves through art.