Krump dancing, or krumping, is a popular freestyle hip hop street dance with Christian roots involving a variety of energetic moves. It was developed by born-again Christian Ceasare Willis, known as Tight Eyez, along with others in the tough South Central area of Los Angeles as a means of releasing aggression in a positive way. Krumping was developed as a conscious alternative to street violence and is a frequent feature of street dance battles. Dancers belong to families, or fams, which are the equivalents of the original break dancing crews.
Krump is an acronym for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise, according to signsonSanDiego.com's Angela Holman. As a dance, it developed along Christian lines in South Central LA, as a spin-off of similar forms of dancing opposed to violence, such as Clowning, which emerged in 1992. Krump dancing shares similar moves to Clowning, such as the famous energetic arm swings that ressemble a baseball being thrown. However, it's more aggressive, a factor that resulted in its separation from the older style, and unique in its Christian foundation. It may involve face-painting, storytelling, dissing and other methods of performance.
Krump dancing looks aggressive, but it is actually radically nonviolent befitting its Christian roots. It can be subdivided into a variety of styles, some more aggressive than others. They include Goofy, the least aggressive style, Beasty, Grimy, Flashy, Cocky, Jerky, Bully, Tricks, Fight and Fast, all of which serve as apt descriptions, according to danceorigin.com. In addition to arm swings, Krump moves include the battle stance, the weak stance, labbin', bucking up, chest hitting, chest popping, chest locking, foot stomps, kill-offs, syncs, locks, taunts and hand grabs, according to Holman.
The principal founder of Krump dancing is Tight Eyez, who teaches through instructional videos, while praising Jesus and emphasising the importance of Christian healing and the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. Other pioneers include Lil C, Big Mijo, Slayer, Baby C and Big Hurricane. Krump dancing is used in churches as a form of ministry and has had a powerful effect in luring young people out of a lifestyle centring around gang violence and drugs.
Krump dancing has achieved an international presence in recent years as a result of being featured in videos by hip hop superstars such as the Black Eyed Peas and Missy Elliott, and in more than one documentary film. However, it has also generated some controversy for its seemingly aggressive and often sensual style. This aggression, though, has been described as aggression toward the sinful flesh, and Tight Eyez has publicly disassociated himself from the more sensual aspects of street dancing, such as the "stripper dance," according to rapbasement.com. Its supporters point to Krumping benefits, such as it being a powerful alternative to the gang lifestyle and the Krump dancers' refusal of violence and profanity.
Krump dancing has moved beyond its underground roots to become a major world subculture. Chief founder Tight Eyez has taken its message of nonviolence, nonprofanity and racial harmony all around the world to such nations as Russia, China, Germany, South Africa and Australia. In Brisbane, Australia, he spoke about how the letters of Krump came to him in a dream, and how he felt compelled to break away from Clowning toward a more spiritual dance. He is also a rapper and his "Krumpology" CD testifies to his deep Christian faith.