International Hip Hop DanceFest

You don’t have to know a backbeat from a breakbeat to enjoy the skill and artistry of the dancers performing at the annual San Francisco Hip Hop DanceFest. Since its inception in 1999, this annual event has become the premier hip hop dance competition in the world for this art form. Dance companies from throughout the U.S., Europe and the world head to San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts Theater each November to perform cutting-edge moves and routines honed in dance clubs and other performance spaces.

Hip hop dance is a comprehensive term used to describe a wide range of different styles, including:

  • House
  • Tap
  • Popping
  • Mime
  • Modern
  • Jazz
  • B-boxing
  • Freestyle
  • And other hip hop dance styles

You don’t have to be a fan of hip hop music to appreciate the skill and artistry of these performers, but it helps. Attendees can expect music infused with a heavy dose of bass, electronic drumbeats, turntable scratching, orchestral crunches and flourishes, synthesizers and other instruments that is as cutting-edge as the dancing.

If you don’t want to pony up the $40 to $75 for a ticket to the DanceFest, you can still catch many performers busking around town. In the days and nights following the DanceFest, it is not uncommon to see the dancers performing at the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square and other high traffic areas for tips.

If you want to check out this year’s DanceFest, you may also want to check out the VIP party after Saturday’s performances. Unlike most VIP events, this one costs a modest $10 and is held in the lobby of the Palace of Fine Arts Theater. You can speak with your favorite performers and see additional and impromptu performances by teams and individuals. There is parking available at the Palace, but many different mass transit lines also run to this facility or nearby. For more information on getting to the palace of Fine Arts, visit

So if you’re looking for something new, fun, interesting and cultural this November, head on down to San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts and check out this unique art form. For tickets and more information on this event, check out the DanceFest website at