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Jumpstyle is a contemporary dance style characterized by a series of forward and backward swings of the legs to the rhythm of techno or electronic music. It is sometimes referred to as Jumpen, a combination of the English word “jump” and the Dutch suffix -en, meaning “to jump” or “jumping.” The Jumpstyle dance is practiced in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and some parts of the United States.
The term Jumpstyle was coined in the late 1990s to describe an emerging genre of music infusing two styles of electronica: Hardstyle, known for its use of kick drums, faded basslines and melodic synth, and Gabber, a house music variant notable for distorted bass drums and sampled melodies. This genre was given its name by Belgian dance music duo Da Boy Tommy and Da Rick, who became known for their Jumpstyle songs. The dance that became associated with Jumpstyle music is believed to have evolved from the moves people make while skiing.
On YouTube, videos of people demonstrating the dance began to appear as early as July 2006. One of the early trendsetters on YouTube was a group from the Netherlands known as Jumpforce.
In November 2006, the website Jump Is The Style was created to serve as a resource for aspiring dancers, featuring tutorial videos and a now-defunct forum for fans. Later that year, Dutch culture magazine P published a three-page spread on the important points of the style. Around that same time, Jumpstyle also reached the United States with the American dancer Goldinferno uploading his first video on January 1st, 2007. In May, Goldinferno auditioned for the reality competition TV show So You Think You Can Dance with a Jumpstyle performance, bringing the genre to a broader American audience.
The first Urban Dictionary entry defining Jumpstyle was submitted in June 2007. Later that year, German electronica band Scooter released an album titled Jumping All Over the World, featuring jumpstyle music and choreography in their official music videos. The album reached the top spot in the UK in 2008.
On Facebook, a fan page for Jumpstyle dance has more than 13,400 likes and another fan page for the music genre has nearly 55,000 likes as of May 2012. On YouTube, there are nearly 75,000 results for Jumpstyle videos.
Jumping Is Not A Crime
“Jumping Is Not A Crime” is a catchphrase derived from the well-known pro-skating slogan “Skateboarding Is Not a Crime.” Often seen on Jumpstyle discussion forums, album covers and related merchandises, the phrase is usually accompanied by an image of a silhouette jump-styling man with the words “Jumping is not a crime.” Some critics and detractors of Jumpstyle have parodied the logo into “Killing Jumpers is not a crime.”
As the graph shows, Google search interest in the keyword “Jumpstyle” began to ascend in late 2005 and reached its peak by May 2007. Since then, online interest in Jumpstyle has been on a steady decline.