The history traces a convoluted trail through the streets of L.A. and New York City where inner-city youth found in dance an alternative to violence, all the way to the current day when dance studios offer classes for child hip hop dancers.
Urban ballroom dance is one of the newer incarnations of the pastime, with organizations such as the Gentlemen of Ballroom spreading the joys and benefits of social dance to a wider and under-served inner-city population.
The Underland Chronicles series by Suzanne Collins begins with Gregor the Overlander, an adventure book about a boy who wanders through an inner-city underground world.
This dream is reinforced by Hollywood movies such as Bring It On which dramatizes a competition between an inner-city dance team and an affluent suburban school.
Youth gangs, commonly associated with inner-city neighborhoods, are a recognizable peer group among youth in smaller cities, suburbs, and even rural areas.