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Difference Between Krumping and Clowning

clowning_bookKrumping vs Clowning

It might not be so easy for the untrained eye to notice the difference between krumping and clowning. Since krumping was actually derived from clowning, the original differences were fewer, as krumping borrowed some of clowning’s base for awhile. These days, each dance style has evolved enough to be considered its own entity .

While originally krumping and clowning actually shared the idea of painting the face, this is no longer done in krumping. Today, this creates one of the most obvious differences. Clowning can be done with, or without, painting the face. Krumping is done without it.

Furthermore, the internal origin or inspiration for each dance style is different. While clowning offers inspiration derived from a place of fun, enjoyment, and expression, krumping is more about expressing the anger and rage that can be pent up in today’s world. There are violent gestures, and an alluding to angry violence within the dance of krumping. However, there are no sexual innuendos within the dance style. Clowning offers hip gyration that is specifically designed to mimic sexual action, and also initiates other sexually suggestive moves.

Clowning has been around longer than krumping. Physically, the appearance of each of the dance styles are also different, although someone unfamiliar with the styles might have to see the dancers side by side in order to get an accurate gauge. Clowning is physically smoother, adding in things like C-walking. Krumping is a physically harsher type of style, staccato-like according to some.

Thomas Johnson, also known as Tommy the Clown has been attributed with the origination of clowning, hence the face painting and the name of the style. Each style of dance has its origins in ‘younger’ music. These are dance styles that blend into punk and hard core music selections.


  •  Krumping was derived from clowning.
  •  Clowning can involve painting of the face.
  •  Krumping is a dance expression of rage and it is known for its violent suggestions.
  • Clowning is known for its sexual innuendo and it is older than krumping.
  •  Clowning is a physically smoother style of dance and it also blends with C-walking.
  •  Clowning was started by Tommy the Clown.

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  1. I have to correct you for morality’s sake, but clowning did NOT originate from ICP. It was originated by Tommy the clown. ICP is a hate group who nurtures hatred, dysfunction, and compulsive behavior. Tommy the Clown created an outlet for talented young inner-city kids to express themselves in healthy competition that lead to physical fitness, caring for the self and the body, and the chance to rise above poverty through creative art. Your mistake in this matter is embarrassingly misinformative and I would ask that you please correct this horrific mistake.

  2. Why hasn’t anyone responded to the original comment by ‘Lindsey Waterman’?

  3. Updated.
    Thank you

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