A video action generally exhibits quite complex rhythms and non-stationary dynamics. To model such non-uniform dynamics, this paper describes a novel hierarchical dynamic encoding method to capture both the locally smooth dynamics and globally drastic dynamic changes. It provides a multi-layer joint representation for temporal modeling for action recognition. At the first layer, the action sequence is parsed in an unsupervised manner into several smooth-changing stages corresponding to different key poses or temporal structures. The dynamics within each stage are encoded by mean-pooling or learning to rank based encoding. At the second layer, the temporal information of the ordered dynamics extracted from the previous layer is encoded again to form the overall representation. Extensive experiments on a gesture action dataset (Chalearn) and several generic action datasets (Olympic Sports and Hol-lywood2) have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method.