"Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion." -Martha Graham
The joy and passion experienced when dancing is not something everyone possesses. Some have rhythm trapped within them at such a young age that they seem to dance before they can even learn to walk. Passion is what drives their dancing skills from good to high.
Nevertheless, there are some who despise the act of leaving their seat and making their way to the dancefloor to move to the rhythm.
Why is there such a disdain for the art of dancing, especially among men?
While there may be many valid theories, I believe that a lack of love for dance lies in the fact that the person in question hasn't found a dance style they enjoy or that they feel uncomfortable moving to something they do not know.
Therefore, to instruct all types of people about different styles and genres of dance, we shall briefly examine the fascination of the pop and lock dance.
The Beginnings and Roots of the Pop and Lock
Dancing is a perfect stress reliever that helps us to forget our issues, let loose, and just have fun. Since we live in a world where there is so much variety in food items, languages, landscapes, and cultural aspects, it comes as no surprise that there are so many distinct dance genres.
The most popular dance styles can be categorised into a few categories, yet some of the most popular categories include ballroom dancing and Latin dances.
A few of the most practised ballroom dances include the waltz, the foxtrot, the paso doble, the cha-cha, and the Argentine tango. On the other hand, some impressive Latin dances include the bachata, the salsa, the merengue, the mambo, and the samba.
What about other categories or genres?
In recent years many dances such as the pop and lock have gained significant popularity along with genres such as contemporary dance and hip-hop. Nevertheless, we are going to further discuss the intriguing dances moves/styles as popping and locking in separate sections since they share different origins and overall movements.
Origins of Popping
It is necessary to state that popping developed after locking was already established. Therefore, its roots are nearly the same, but both dances can be contrasted by the fact that popping is more explosive since it forces parts of your body outwards.
Nonetheless, popping is believed to have begun in the early 1970s when Boogaloo Sam saw dancers "locking" on his television set. Boogaloo later taught his brother and other friends/dancers the smooth yet, at the same time, rigid robotic dance moves.
Part of the Boogaloo movement in Oakland and Fresno, California, "popping" was very well-rooted in the rhythms of live funk music and every time there was a jerk to the beat it wad described as a "pop", "pose", or "hit."
To have the dance movements of popping reach other audiences, Boogaloo Sam starting a dance group known as the Electric Boogaloos. The "poppers" created a popular dance genre that helped pave the way for many hip-hop moves that are currently seen today.
The foxtrot is a very elegant dance that merits special attention.
Origins of Locking
Locking is slightly different than popping and is basically the act of locking movements which pretty much means freezing in a specific position for a little while after having had danced to a fast rhythm and then continuing at the same speed as before.
Many may claim that they know how to lock like a professional; nevertheless, it is much harder than it seems and requires effort and practice.
The locking dance movements can be traced back to one man, Don Campbell in the late 1960s. Campbell couldn't imitate some of the most popular dance steps/moves at the time when he was performing his routines, so he added the signature "lock" to some of his movements.
It's interesting to state that the first lock came about by accident when Campbell was trying to do the 'Funky Chicken', and when unable to perform the completed movement, he stopped at a particular point while his arms were in the air and this created a "locking" effect that will never be forgotten.
After some time, audience members began to recognise Campbell's locks, and they became known as "Campbellocking." As time went on, in the 1970s, the dance moves became referred to as only "locking."
By the early 1970s people quite enjoyed the locking movements and several dance groups were initiated to perfect "the lock".
Some of the most acclaimed locking dance groups and important personages included The Lockers, Jimmy "Scoo B Doo" Foster, Greggory "Campbellock Jr." Pope, Tony "GoGo" Lewis, and Fred "Mr Penguin" Berry. These previously mentioned dancers are responsible for starting the locking craze.
"Lockers" wear and wore a specific type of clothing on stage when performing that distinguishes them. Those who "lock" usually wear loud striped socks, pegged pants that stop near the knee, satin shirts with big collars, and large bowties among many other things.
It is essential to state that locking is characterised by contracting or tightening your body parts into certain positions.
How to Pop and Lock
Popping and locking are separate dances with very distinct moves, yet they are often confused as the same by many beginners. Nonetheless, they are both responsible for pioneering the hip-hop dance genre, and when the popping out of body members is mixed with the tightening or locking of muscles, pop and lock moves are created.
However, what are some of the most important popping and locking moves to learn for beginners who want to know how to how pop and lock?
Without further ado, we will consider the most necessary locking and popping dance moves that can be combined to create the pop and lock.
Essential Locking Moves
There are many locking moves that differ from dancer to dancer. Nevertheless, the following are some of the most common locking rhythms:
- Alpha: created by Alpha Anderson, the Alpha move consists of kicking one leg forward from a crouching position while the upper body continues leaning backwards. The upper body can be supported by one hand, both hands, or none at all; depends on you!
- Knee Drop: the knee drop is further evidence that the lock is a physically demanding dance. To complete the move effectively, the dancer drops down to his knees and points them inwards.
Necessary Popping Rhythms
The following are some extremely well-known popping moves:
- Chest Pop: one of the most critical steps of popping, the chest pop can provide a regular dance routine with a lot more flavour.
- Forearm hits: while it is true that all parts of the body can be "popped", it is very wise to start with the forearms since you will learn essential technique from a controlled body part.
To receive additional information about popping and locking dance movements, we highly recommend watching videos/tutorials from reputable online sources.
The Best Tunes for Pop and Lock Dancing
Where there is no music, there is no dancing. The best songs provide the inspiration dancers need to create beautiful routines. This applies to all types of dance genres and popping and locking is no exception.
Therefore, without delaying the matter any further, the following are some of the all-time best tunes for pop and lock dance numbers:
- Pop Lock Funk by Dogg Master (the name says it all!),
- We Boogie by Busta Brown,
- On the Come Up by Mofak,
- Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk,
- Get Up Offa That Thing by James Brown,
- Let's Groove by Earth, Wind, & Fire.
To find even more great popping and locking songs, consider searching for these categories on Apple Music, Spotify, or Deezer.
Where to Find Pop and Lock Lessons in the United Kingdom
Do you want to learn how to pop and lock the night away or look like a pro on the dancefloor? Look no further, than the following dance schools in distinct parts of the United Kingdom to learn the basics of popping and locking:
- Body Work Company: located in Cambridge, England, the Body Work Company offers plenty of different dance classes such as ballet, jazz, contemporary, and street dance. In the section of street dance, styles such as breakdancing, popping, locking, and hip-hop are taught by some of the best dance teachers in England. Check out the website to book private or group lessons today.
- Dance College London: it comes as no surprise that the best popping/locking schools in the UK are based in London since it is a significant metropolis attracting people from all races with different interests. The Dance College offers weekend classes for those who want to specialise in popping and locking techniques.
Remember that since we are living in the digital age with so many technological options, attending dance classes at an institute is no longer commonplace. Hiring a dance tutor for online or in-person lessons is all the rage. Consider searching for dance teachers on the Superprof site to start popping and locking today!