Popping is a style of dance that originated in Fresno, California in the 70s. Boogaloo Sam is generally considered to be the founder of this dance style, though some dancers argue that the style was being done even before Sam came along and it was called 'popping.'
Popping is a technique that is distinctive for it's 'pops' which arise from the quick contraction followed by relaxation of certain muscles. Pops can be performed with different parts of the body including the arms, legs and even the neck. Popping is typically danced to funk music with a steady beat in 4/4 time signature, though it is increasingly done to other types of music too.
Locking (originally known as Campbellocking) is a style of dance that originated in LA in the late 60s, coming into prominence in the 70s with the formation of The Lockers dance group. The beginnings and creation of the style can unanimously be attributed to one man, Don Campbell (also sometimes known as Don Campbellock). Locking is distinctive also for it's very distinct stops, however these are complete stops in motion rather than contraction and relaxation of the muscles like in popping. It is generally more relaxed and movements are looser than those utilised in popping. Locking is typically danced to funk music. Arising in the 70s it is common to hear artists such as James Brown. It can also be danced to other styles of music including funk related genres like disco or electronic music.
Popping is centered around the technique of popping (or hitting), meaning to contract and relax muscles to create a jerking effect (a pop or hit). Popping can be concentrated to specific body parts creating variants such as arm pops, leg pops, chest pops & neck pops. Stronger pops involve popping both the lower & upper body simultaneously
Pops, or hits, are performed at regular intervals intervals timed to the beat of the music, causing the dance to appear very rhythmic in nature. A common technique of transitioning between poses is the dime stop, heavily utilized in robot dancing, which means to end a movement with an abrupt halt (thus "stopping on a dime"), after which a pop normally occurs.
Poses in popping make heavy use of angles, mime style movements and facial expressions. The lower body has many ways to move around from basic walking and stepping to the more complex and gravity defying styles of floating and electric boogaloo. Movements and techniques used in popping are generally focused on sharp contrasts, being either robotic and rigid or very loose and flowing.
As opposed to breaking and its floor-oriented moves, popping is almost always performed standing up, except in rare cases when the dancer goes down on the knees or even lies down for a short while to perform a special move.
Electric boogie is a style of popping (ticking). Both locking and popping or ticking originally came from Los Angeles. Popping was created by street dance crew ñElectric Boogaloo. Locking was created by ñThe Lockersî Both locking and popping existed a long time before breaking was born. During breaking era, b-boys started to put popping and locking into their dance.
Mr. Wiggles says, since people in NY twisted popping and made it more funky and something different from original popping, they call it electric boogie instead of popping. (This comment about Electric Boogie is different from the following artilce, though. I am not sure which is ture.) Nowadays, so-called "Breakdance" consists of breaking, locking, and electric boogie or popping. The following article is about history of locking and Electric boogie from a book "BREAKING AND THE NEW YORK CITY BREAKERS" written by Michael Holman in early 80s
Popping was originally danced to funk music which was around at the time of popping's invention and rise to prominence in the late 70s and 80s. However today the music it is danced to can be much more diverse. From electronica, hip hop, rap to instrumental. The reason that there is so much choice is because the most important thing is a strong backbeat, on a normal 4/4 rhythm. There is a lot of music that can fit into this category. The strong backbeat is often what a popper will pop to, though they may also like to pop on every beat as well. Some classic tracks are "So Ruff So Tuff" by Zapp and Roger or "West Coast Poplock" by Ronnie Hudson
People often ask and wonder what type of music you should be locking to. After all if you go into a music shop and ask for 'locking music' they're unlikely to know what the hell you're talking about unless they happen to be a locker by night. The answer is actually very easy - you need funk music. This is not exactly the same as breakbeat. Funk music often has a break but you're not specifically looking for a break (though you can lock to it). The person that funk music comes from is James Brown, no doubt you would have heard a lot of his music in locking performances and battles. There are some songs which have become popularly associated with locking for example Michael Jackson's "Ease On Down The Road" and "Express" by BT Express. James Brown is always a good place to start because if it's James Brown it's almost definitely going to be funk, whereas other artists may do other styles.
Isolation is the most important technique of this dance called popping. The ability to isolate everything from your fingers to your toes, from your neck to your hips, is what separates a beginner from a master. Almost all dance styles, from ballet to bellydancing, use isolation extensively. But the way in popping is one of the things that most sets the dance apart.
What is Isolation
Isolation is the ability to move some part of your body while another part stays perfectly still. In most cases, even if you get close to perfect it’s good enough, but the top isolators are usually considered the top dancers as well. Whether it’s Madd Chadd doing the robot, PopnTaco waving, or Acki boogalooing, one of the things that makes them who they are is their ability to isolate.
How do you Isolate
The way that you practice isolation is usually fairly simple. That’s the thing about isolation. It’s easy to understand, it’s just a lot harder to do! Let’s say you want to isolate your wrist, like you might want to do in tutting or waving. What you do is practice moving your wrist–and only your wrist–making sure that every other part of your body stays still. The best way to practice this is to use your own shadow. Mirrors can lie and if you’re eye is not well trained, even a video camera can be hard to read. But your own shadow does not lie! What you want to see is ONLY the part of your body moving that you are trying to isolate. In this case, you would want to see ONLY your wrist move. If any other part of your body moves, even slightly, you are NOT doing a perfect isolation. I know from personal experience that this is a frustrating exercise, because at first it seems impossible to get everything else to stay still. One trick that you will discover over time is that if you make smaller movements, the exercise will be easier. Start small and get bigger over time. It’s better to get something down perfectly and then move on rather than just get a jumbled mess of a lot of half-mastered techniques.
The Different Styles and Isolation
You might think if you are a popper or an animator that isolation is less important than if you are a tutter, but it’s just not true. Every style uses isolation extensively, but how they use them are different! Robot–The robot is ALL isolation. In fact, the basic robot, where you only move one part at a time, might as well just be called an isolation exercise. It’s just one isolation after another. The same goes for the styles that come out of the robot, like strobing and animation. Boogaloo–At it’s core, boogaloo is the ability to isolate the neck, the shoulders, the hips, the knees, and the ankles, and specifically to move them in circles, or what we call rolls. Beginner boogalooers usually look sloppy because their isolation is not strong yet and they try to MIMIC the smoothness rather than ISOLATE to create smoothness. Boogaloo is ALL isolation. Waving–From a technique perspective, waving is really no more than an isolation exercise. Fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, chest, neck. Just one isolation after another that when put together looks like a wave. If you want to be a good waver, just get in front of the mirror and start isolating. Tutting–Tutting is no different. Isolating the wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Learning to only move one piece at a time is the essence of tutting.
Popping Styles & Moves
Popping Styles & Moves