Popping is an adapted dance from the boogaloo style originating in Oakland, California. Although it originally was associated to boogaloo it also drew inspiration from different parts of California with styles such as Strutting, Robottin and Strikin. These other elements and styles were popular in the late 60’s to the mid 70’s. Popping would be adapted later from the earlier Boogaloo in Fresno, California, using high-school gatherings known as – the west coast relays.
The dance comes primarily through the rhythm of funk music and it is based on the way Boogaloo held positions, quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to cause a jerk or spasm to stop the ‘poppers’ body. Hence, a pop or hit.
Popping later involved dance styles and techniques that created illusions much like a mime artist such as waving, tutting, scarecrow, toyman and much more. Popping is cited as one of the founding styles of Hip Hop dance but it is actually a funk style, much like the older Locking. Popping is one of the original street dance* styles alongside Bboying and Locking.
*What is the meaning of a Street Dance? A Street Dance is a dance style that evolved outside a dance studio and was created primarily to socialise and exchange dance with other like minded individuals. These styles were developed in parks, parties, clubs and cyphers .
Styles performed by Poppers
- Scarecrow / Toyman
Popping developed before the Hip Hop cultural movement and helped influence the traditional ways modern Hip Hop is perceived much like Locking. It has also influenced electronic dancing such as Voguing and Waacking.
Boogaloo also once known as “bug’n” is an older umbrella name of Funk dances originating in Oakland in California, that influenced both Locking and Popping. Boogaloo was inspired by cartoons and animations, emphasising a boneless, free movement image. It used several circular rolls known as “wormin”. These styles of movement were created by several people and some notable individuals. One of these people was a man named Jerry Rentie, another man who created a seperate way of moving called “wriggling” was Donald “Duck” Matthews. These men were some of the first innovators of Street Dance and without them modern styles such as Locking and Popping wouldn’t exist and quite possibly the rest of styles influenced from boogaloo styles wouldn’t exist or would look or be danced different.
New Jack Swing also known as Hype is a style originating in the late 1980’s to the mid 1990’s. The dance is a culmination of party dances created to move to the music developed and named by Teddy Riley and Bernard Belle. The music was groundbreaking at the time, fusing R&B vocals over Hip Hop and Pop instrumentals. Giving the name New Jack Swing because of swing drum beats. This was the first time the genres were fused and paved the way for later Hip Hop and Pop sounds.
The first New Jack Swing track was by two individuals, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis cumulatively named “Full Force” and the track was “Alice, I want you just for me”. After their success they went on to produce music for Janet Jackson. Other notable New Jack Swing Artists are :
Some New Jack Swing Artists
- Keith Sweat
- Johnny Kemp
- Bobby Brown
- Panda Abdul
- Doug E Fresh
- New Edition
- Big Daddy Kane
- Heavy D and the boys
- Michael Jackson
- MC Hammer
New Jack as a dance was primarily used for partying and performance, often being seen in music videos. Its characterised by its high energy, vibrant fashion, movements are dynamic and varied in apparence.
Quite often New Jack Swing/Hype dance is referred to as “Old school Hip Hop”. This term is debatable as New Jack Swing is a fusion of Hip Hop and R&B. It draws influences from older Hip Hop and Funk styles. Bboying / Bgirling is the original Hip Hop dance as it is one of the four elements that came from the Hip Hop cultural movement of New York in the late 70’s.
New Jack Swing is a fun, upbeat take on the evolution of the music of Hip Hop and R&B. The dance represents the fun elements of both genres. Find below a video of us doing New Jack Swing in the studio :
Locking began in the 1960’s, founded by Don Campbell. The dance was originally named the Campbell Lock after him. Locking is a funk style of dance which includes fast switching dynamics and precise arm movements, characterised by its locks freezes and relaxed grooves. Hence “Locking” in a freeze. Locking is a performance dance but is now used as freestyle and battle dance. Locking is danced to traditional funk music such as James brown. In the 1970’s several other individuals set off the locking movement. Among the most famous were :
The Campbell Lockers
- Toni “Mickey” Basil,
- Fred “Mr Penguin” Berry
- Greg “Campell-lock Jr” Pope
- Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones
- Biu “Slim Mr Robot” Williams
- Leo “Fluky Luke” Williamson
- Anthony “Tony Gogo” Foster
Other individuals such Jimmy “Scoo B Doo” Foster and Damita Jo Freeman helped with the foundation and stye of the dance.
Later Locking often became associated with the growing Hip-Hop culture and has influenced styles such as Popping and B-boying.
Locking is still a popular dance across the world with competitions as big as Juste Debout. Find below a video of us doing Locking in the studio :