The dancestyles that made me
Here you can find information about the dance styles that I consider my tools, in order to express myself freely on stage.
These styles are learned in craftsmanship. The type forms within these crafts we call our foundation and they incorporate the approach, attitude ideas and the general forms.
To understand those dances fully takes years of studying. Each style has its own particular philosophy, background and history. They all have a fundamental vocabulary that is taught worldwide.
Part of the education is to change those forms in a way that its new appearances can still be understood by its community. To be individual within a poetic body language is the goal. Copying a new or personal idea or move is unacceptable and if one does so he is called a „Biter“. On the other hand if someone does something new and it is appealing it´s „Fresh“.
Popping is a dance that was created by „Boogaloo Sam“ from Fresno in California. He used to say: „Pop, Pop, Pop…“ while doing the dance, so him and his friends gave it the term. People often refer to the pop as a technique of flexing your muscles rythmically to the music. Doing it the right way, one creates a mechanical or an electric impulsive effect.
In todays dance world, there are many different dance styles that fall under the category of popping as they all use the pop as the most significant additive.
The anatomy of a „POP“
I usually explain the pop itself as a „counter“ movement that is executed very small, strong and precise. Basically one moves very little into the opposite direction one wants to move to. It creates a mechanical effect. The smaller this counter movement is done, the more it becomes the pop itself.
For more informations:
B-boying is a popular style of urban dance that was created and developed as part of hip-hop culture among African Americans and, later, among Latino youths in New York City. The dance consists of four primary elements: toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes/suicides. It is danced to both hip hop and other genres of music that are often remixed to prolong the musical breaks. The musical selection for b-boying is not restricted to hip-hop music, as long as the tempo and beat pattern conditions are met. A practitioner of this dance is called a b-boy, b-girl, or breaker. These dancers often participate in battles, formal or informal dance competitions between two individuals or two crews. Although the term breakdance“ is frequently used, „b-boying“ and „breaking“ are preferred by the majority of the art form’s pioneers and most notable practitioners.
Though widespread, the term „breakdancing“ is looked down upon by those immersed in hip-hop culture. „Breakdancer“ may even be used disparagingly to refer to those who learned the dance for personal gain rather than commitment to hip-hop culture. The terms ‚b-boys‘, ‚b-girls‘, and ‚breakers‘ are the preferred terms to use to describe the dancers. B-Boy London of New York City Breakers and filmmaker Michael Holman refer to these dancers as “breakers”. Frosty Freeze of Rock Steady Crew says, “we were known as bboys”, and hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa says, “b-boys, [are] what you call break boys… or b-girls, what you call break girls.” In addition, Santiago „Jo Jo“ Torres (co-founder of Rock Steady Crew) and Mr. Freeze of Rock Steady Crew and hip-hop historian Fab 5 Freddy use the term “b-boy”, as do rappers Big Daddy Kane and Tech N9ne when referring to the dancers.
The dance itself is properly called „breaking“ according to rappers such as KRS-One, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC in the breaking documentary The Freshest Kids. Afrika Bambaataa, Fab 5 Freddy, Michael Holman, Frosty Freeze, and Jo Jo use the original term „b-boying“.
Purists consider „breakdancing“ an ignorant term invented by the media. Elements of breaking may be seen in other antecedent cultures prior to the 1970s, but it was not until the ’70s that breaking developed as a street dance style. Street corner DJs would take the rhythmic breakdown sections (or „breaks“) of dance records and loop them one after the other. This provided a rhythmic base for improvising and mixing and it allowed dancers to display their skills during the break. In a turn-based showcase of dance routines the winning side was determined by the dancer(s) who could outperform the other by displaying a set of more complicated and innovative moves while maintaining to hit specific beats of the break.
Locking is a dance created by Don Campbell in the early 1970s. It was getting famous around the USA through a television show called „Soul train“ on which Don performed.
The style is built around the party dances from that time like the watergate, the funky chicken, the robot shuffle, the funky broadway etc.
Don created the most significant moves to the dance, like the „Lock“, the „Uncle Sam Point“and the „Give yourself five“. After that a lot of other dancers also contributed by adding vocabulary and variety to the existing moves.
Later on, Don created a group that was called „The Lockers“. They are still the biggest reference for the dance today. It consisted of: Greg Campbellock Jr.Pope, Fred „Mr Penguin“ Berry, Slim the Robot, Fluky Luke, Shabba-Doo, Toni Basil and Don Campbell himself. Another big wave of Locking started, when the Soap „What´s happening“ came out, in which Fred „Mr Penguin“ Berry starred as „Rerun“and danced with the „Lockers“ inside the soap every now and then.
Other groups that were famous at that time were: „Go-Go brothers“, „Creative Generation“, “33RPM” and the “Ghetto Dancers” etc.
Today, Locking is one of the most established dance forms in urban culture. Its vocabulary has a very distinctive form and characteristics.
Here´s my little Locking story:
I first started with a derivitive of the original „Locking“ in the late 80´s. I guess what inspired me most were the „Magistics“ and a few others in the documentary „Breaking and entering“. Soon after I do remember copying moves from the „LA city rockers“ that danced in a few Janet Jackson videos at that time. Them and „Panda“, also starred in the movie „Body Rock“. Those were the only references we had at that time. Until then my approach was not really serious. In 89, Emilio „Side one“ Sgalambro from Genova joined „Battle Squad“. He got schooled by Calvin „Soul Boy“ Smith from London. We were the only two members in our crew who had an affinity to „Locking and Popping“. In 1991 I met Damon Frost from San Francisco, Anthony „T-Roots“and „Mark and Pat“ from London and the group „Out of Control“ all around the same time in Scandinavia. It was then, when my deep interest for „Locking“ started. It was via Damon Frost that I got to see the original „Lockers“ on video for the first time. In 1992 I moved to NYC for a while to dance in „Ghettoriginal dance company“. Here my Locking was further formed by „Charly Lock“, Adesola „D´incredible“ Osakalumi, and Steffan „Mr. Wiggles“ Clemente. this was until ´95. From´96 on my main influence came from Japan. Here I met Hiro Sakuma and Wild Cherry, who introduced me to Tony Go-Go. It was then, that I heard about how „Locking“ was developed and a lot of the stories on how moves were invented. In´98 I got to meet Fred „Mr Penguin“ Berry in London and NYC and got schooled by him. A few months later I met „Suga Pop“ and „Skeeter Rabbit“ from the „Electric Boogaloos“ for the first time, who helped me out with loads of my dancing. Then finally in late ´98 I met Don Campbell for the first time in NYC.
Until this day I consider myself a student of this art form. There are so many ways of communicating and Locking made a long journey around the world. Rhetorically speaking, if one wants to communicate through this dance form, then the best way is to learn the original way first. The way Campbell and his group performed the style, is what „Oxford English“ is to all the other vernaculars.
The most informative locking site on the net: