Roboting – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dance Styles Glossary

I. What is Roboting?

Roboting is a style of dance that originated in the 1970s in the United States. It is characterized by rigid, mechanical movements that mimic the motions of a robot. Dancers often incorporate popping, locking, and waving techniques into their routines to create the illusion of being a robot. Roboting requires precise control over one’s body movements and a keen sense of rhythm to execute the robotic motions effectively.

II. Origins of Roboting

Roboting first gained popularity in the underground dance scene in the streets of Los Angeles and New York City. It was influenced by the emerging hip-hop culture and the rise of electronic music. Dancers would gather in clubs, street corners, and dance battles to showcase their robotic moves and compete against each other.

One of the pioneers of roboting is Charles “Robot” Washington, who is credited with popularizing the dance style in the 1970s. His robotic movements and intricate footwork inspired a new generation of dancers to explore the possibilities of robotic dance.

III. Characteristics of Roboting

Roboting is characterized by its mechanical, robotic movements that imitate the motions of a robot. Dancers often isolate different parts of their body, such as their arms, legs, and torso, to create the illusion of being a machine. The movements are sharp, precise, and controlled, with an emphasis on rhythm and timing.

One of the key elements of roboting is popping, which involves contracting and releasing the muscles to create a popping or snapping effect. Locking is another important aspect of roboting, which involves freezing in a specific position before transitioning to the next movement. Waving is also commonly used in roboting, which involves creating a wave-like motion with the arms and body.

IV. Popular Roboting Moves

Some of the most popular roboting moves include the robot walk, the robot wave, the robot glide, and the robot spin. The robot walk involves moving in a stiff, mechanical manner, as if one is walking like a robot. The robot wave is a fluid motion that creates the illusion of waves traveling through the body. The robot glide involves gliding across the floor with smooth, robotic movements. The robot spin is a spinning motion that mimics the rotation of a robot’s head.

Dancers often combine these moves with popping, locking, and waving techniques to create intricate and visually captivating routines. The key to mastering roboting is to have precise control over one’s body movements and to execute the robotic motions with fluidity and grace.

V. Influence of Roboting on Dance Culture

Roboting has had a significant influence on dance culture, inspiring new dance styles and movements that incorporate robotic elements. The precision and control required for roboting have been integrated into other dance styles, such as popping, locking, and waving. Dancers have incorporated robotic movements into their routines to add a unique and futuristic flair to their performances.

Roboting has also influenced the music industry, with artists incorporating robotic dance moves into their music videos and live performances. The visual appeal of roboting has captivated audiences around the world, leading to a resurgence of interest in the dance style.

VI. Roboting in Popular Media

Roboting has been featured in popular media, including movies, television shows, and music videos. One of the most iconic examples of roboting in popular media is the dance scene from the movie “Breakin'” (1984), where dancers showcase their robotic moves in a dance battle. The movie helped popularize roboting and bring it to a wider audience.

Roboting has also been featured in music videos by artists such as Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Daft Punk. These artists have incorporated robotic dance moves into their performances to create visually stunning and memorable routines. The influence of roboting can be seen in contemporary dance styles and choreography, with dancers continuing to push the boundaries of what is possible with robotic movements.