Locking – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Dance Techniques Glossary

I. What is Locking?

Locking is a style of dance that originated in the 1970s as part of the funk and soul music scene. It is characterized by its distinctive movements, which involve sudden stops and freezes, as well as exaggerated arm and hand gestures. Locking is often performed to upbeat and funky music, and is known for its high energy and playful attitude.

Locking is often confused with popping, another popular street dance style. While both locking and popping originated in the same era and share some similarities, they are distinct styles with their own unique movements and techniques.

Locking is often performed in groups, with dancers taking turns showcasing their skills in a freestyle circle. It is a highly improvisational dance style, with dancers incorporating their own personal flair and creativity into their movements.

II. History of Locking

Locking was created by Don Campbell, also known as Don “Campbellock,” in the late 1960s. Campbell was inspired by the funky music of the time, as well as the energetic dance styles that were popular in the African American community. He developed locking as a way to express himself and connect with others through dance.

Locking quickly gained popularity in the 1970s, with dancers forming groups and competing in dance battles to showcase their skills. The dance style was featured in popular television shows and movies, helping to spread its influence and popularity to a wider audience.

Over the years, locking has continued to evolve and grow, with new generations of dancers adding their own twists and innovations to the style. Today, locking remains a vibrant and dynamic dance form that is celebrated around the world.

III. Basic Locking Techniques

There are several key techniques that are essential to mastering locking. These include:

– The Lock: The lock is a signature move in locking, where the dancer abruptly stops their movement and holds a pose, often with their arms and hands in a specific position. The lock is typically held for a brief moment before the dancer transitions into the next movement.

– Points: Points are another important element of locking, where the dancer extends their arms and legs in a sharp and angular manner, creating a striking visual effect. Points are often used to accentuate the rhythm and beat of the music.

– Wrist Rolls: Wrist rolls are a common locking move that involve rotating the wrists in a circular motion, creating a fluid and dynamic effect. Wrist rolls can be performed in various directions and speeds, adding a unique flair to the dancer’s movements.

IV. Advanced Locking Moves

In addition to the basic techniques, there are also a number of advanced locking moves that experienced dancers can incorporate into their routines. These include:

– Skeeter Rabbit: The Skeeter Rabbit is a complex locking move that involves rapid footwork and intricate arm movements. It requires a high level of coordination and timing to execute properly.

– Scooby Doo: The Scooby Doo is a locking move that involves twisting the body in a circular motion while maintaining a locked pose. It requires flexibility and control to perform smoothly.

– Stop and Go: The Stop and Go is a locking move that involves alternating between sudden stops and quick movements, creating a dynamic and engaging effect. It requires precision and timing to execute effectively.

V. Common Mistakes in Locking

While locking is a fun and expressive dance style, there are some common mistakes that dancers often make. These include:

– Lack of Timing: Timing is crucial in locking, as the movements are often synchronized with the music. Dancers who struggle with timing may find it difficult to create a cohesive and engaging routine.

– Stiff Movements: Locking is known for its fluid and dynamic movements, so dancers who perform with stiff or rigid movements may not fully capture the essence of the style.

– Overcomplicating Moves: Some dancers may try to incorporate too many complex moves into their routines, leading to a cluttered and confusing performance. It’s important to focus on mastering the basics before attempting more advanced techniques.

VI. Tips for Improving Locking Skills

To improve your locking skills, consider the following tips:

– Practice regularly: Like any dance style, locking requires practice and dedication to master. Set aside time each day to work on your technique and explore new moves.

– Watch videos: Watching videos of experienced locking dancers can help you learn new moves and gain inspiration for your own routines. Study their movements and try to incorporate some of their techniques into your own dancing.

– Take classes: Consider taking locking classes or workshops to learn from experienced instructors and connect with other dancers in the community. Classes can provide valuable feedback and guidance to help you improve your skills.

– Freestyle: Don’t be afraid to experiment and freestyle during practice sessions. Freestyling can help you develop your own unique style and improve your improvisational skills.

By following these tips and techniques, you can enhance your locking skills and become a more confident and expressive dancer. Locking is a dynamic and exciting dance style that offers endless opportunities for creativity and self-expression. So put on your favorite funky music, hit the dance floor, and let your locking skills shine!