The Roots of Locking are deep in the SOCIAL PARTY SCENE which was affected by the civil rights movement. These were originally simply called party dances, They existed throughout the 1960s & early 1970s.These were some of the dances that were featured in the social party style seen on the TV dance show “SOUL TRAIN”
The Lock move itself... Was created by Don Campbell as he attempted to do some of the Party dances “The Robot Shuffle” or “The Funky Chicken” (Video seen on the Soul Train Page) His flavor or style of freezing was termed as Locks, But there were other moves , steps, gesture & stunts that were in existence before Don put his locking flavor on them & before other original generation pioneers added their signature moves to the foundation of the dance style.
Don Campbell along with others instituted these dances into his unique Locking flavor. Combining them with gestures & floor moves , The original dances done in these parties & clubs became social party dances , and were popular during the 60s and early 70s.These were the basis or foundation by which the Original Pioneers bagan to build the many steps of Locking on
Like many other terms adapted by this new generation today these dances are sometimes referred to as “Soul Dances”.. However, The Term Soul Dances refer to the feel or music that existed within the 1960s Dance scene and Its movement
We refer to these as SOCIAL PARTY DANCES, not “Soul” Dances
Why ? because their initial inception was to be done socially , by couples and on a Dance floor in a Social or party setting. It”s first involvement was not as performance or competitive dances , but Socially were they were used as a social rhythmic language between couples to express social conscious music , Like all dances these dances was later also used in a competitive nature in couples dance contest, another reason that these are referred to as Social Party dance are because of there connection to Social conscious music of the times. the dances and its music, were inspired by a connection to social the issues, of the 1960s & the civil Rights movement. These issues were also sung about in social conscious music & connected to the bigger SOCIAL movement of the 1960s era..
Social or Party dancing involves sharing by leading and following a partner, many of these dances inspired songs to be written with their names (see below)
We at Lockerlegends began to teach these Social Party dances and steps as a workshop class in Stockholm Sweden in 2005. because we saw the need to teach and explain their connection as the root within many known Locking steps, for instance:
The “Funky Chicken” & (The Robot Shuffle) Known to be in the foundational dances which inspired Don Campbell himself to create the Lock Move and The Locking style of Dance itself
“The breakdown” is the base move for the locking move called the sneak or seek ,its also the base for the “stop n Go or the Quicky. The Rock steady party dance has the wrist roll & locking hip movement within its base,
The Jerk is foundational to any hits or chest flexing found in Locking & Popping.
“The James Brown” as a Dance style & the floor moves are inspirational ,to all floor moves used later in Streetdances
The Party is very the foundation of the Locking creation, Not the performance or Battle. From the party evolved into a Performance , And from those two todays a competitive scene developed..
Today many people learn the moves & gestures of locking but never learn the DANCE
This is why we introduced these dances into todays workshops and now there are many who have followed our lead and teaching,what they call Soul Dance classes, but most have never experienced them in a Social Party atmosphere and are unaware of their historical significance, so as we say “educate B4U recreate” and that includes teaching & workshops, Don’t just see it and imitate it.and teach your imitation for profit.. THAT IS CALLED EXPLOITATION… Learn it right..
AND LEARN TO TEACH HOW & WHY they influenced & became part of Locking Listed below are The Social Party Soul Dances which existed through the 1960s & early 70s which can be found in the roots of Locking.. Learning to dance the dance of Locking ,within the music & understanding the feeling of the era is where one can develop Funk & soul,,The dances as originally done or sung about were instituted into the Locking styles & could be done in different manners, here we show the foundation of where they came from, from there every party had their renditions of these dances inspired by these songs.. James Brown in the Video below demonstrates some of the steps below that helped into the party dance scene
NOTE : This video was made in the early 1970s after soul train and the dances of Locking and Roboting became popular,James here does not just demonstrate dances he made popular, but also does dances like the Funky Chicken, where he does a knee drop, and also in this video James wrongly introduces his version of Locking or Campbellocking as “The Soul Train”, This shows that for most outside of the original Los Angeles Movement, Locking was first seen nationally in the US in the early to mid 1970s & made famous, when seen on the show “Soul Train”Even the early East coast dance scene was affected by the early Soul Train movement as illustrated in the Movie “Crooklyn” produced by Spike Lee about early 1970s life in Brooklyn New York.
1960s The lyrics in the song by James Brown “There was a Time” (I used to dance), tells about the early Party dances that influenced the entire dance scene in the early 1960s. many of these dances including the splits & alligator floor moves went on to inspire other dances including Locking & great dancers such as Michael Jackson
The camel walk
The “James Brown” His personal creative combination of all of the above became known as the James Brown, his style along with splits & stunts were imitated in every party scene
The Jerk... the Jerk had already spawned a craze even before James Brown sung about it. It is also very basic flexing move that can be found in many of the Locking & popping hits of today , below is the inspirational song for the Jerk Dance
These 4 party dances & 1 Dance style ( “The James Brown” ) are foundational to inspiration of early street dances, Two first two were dances (The Jerk & The Twist) were done in the very early 1960s, and were dance crazes on their own and sung about by other artist Like Chubby Checker, The mash potatoes was late 1950s and became a craze on the party scene of the 1960″s, The Boogaloo was early to mid 1960’s and was a party dance which inspired the creation of the popping style called “Boogaloo” By Boogaloo Sam
All of these dances evolved into James Browns creative style along with is floor moves ,spins & splits, throughout the mid to late 1960’s many party dancers imitated “James Browns style , Just as they did Michael Jacksons style through out the 80s & 90s this shows how dances
OTHER SOCIAL PARTY DANCES IN THE 1960s
(some were connected to songs others were just dances)
The Twist… song “lets twist” by Chubby Checker sparked an early dance craze in the late 1950s early 1960s, the twist is a very basic twisting movement found throughout later many dances
The Shotgun... connected to the song “Shotgun” by Junior Walker & the all stars, notice this song inspired a shotgun step , within the already Jerk craze in 1966
The LA Stomp... The original Party step, was created in the late 1960s, and was a kinda mixture of the mash potatoes with a stomp move and was very popular in the Los Angeles Hoods done to a song called “Burning Spear, today their is a line dance by the same name ,not to be confused with the original step.
The African Twist… a mid 1960s social party dance , very similar to the later snake party dance
The Pearl... a mid 1960s social party dance done by dipping the hips and tilting the legs one at a time inward, sometimes couple would say they were freaking the dance by throwing their arm up ,while doing the step
The Hitchhike… connected to the song by Marvin Gaye “Hitch Hike baby” although this song was not about the dance, The song inspired the dance which imitated Hitch Hiking that the song sung about, that step was later done Locking Style in the early 1970s
The Tighten up… connected to the song “do the tighten up 1968” by Archie Bell and the Drells
The Temptation walk... was made famose by the Motown Singing group THE TEMPTATIONS and imitated on the social party scene in the mid 1960s
The Texas Hop... on the west coast during the 1950s & 60s The texas hop was an creative social party coupls dance , much on the order of the Lyndy hop dance, but it could be done to slow or fast music .with each dancer exhibiting creative footwork in between the Hops. The dance was inspired in the late 1950s by the music entitled “Texas Hop”
The Four Corners
The push & Pull… connected to the song “The push & Pull by Rufus Thomas , who also created a string of songs connected to Street & Party dances of the late 1960″s early 1970s
The 70s social Party scene, was very much connected to The Social Conscious & Funk music ,developing out of the soul music of the 1960s, Social conscious events ,inspiring the african american movement Like the Watts Staxx concert in 1972, nationally introduced other Social Party Dances , and was the first filmed national exsposuer of Locking, some of these dances were connected to songs sung at this event.
The Breakdown... Song by Rufus Thomas (Performed in the 1972 Watts Staxx Video)
The Funky Chicken.… Song by Rufus Thomas (Performed in the 1972 Watts Staxx Video)
The funky Penguin... Song By Rufus Thomas
The Rock Steady… song “Rock Steady Baby”by Aretha Franklyn was not sung at the Watts Staxx event , but the dance was done there and you can see the connection between the body rock and the writ rolls of Locking
Walking the dog.. by Ruffus Thomas , the song was made because of the party dance move, Its obvious that nobody in this Video, knew how to walk the Dog, by sitting down rotating your hips with an imaginary leash out front
The Bump.. a social party dance, done by couples , songs like bump no more by Jimmie Caster, help inspire this step, seen done below in a 1970s club setting to James brown “Pay Back”
The Monkey: a dance marked by the song monkey time. today its title may not be considered politically correct , however it was popular on the party scene in the wryly 1960s and was don by bending the knees into a flex and extending both arms out front and alternating them in a jerking motion up and down with clinched fist
Many claim that the Dance “the watergate” was influential to their groove of locking however that dance was named after the watergate political scandal of 1964 and although it was influential to those entering the locking scene post that scandal it was not influential on the original grooves.
Note:Within both the social Party & the performance are the elements of competition, this is where the competitive concept of the battle grew into Locking See “Locking Competition & Streetstyle Locking Battles”