About Locking (Hip Hop) Dance
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Locking is a street dance form that started in 1960’s in America by Don Campbell. This particular dance where one freezes from a fast movement and locks in a certain position, holding that position for some time and then continues with the same speed as before, help gain popularity to the name ‘locking’. The dancer who performs locking is popularly known as a locker. The lockers used to wear striped socks, pegged pants, colorful shirts, big hats and white gloves while dancing. The choice of costume is to emphasize on happy-go-lucky energetic attitude that locking exudes. Locking is a funky, soulful, exciting and fun to watch dance form.


Locking is mainly performed in upright position with fast and distinct arm and hand movements with relaxed lower half body that requires distinct pauses/stops in the movements. The movements are performed quickly, contrasted with freezes in the splits or locks and they are tightly coupled with the music. Locking also comprises of difficult acrobatic moves like splits and landing on knees while dancing. Some of the signature steps in locking are Alpha, pacing, stop and go, pimp walk, floor sweep and knee drop.

Don Campbell first introduced the move “lock” upon which “Campbellocking” dance style was formed which later came to be known as “locking”. The history of locking is quite interesting in itself. Don Campbell could not do a move called “The Robot Sweep” and always stopped at a particular point while moving his arms. The stopping of arms suddenly created a locking effect. People started liking these halts and it became popular day by day. The result was a new dance style called “Campbellocking”, later “locking”. Don Campbell later formed his own dance crew popularly known as “Lockers”. He along with his crew introduced various new freezes and unique gestures like points, handclaps, pacing, splits, whichaways, scoo bots, Scooby doos etc.

Locking & Popping

There are a number of lock steps which are often combined with popping. In fact locking is often thought to have inspired popping. When a pop and lock are used together, a dancer isolates a muscle movement with a hard hit. This movement then may be locked or frozen for few seconds, based on beats in the music. Popping is more of a serious dance form whereas locking is more fun, celebratory and playful. 

Image Credits: thelockersdance.com, in.pinterest.com/marystreet568