Home Origins Pictures Learn

Locking Dance

Welcome to the site all about locking! Locking is a super funky dance style that was invented in the late 60s and became known in the mainstream in the 70s with shows such as Soul Train with Don Cornelius.

Why Locking?

Locking is fine, it is funky, it's soulful, it's exciting and it's fun! Is that enough reasons???

Have you seen lockers when they're dancing and they look like they're having so much fun? That's because they are - and who wouldn't want to join them?

Important Mentions

You can read more about this in the locking dance origins page but for now, let's say a big thank you to Don Campbell, The Lockers and all other locking dancers who helped create the style and many of the steps associated with it. We pay our respects now and thank you for creating this wonderful and sublime style of dancing!

What is locking?

A funk style of dance, which consists of locks or freezes in the motion while dancing. Movements are usually fast and precise, combined with looser and more relaxed parts of the body which help with grooves. Oh yeah, and having lots of fun, improvising and often stripy socks and crazy costumes.

Examples of moves

Points, slaps, pacing, splits, whichaways, scoo bots, scooby doos, etc, etc.

Is locking still done today?

Yes! Though expect most lockers to call themselves lockers, so a hip-hop troupe or breakin' crew probably won't have much lockin'. Look for lockers!

So what is the difference between hip-hop and locking?

Well locking can loosely be defined under hip hop dance. Most people when talking about hip-hop dance are referring to the hip hop routines and crews you see on shows such as America's Best Dance Crew though.

And popping and locking?

They are different dance styles. Watch some videos to learn, there are no contractions and relaxation of the muscles in locking. This is popping technique.

Similarly there are no whichaways in popping (at least not up to now). However there are dancers that combine locking and popping in one performance, usually in separate segments.

If you are unsure go over to YouTube and watch some videos of the Electric Boogaloos and then some videos of The Lockers and tell me that they look the same. (I hope you won't).

The Soul Train Gang

Members of The Lockers were part of the Soul Train Gang and can be frequently seen dancing in the performances of the show's guests. There were also many other prominent dancers of the time such as Jimmy 'Scooby Doo' Foster and Damita Jo Freeman. Try and find a Soul Train dancing clip where there isn't any locking going on!