Popping

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Popping is a street dance and one of the original funk styles that came from Fresno, California during the late 1960s–1970s. The dance is based on the technique of quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to cause a jerk in the dancer's body, referred to as a pop or a hit. This is done continuously to the rhythm of a song in combination with various movements and poses.[1]

Closely related illusory dance styles and techniques are often integrated into popping to create a more varied performance. These dance styles include the robot, waving and tutting. However, popping is distinct from breaking and locking, with which it is often confused. A popping dancer is commonly referred to as a popper.

As one of the earliest funk styles, popping is closely related to hip hop dancing. It is often performed in battles, where participants try to outperform each other in front of a crowd, giving room for improvisation and freestyle moves that are seldom seen in shows and performances, such as interaction with other dancers and spectators. Popping and related styles such as waving and tutting have also been incorporated into the electronica dance scene to some extent, influencing new styles such as liquid and digits and turfing.

Terminology[edit]

As stated earlier, popping has become an umbrella term for a group of closely related styles and techniques that have often been combined or danced together with popping, some of which are seldom seen outside of popping contexts.[2]

Characteristics[edit]

Popping is centered around the technique of popping, which means to quickly contract and relax muscles to create a jerking effect (a pop or hit) in the body. Popping can be concentrated to specific body parts, creating variants such as arm pops, leg pops, chest pops and neck pops.[3]

Music[edit]

Having its roots in the late 1970s funk era, popping is commonly danced to funk and disco music. Popular artists include Zapp, Dayton, Dazz Band and Cameo. During the 1980s, many poppers also utilized electro music, with artists such as Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Egyptian Lover and World Class Wrecking Crew. More mainstream hip hop music was also employed by poppers during the 1980s, including Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, Whodini and Run DMC. Today, it is common to see popping danced to more current music genres such as modern hip hop (often abstract/instrumental hip hop) and various forms of electronic dance music such as dubstep.

Songs that are generally favored have a straight and steady beat at around 90-120 beats per minute, a 4/4 time signature and a strong emphasis on the back beat, normally by a snare drum or a drum machine. The pops performed by the popper normally occur on every beat or on the distinct back beats. The popper can also choose to follow the music more freely such as by timing the pops to the rhythm of a melody or other rhythmic elements.

Variations[edit]

A street dancer doing the backslide or "moonwalk", a common move in the floating style often seen combined with popping.

Animation
A style and a technique where you imitate film characters being animated by stop motion. The technique of moving rigidly and jerky by tensing muscles and using techniques similar to strobing and the robot makes it appear as if the dancer has been animated frame by frame. Walt Disney was the first to use this term, referring to his character Steam Boat Willie’s motions as “the animation dance” in 1929. This style was heavily inspired by the dynamation films created by Ray Harryhausen, such as The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958).[3]

Boogaloo
Boogaloo or boog style is a loose and fluid dance style trying to give the impression of a body lacking bones, partly inspired by animated movies and cartoons. It utilizes circular rolls of various body parts, such as the hips, knees and head, as well as isolation and sectioning, like separating the rib cage from the hip. It also makes heavy use of angles and various steps and transitions to get from one spot to the next. It was developed in 1975 by Boogaloo Sam. In the original boogaloo you do not pop, but combined with popping it becomes the electric boogaloo, the signature style of The Electric Boogaloos (the dance crew).[1]

Tutting/King Tut
Inspired by the art of Ancient Egypt (the name derived from the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, colloquially known as "King Tut"), tutting exploits the body's ability to create geometric positions (such as boxes) and movements, predominantly with the use of right angles. It generally focuses on the arms and hands, and includes sub-styles such as finger tutting.[4]

Notable poppers[edit]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Electric Boogaloos. ""Funk Styles" History & Knowledge". Retrieved 2007-05-15. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ The popping category generally centers around the technique of popping, but much variation involving closely related styles is allowed.
  3. ^ a b Mr. Wiggles. "Move Lessons". Dance Lessons. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  4. ^ The Book of Dance 2012 - Page 129 1409322378 "Tutting was originally inspired by Egyptian hieroglyphics – the name is an abbreviation for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. A form of popping, tutting is all about creating right angles using the arms ..."
  5. ^ Full cast for Breakin' at IMDB. Accessed 2009-08-03.
  6. ^ "From street to stage, Korean B boys rise to the nation's pride" Archived 2007-08-19 at the Wayback Machine.. Yonhap news. Accessed 2009-08-03.
  7. ^ HanBooks |Over the Rainbow. Accessed 2009-08-03.
  8. ^ Henderson, April K. "Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora." In The Vinyl Ain't Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture, ed. by Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, 180–199. London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 200