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Break Dance
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Breakdance: Locking

Locking (originally Campbellocking) is a comical street dance style. It relies on perfect timing and frequent "locking" of limbs in time with the music. Locking dancers ("lockers") have a distinctive dress style, resembling clowns or mimes.


Locking can be traced down to one particular man, Don Campbell. In the late 1960s he put together several fad dances adding moves of his own (notably the "Lock") when performing. The resulting dance was called Campbellocking, which was later shortened to Locking. In the early 1970s Campbell formed the dance group The Lockers and set the foundation for locking dance and clothes style.

Later locking became part of the growing hip hop dance culture, and has influenced more recent styles such as popping, breakdancing and liquiding.


Locking is acted out in a clever, strutting way. To emphasize the comical nature of the dance, a locker should always be smiling. Other important stylistic features is waving of arms, pointing, walking stationary and grabbing and rotating the cap or hat.

The repertoire consists of a number of distinct, to a large degree fixed moves. Unlike most other street dances, altering or inventing moves is not a part of the culture.

  • Box split
    A semi-split done with one leg bent, which enables the dancer to get up again in one swift movement.

  • Hop kick
    A high, quick kick of one leg while standing straight on the other.

  • Lock
    Bending slightly forward with arms forming a circle downward, as if lifting a heavy object.

  • Scootbot
    Skipping while making the motion of an exaggerated step to the left or right.

  • Stomp the cockroach
    Going down on one knee, with the other leg pointing out to the side, then pounding the floor.

  • Scooby doo
    Taking a stationary forward step, then making a Lock

  • Scooby walk
    Walking forward, stopping and bending knees outward with each step

  • Stop-and-go
    Taking a step back and to the left/right, then forward again.

  • Whicha way
    Similar to the scootbot, with a more kicking motion and without the skip.

  • Wrist twirl
    Twirling wrists while moving arms up and down in pace.

  • Uncle Sam points
    A quick, extended pointing gesture, usually held for a few seconds for emphasis

Typical locking attire are tall, striped socks worn visibly with men's knickers. Suspenders in contrasting color are combined with a striped sweatshirt and finished off with an oversized cap, beret or hat.

An alternative is wearing general pre-World war II sports fashion such as flat caps, and woolen vests. Also, when done in a hip hop context lockers may be dressed in hip hop fashion.
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