The Brief: The Pop and Lock is a combination of two funk dance moves from the 1960s and 1970s that remain popular in hip hop today.
The Pop is a funk dance move developed in the 1960s in Fresno, California by Boogaloo Sam that involves moving one’s limbs with both rigidity and flow. Locking is a style of funk dance developed in the 1960s by Don Campbell where someone freezes or “locks” their arm or hand in a position before moving again. Both dances were popularized in the 1970s. When combined, they are called the Pop and Lock.
Variations of the Pop and Lock have remained popular and evolved over time. Today, they can still be found on dance floors, YouTube, and TikTok. Popping and locking can be done with the lower or upper body and involve the flexing and retracting of muscles. They share similarities with the robot, waving (arm or body wave), the tut and ticking. There are many variations of the moves depending on time period, region, and dance style.
Popping & Locking Tutorials
These dance moves and how to fluidly combine them are demonstrated and explained in various video tutorials including these:
Pop, Lock & Drop It
Rapper Huey’s 2004 single “Pop, Lock & Drop It” invites dancers to pop and lock their hips, and then “drop it low” by quickly lowering themselves down towards the floor and then rising back up. This move is usually performed by women and is meant to highlight one’s backside.