Locking (originally Campbellocking) is a style of funk dance, which is today also associated with hip hop. The name is based on the concept of locking movements, which basically means freezing from a fast movement and "locking" in a certain position, holding that position for a short while and then continuing in the same speed as before. It relies on the fast and distinct arm and hand movements combined with more relaxed hips and legs. The movements are generally large and exaggerated, and often very rhythmic and tightly synced with the music. Locking is quite performance-oriented, often interacting with the audience by smiling or giving them a high five, and some moves are quite comical in nature. A dancer who performs locking is called a locker. Lockers commonly use a distinctive dress style, such as colourful clothing with stripes and suspenders.

Locking was originally danced to traditional funk music, such as that produced or performed by James Brown. Funk music is still commonly favored by locking dancers and used by many competitions such as the locking division of Juste Debout. Locking movements create a strong contrast towards the many fast moves that are otherwise performed quite continuously, combined with mime style performance and acting towards the audience and other dancers. Locking includes quite a lot of acrobatics and physically demanding moves, such as landing on one's knees and the split. These moves often require knee protection of the sort.


The beginning of Locking can be traced to one man, Don Campbell. In the late 1960s he put together several fad dances adding moves of his own (known as the "Lock") when performing. The original lock was created by accident: Don Campbell couldn't do a move called the 'The Funky Chicken' and stopped at a particular point whilst moving his arms, creating a 'locking' effect. He wasn't able to perform it fluently, for he couldn't remember which step to take next. (Even the acting towards the audience was spontaneous: when people started laughing at Don because of his unfamiliar moves, he responded by pointing at them.) These halts soon became popular as Don added them into his performances. The resulting dance was called Campbellocking, which was later shortened to Locking. In the early 1970s this set off a movement of Locking dance groups, notably Campbell's group The Lockers. Another locker called Jimmy "Scoo B Doo" Foster and Greggory 'Campbellock Jr.' Pope and others set the foundation for locking dance and clothes style.

Clothes style can consist of loud striped socks, pegged pants that stopped at the knees, bright colorful satin shirts with big collars, big colorful bow ties, gigantic Apple Boy hats, and white gloves.

Later locking became part of the growing hip hop dance culture, and has influenced styles such as popping, B-boying and liquidizing. Locking is still quite popular. Dancers are trying to keep it alive.


Locking may be done in solo or in unison with two or more dancers doing steps or handshakes together. A locker may smile while performing to emphasize the comical nature of the dance; other times, a serious demeanor will be maintained to place emphasis on technique. Other important stylistic features are waving of arms, pointing, walking stationary and grabbing and rotating the cap or hat. Don Campbell created the original freezes, incorporating his unique rhythm and adding gestures such as points and handclaps. Other dancers also adapted this style while creating other steps and moves.

Locking is by nature an improvisational dance, but also consists of a set of signature moves of locking pioneers, such as Hilty and Bosch, Jackson 5, GoGo Brothers, Bitterbox Sisters, e.t.c. However, many lockers alter or blend these with other moves or create their own variations. In general The Lockers will often put a small pause and move up on the second and fourth beats to emphasize the locking.


Created by Alpha Anderson; One leg is kicked forward from a crouching position while the upper body is leaned backwards can be supported by both hands or no hands at all.

Break down/RocksteadyEdit

in the squatting position, shift the pelvis to the side, then back to center and stand up then down and shift to the other side.

Jazz splitEdit

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


Altering twirl kicks to the sides first with either right and left legs, upper body stationary with arms in front.


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

Knee DropEdit

Drop to the knees with knees pointing inwards (into afuck to pus W shape leg position).

Leo WalkEdit

A funky two step where the first is an exaggerated step in a particular direction, followed by sliding of the second foot along the floor to meet the first.

Lock/Double LockEdit

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

Up Lock (Muscleman)Edit

Bending arms upwards, like the look of a strong man, and holding for a moment or two.


A quick punch to the side then down, with hand starting just below the shoulder. (Fist should still be open.)

Pimp WalkEdit

You kick then put your feet in a shoulder width V shape, but hands stay beside the dancer.

Stop and GoEdit

Created by Jimmy "Scoo B Doo" Foster; starting with a muscle man lock, step back with one foot and punch, do a quarter turn in the direction of the back foot breakdown once, and then return reach-around to the same position.

Stomp the cockroachEdit

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

Scoo B DooEdit

Created by Jimmy "Scoo B Doo" Foster; doing a muscle man lock then doing two separate kicks while pacing with one hand in time with the kicks

Scoo B Doo walkEdit

Created by Jimmy "Scoo B Doo" Foster; Walking forward, lifting leg up and bending your back towards the knee


Created by Jimmy "Scoo B Doo" Foster; One arm and leg out then switching to the other leg. Leg out and arms crossed then wrist twirl andclap behind

Scoobot hopEdit

Slightly varied from scoobot with legs hopping towards the sides then the front.

Floor SweepEdit

Using your hand to swiftly move left to right on the floor, as if using a cloth to wipe.

The Skeeter Rabbit/Skeeter Rabbit Around the WorldEdit

Created by James "Skeeter Rabbit" Higgins; a kick and shuffle hop move, either at the sides and/or front and back.

Funky GuitarEdit

Hands positioned as if holding a guitar, and start walking backwards.


A quick, extended pointing gesture coming from opposite shoulder, usually held for a few seconds for emphasis.

Wrist TwirlEdit

Twirling wrists while moving arms up

The SeekEdit

Doing a breakdown whilst rolling your arms in front of you and then lifting a hand up over your eyes as if you are looking/seeking for something

Hitch HikeEdit

Arms up and then crossed in front of you, and then three hitchhiker thumbs up to the right and then the left.


See AlsoEdit

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