THE ART OF EXPRESSION "LOCKING"
Locking was created around the late 60s/early 70s by Don Campbell. It stemmed from the different soul dances of that era. The TV show, “Soul Train” featured dancers that did social dances like the Breakdown, Rocksteady, Funky Chicken, etc. The “Lock” was actually created by accident. Don was trying to do the Funky Chicken/Robot Shuffle and ended locking up his arms a certain way as he was trying doing the move. When he did this, people would keep telling him to “Do that lock, Campbell!”, and thus the Campbell Lock was born.
From there other moves were incorporated into locking such as Points, Paces, Hi Fives (mainly from the simple gesture of pointing at someone, or giving someone) and/or yourself Hi five. Other dancers incorporated footwork based steps such as the Scooby Doo, Skeeter Rabbit, and Stop & Go, among many others. Stunts such as Air Splits, Knee Drops, Dives, also were brought into locking (some inspired by Nicholas Brothers and other tap dancers during the jazz era). Don’s group, The Campbell Lockers (later to be renamed The Lockers) became world famous and appeared on such shows as the Carol Burnett Show, Johnny Carson, Dick Van Dyke. This style is super funky and has a lot of character.
What is Locking ?
Locking 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 fast and distinct arm and hand movements combined with more relaxed hips and legs.
A dancer who performs locking is called a locker. Lockers commonly use a distinctive dress style, such as colorful clothing with stripes and suspenders.
Don and his partner, Damita Jo Freeman toured with the Soul Train Gang. Shortly after, Don comprised a group of improvisational solo style locking dancers (Each dancer would step out do his solo and step back in line) keeping time in the background was the only source of synchronized dancing this group of solo artist did. They were comprised of Don Campbell, Fred “Mr. Penguin” Berry, Charles Robot, Slim Robot and Sambo Lock. They were called The “ Campbellock Dancers“.
During that era & time, Greg Campbell Jr. Pope “Scooby doo” Foster, “, along with the GoGo ,YoYo CoCo brothers Family of Tony and Buddy Go-Go and Skeeter Rabbit, Arnetta Johnson . Kevin “yoYo” Lombard. sometimes parting with Leo “Fluky Luke” Williamson & Fred Berry at house parties, high schools , picniks and social events creating steps that were performed in unison. A movement towards group dancing was taking place in Watts,Compton & South Central, Los Angeles.and then continued interacting with other street dancers Like Greg “Captain Crunch” Dandridge & Steve “Sinbad Crane” This was evolution of the STREET MOVEMENT OF LOCKING.
In 1972 The Go-Go brothers (Tony and Buddy along with the Original Skeeter Rabbitt & Kevin YoYo ) combined to form the first synchronized locking dance group; performing skits and routines in both large arenas as well as small high school functions.
In late 1972, early 1973 Scooby Doo and Greg Campbellock Jr. combined with the Go- Go Brothers (Tony & Buddy), Skeeter Rabbitt (OG) and with female lockers Arnetta Johnson, Lorna Dune & Shelly Cepeda formed the first unisex Locking group called, “Creative Generation“. This group studied dance, taught, performed and toured as members of the Legendary Watts Writers Workshop.
Later that summer,Is when Don Campbell along with Toni Basil organized and introduced the group, “THE LOCKERS”( originally named the campbellock dancers after Don Campbell’s first group).
The Lockers (originally named The Campbell Lockers) were a dance group formed by Toni Basil and Don "Campbellock" Campbell in 1971. Active throughout the 1970s, they were pioneers of street dance. Don Campbell is the founder of the locking dance style, and originally, Locking was called The Campbellock - a style that was based on the dance and song that Don Campbell created. Toni Basil met Campbell at a club in 1971 and together they formed The Lockers as a dance group. Toni Basil also served as The Lockers' manager, and was responsible for staging the act.