Category Archives: Popping

The Popping Dictionary

The Popping Dictionary

Popping (a funk style) refers to the sudden contraction and retraction of muscles.

Tutting: Using your body to create geometric movements and positions mainly with the use of right angles. The main focus of this style is on the hands and arms

Strobing: An illusional style meant to mimic the way movement appears under a strobe light. This is performed by making fast/quick dimestops

Ticking: An illusional style of dance (often confused with Strobing). Ticking involves moving by hitting to the fastest part of the beat

Waving: A funk style dance that gives the illusion of a wave going through your body; the two types of waves are:[/b] arm waves and body waves

Boogaloo: A dance style that consists of various leg rolls, hip rolls, chest rolls, neck rolls, twisto-flexes, necko-flexes, master-flexes, walkouts, struts and angles

Strutting (aka Pimp Walk): A style performed with different arm angles and a series of steps

Puppet: Moving as if you were a puppet being guided by a puppet master

Dime Stopping: A sudden stop of movement without hitting/popping

Spiderman: Moving/jumping your hands around different parts of your torso, like spiders are moving on it

Popping 101 – Poppin for beginners

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Popping 101

This article is from my perspective about the art form known as Popping. Someone asked me, could I write a Popping 101 article some years ago. I’m now in the move to write a post regarding the introductory of Popping. Before I get started, it’s always best to get the lesson in person. If you can’t get the lesson in person, try buying a video that teaches Popping. Here are a few I know of as of writing this post: Chain Reaction’s have a “The Sevens level of Popping” videos (go to for their videos), Mr. Wiggles have his “Practice Sessions” (go to for his practice sessions), Popin Pete have his “Instructional video” tapes (go to for these videos).

Where do I start on the subject regarding the 101 of Popping? I believe that if you are going to learn Popping you should first start off learning the foundation of the dance. The foundation of Popping is Hitting (contraction/Flexing of the muscles).

Before you get into doing any of the other things in Popping, focus a lot of time on learning hitting. I’m talking about delicate like three to four months just on Hitting. Once you see your Hitting evolving, then move to hitting while you are moving around. I’m now going to start on hitting. What is hitting? Why is Hitting so important? Well, Popping is an animated looking dance. Hitting is what gives that animated look while you are Popping. Look at any experienced Popper, and think about what it is that make them stand out. It’s the Hitting, if you are a Popper you should be able to Hit clean and solid. The only way your Hitting is going to look clean and solid is from practicing hitting. You should always delicate time on practicing Hitting. Even when you evolved in Popping always practice the basic of this dance.

Here are the most common places that Poppers Hit at: Neck, Chest, Arms and Legs. I’m going to focus on these four hitting area in this article. I’m going to start with the most important area. The most important areas are the arms, this is the area you utilize the most. I’m going to talk about some of the combination that Poppers hit at, most of these combination have to do with the hitting styles that the Popper hit in or how the Popper learned Popping. Some Poppers only Hit at the arms, they focus their hitting on the arms and don’t use the other areas. Then you have the Poppers that focus on the arms and legs, they focus their hitting on two areas arms and legs. Then you have the Poppers that focus only on the arms, chest and neck. Then last but not least, you have Poppers that hit at all areas, but utilized the hitting based on how they are positioned on the Floor, or based on moves or the vibe of the music. Here is a example: Sometimes you might hit solid but hit a little powerful in your closure of your Performance. Some time you might hit a little hard to bring out a movement. It’s not about hitting very powerful all the time. It’s about hitting solid and clean.

Hitting at the arms: You want to be able to hit in varies position at your arms. The only way you are going to be able to do this is from practicing hitting in various positions. Lets’ stand still on these practice session regarding Hitting. This way you can focus on the basic of Hitting and nothing else. Let start the hitting in the left arm with 20 counts (make sure your left arm is extended in front of you). Bring your left arm down and then extend your right arm out in front of you. Move to the right arm and do 20 counts of hitting in the right arm. Now extend both of your arms out in front of you. Do 20 counts of hitting in both arms at the same time. Practice hitting with your arms at different levels, both of your arms extended out on the side of you (your arms in the air plane position). You want to practice hitting with both of your arms down by your side. You want to Practice hitting with your arms in different positions.

Hitting at the Chest: You want to hit using your chest muscles. Don’t push your chest out that is more of a Heart Beat move. When hitting at the chest place your arms on your side of you body. you want to practice hitting at the chest 20 times, then practice hitting the chest and arms together on 20 counts.

Hitting at the Legs: When hitting at the legs, it more of a snapping back at the knees. Hitting at the legs has a lot to do with how you are positioned on the dance floor. You want to practice Hitting at the knees on 20 counts, then practice doing it with the arms.

Hitting at the neck: When hitting at the neck, you are basic moving your head a little to the left or right then contract/flex your neck muscles. Most of the time people do this with a chest hit. Practice neck hitting on 20 counts, then practice it with the chest on 20 counts, then practice hitting at chest, neck and arms on 20 counts.

Now you are ready to do a basic shift from side to side with your hitting. Most people call this the Fresno. It’s a basic hitting style, you’re basically shifting your body to the left with your left arm extended then contract/flex your muscles at all the four areas (neck, chest, arms and legs). Then shift your whole body to the right with your right arm extended in front of you, then contract/flex your muscles at all the four areas. Continue to practicing hitting. Your hitting will get better over time. You will not become a Hit master over night. You can use ankles weight or arm weight to help you progress with your Hitting. That’s it for Popping 101; in Popping 102 I will write about moving around with your hitting and fully utilizing the dance floor.

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Popping 102 – Poppin for beginners

Made by Spacecapital

Popping 102

I would like to continue where we left off regarding Popping 101. In Popping 101 I wrote about one of the foundation of Popping (Hitting), and how to hit at the neck, chest, arms and legs with out moving around or dancing. Remember, the Fresno is like a basic hitting style. It’s pretty much what a lot of Poppers used to start off with their Popping.

I’m going to talk about hitting in transition with your Popping. I’m going to write about how to utilize the full dance floor while you are dancing. Here are some of the moves I will be talking about in this article: Twist-O-Flex, Side Step, Walk out, Walking in circle with a pivot and the general marching style. I’m going to write about how to utilize the full dance floor while you are dancing.

I will take this time to give a little information regarding these moves:

Twist-O-flex: This move is when you twist the top part of your body and the bottom will follow. This can be done in make different styles.

Side Step: When you step side way, here a little example: take your right leg and step cross your left leg and move your body to the left with a skip like motion. Your step side way with your right leg and then you skip back with your left leg. It looks like you are walking side way, and you hit while in the transition of the step.

Walk Out/step out: The walk out is similar to the side step but you are stepping forward on an angle. You also lean your body to the side of the leg you are walking with. So you take your left leg and cross the right leg as you lean your body to the left. Then you skip back with the right leg. You are doing a side step but you are stepping forward as you walk.

Walking in circle with a pivot: You hold the pivot with one leg and you walk around in a circle with the other leg. Here is a example: you are using your right leg as the pivot and you are walking around in a circle with your left leg. You can also go forward or backward with the walk.

ROTC marching style: You are basically marching with your walk. You look just like the ROTC or marching band. The only different is you are hitting as you are in the transition.

As you know in Popping 101 I wrote about the most common areas Poppers utilize while dancing. In Popping 102, I’m going to talk about hitting in transition. The first thing you want to do is develop your transition hitting. Lets’ start by doing a basic walk forward (this is very much little ROTC style marching), with the opposite arm extended with the right leg. As you walk keep-changing arms (make sure the opposite arm is out in front of you). So it goes like this, step forward, hit as you step, step forward with left leg, right arm extended in front of you and hit in the transition of the step. Then after so many steps you want to do a 90-degree flex, turn to you right and continue the transition (hitting as you walk forward).

After practicing this marching style walking and the different styles of flexes you want to practicing hitting with the side walk, so you can move side way. Hitting with the step out, so you can step out on an angle while you are moving side way. Sacin’ is basically another style of walking, it’s just bring a different walk type. Then last but not least is the Walking in circle with a pivot. What all these different walks/steps does is help you move from left to right, and forward and backward, and turn left or right and walk in circles.

You also want to consider the different angles that you can lean, and going from straight standing position to the bending over as you are hitting. Remember, What ever you do, try hitting in the transition when it comes to moving around as a Popper. You also can hit, hit, hit, then not hit to go into movements, or not hit just to change the way you look.

Another thing you can do is hit slow and then speed up your hitting (this have a great deal to do with the music). When you are dancing you want to think about moving to the right, left, forward, and backward. You also want to think about leaning, bending over while you are hitting (bending over forward), leaning to the side, and going in and out of ground moves. Don’t always hit standing in the up position.

You also can travel on the dance floor with side guide; forward guide, back slide, and S walk. There are moves like knee shifts (this is when you are on the ground resting on one leg then you change to the other leg. You also can go in circle with this move. You basically do a flex like movement to turn you around). Forward and backward knee guide (there are many different types). Try moving your arms in different position and levels as you are hitting. Sometimes you want to hit and just stop (this is called dime stopping), or while you are hitting you want to go into a pose. Play around a little and try to develop you own personal poses. You also can look at other poppers and learn some poses from them. It good doing this move to end your, can you imagine dancing as you walk of the floor and you go into a pose as you finish

These are not all the different movements you can do to get around on the dance floor, but they will help you move around. Take the time to learn the others and keep on practicing these moves. Take the time to really lean how to move with your dancing.

I like to have two type of practice sessions. One practice session is my technique practice session. This is the session I practice on technical aspect of Popping.

The second practice session is improvise practice session. I start off standing still just listening to the music. I stand there for a while just to let the music enter my body. Once I’m really feeling the music I start dancing. Try doing this with you eye close for a little while then open them. This is where you really learn how to interpret the music. In this second session don’t worry about wrong or right, just focus on the beat and how you want to dance to it.

Now I think I cover some of the ways to move in different directions while dancing. Once you learn how to move with your dancing you want to consider a hitting style. Look at different Popping video or Poppers in person and try different hitting styles.
Some Poppers only pop in one style while others pop in many. It’s up to you. You also can mix hitting styles (this is called freestyle hitting.)

Once you develop an hitting style start playing with the different moves like Waving, Cobra, Tutting, just to name a few. Then you want to move to the body effects moves like Animation, 3d/strobe, Ticking, just to name a few.

Make sure you practice with some music you enjoy Popping to, and always remember to “Pop what cha got”.