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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 dancermasters.com for their videos), Mr. Wiggles have his “Practice Sessions” (go to Mrwiggleshiphop.net for his practice sessions), Popin Pete have his “Instructional video” tapes (go to Electricboogaloos.com 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.