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What is Popping Dance? It's the Craziest Dance Style Ever

Updated on April 25, 2013
Looks pretty cool, doesn't it?
Looks pretty cool, doesn't it?

Welcome to the World of Popping Dance Style

"Woahh what kind of dance is that? That was intense, man!"

-Typical response poppers get when someone sees it for the first time.

Dear Visitor,

If your quest is to find out what popping is, its characteristics, or hell, maybe even how to pop(not as hard as it looks).. rest assured that you are on the right track. First of all, a briefing on its origin and terminology is in order.

Popping dance style is a unique type of street dancing that originated in 1970s California as one of first off-shoots of funk style, making it related yet quite distinct from hip hop dancing. The art of pop dancing is both an important contribution to dance in general and a very significant influence on modern dancing. It's no wonder why because it can be absolutely spectacular to watch.

The term popping comes from the action of what defines the dance, or the action of doing a "pop", where muscles alternate between tensing and loosening up to create a jerk-like twitch that, when combined with exotic movements, resemble what a miming robot would do.

Regarding what it looks like, you've probably already seen elements of it at work on TV, in dance off(battle) scenes in movies such as Step-Up, by street performers, or maybe even at your local dance club. Or perhaps you've been amazed by the dubstep dance videos that are popular on youtube (which are mostly popping and its variations).

Needless to say, popping dance performances are highly engaging to the visual senses. One needs only to experience popping to be blown away by its illusions, which appear to defy the laws of gravity and push the limits of what is believed to be possible for the human body. (see video below)

Just a Taste of What Popping is. Amazing!

A popper busting some tutting moves.
A popper busting some tutting moves.

Characteristics of Modern Popping Dance Styles

The use of the body is extensive and unconventional in this style, consisting of pops in the arms, legs, chest, or neck. In this dance style style the performers known as poppers do the jerking movements or pops to go with the beat and other elements in a song and mix in techniques from other styles such as the robot, waving, tutting, and liquid to create highly captivating shows. They even interact with the crowd with movements that involve spectators more directly than other dance styles, including the use of facial expressions. Its high entertainment value is derived from its reality bending look with different methods such as miming, strobing, time distortion, and boogaloo where it seems as if the performer has rubber limbs.

It is commonly mixed up with break dancing, but those who learn to pop dance will notice that it centers on standing up and the whole body, where some of the special moves focus on creating a distinct effect whether with rapid ticking movements that look like stop-motion or liquid where everything is smooth, mesmerizing, and fluid.


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      Shravya vaidya 13 months ago

      I love popping dance but I don't know from where to start... Please help me

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      sameer saif 3 years ago

      i m love did dance show very much

    • profile image

      sameer saif 3 years ago

      i m love so much dance