How to Body Pop (hip hop popping dance) | Pop and Lock


Body popping is where you quickly contract and relax your muscles to cause a jerk in the your body, known as a pop or a hit, continuously in time to a song, and this is also usually combined with many different poses and movements.

It’s one of the original funk style dances that came out of Fresno, California in the 70s, and it’s still very popular and in widespread use by many major hip-hop artists. It’s easy to learn and works great in clubs where the type of music that tends to be played fits perfectly with this sort of dance style. Let’s get down to business.

Body Pop Basics

  • Start out with your arms loose at your side. Relax.
  • Really work on being able to operate several different muscle groups in your body simultaneously and totally separate from each other–this is not easy, it’s sort of like that pat-your-head-and-rub-your-tummy thing you did as a kid, the whole point is that your brain has a really hard time coordinating different body parts at the same time. It’s going to take some practice. Just start out working two different areas at once and slowly build up from there.
  • Being able to practice in front of a full-length mirror, or even better a video recorder that you can review later (or both), will help enormously.
  • Don’t jerk: the real key to making a fluid wave-like movement is to blend the separate steps into each other so it all looks like one movement. Go slow.

Ok, here’s how to do it

It’s impossible to tell you in writing how to do something like this, so I’ve got an awesome video here of this kid showing you exactly what to do–it’s a bit long (8 minutes, not really that bad, long for a YouTube video I guess) but it’s totally worth it, pay attention:

Additional Resources and Further Reading

Check out Breakdance Step-by-Step, which blends breakdancing and popping and locking together, very cool plus it’s really easy to learn from.

Alvin Lau wrote up a good, but short, article on how to do the body wave in pop-lock dancing, definitely worth a look.

Definitely check out articles, videos, and forums. There’s a pile of information on there about Pop/Lock dancing.


  1. Hi,

    Im a rookie body popper and can only do upper body movement, i know this might sound stupid but i need help on how to practise, i usually watch someone else poppin and then incorporate their moves into mine.

    Any tips?