Learning how to pop lock dance means learning how to control and isolate different muscles movements on command. The only way to learn how to control your muscles (contracting and releasing the muscles in successive complex patterns) is through a lot of patience and practice. It can't be stressed enough. A good pop locker has spent hours upon hours conditioning their muscles to react on command. Once you've gained a mastery of controlling your precise muscle movements, you can chain them together in succession creating increasingly difficult pop lock maneuvers. So, let's practice our pop lock dancing shall we.
- The pop and the lock. Before you can pop lock, you need to know what it is. The pop is the spontaneous movement of your muscles. The lock is the abrupt stopping and changing of direction of said muscles causing the robotic, herky-jerky and fluid, unnatural look in your movements.
- Imagination. Before you attempt to pop lock any muscle what so ever, you should have an idea of what you want it to look like. For instance, If you want your left arm to pop and lock in a wave fashion, think of exactly how you want the movement to look like. This is key for beginners, After a while, the movements will become second nature, but for right now, you need to train your muscles to react to your brain impulses. Muscle memory and conditioning start with your brain being able to send signals to those muscles. So, think about how you want the movements to look first.
- Manifest your ideas. If you've got a good idea for a pop lock move, then practice it. It's the only way to condition the muscles. Play around with the movement of your extremities. Once you get comfortable with basic pops and locks, you can create more and more complex maneuvers with different parts of your body.
- Music. Practicing your pop lock moves to music is a must. See, your body always has to be in tune with the rhythm of the music. The music should flow through your body. You ever seen a great pop locker? Take notice of how it seems as if even the smallest change in a beat creates a major effect in the way they move. You have to feel the music. The music should effect how you move. The music is what gives your muscles life. It's like the puppeteer and you're attached to the marionette. The music tells you where to go, how to move, how fast to move and so on. But it doesn't make you lose control. You have to always be in control. The more you practice, and the better you become, the more you'll be able to subconsciously feel the music and move accordingly.
- Linking. After you've grown accustomed to how your muscles work separately, it's time to link your movements together in a rhythmic formation. The pop lock dance is just that. Linking a bunch of cool movements together so has to look like you're moving along to the beat fluidly. Remember, you should always know what you're doing. The music isn't in control of you. You control your movements through the rhythm of the music.
- Practice, practice, practice. It may be a while before you can dance off against seasoned pop lockers. You need to constantly practice to get better. And when you think you're good enough, practice some more. Pop locking is an art form that never stays stagnant. Dance moves are always evolving so you need to do the same.