Today there are various opinions on what locking is supposed to look like when it is done properly, It has been discussed many times over on what aestheticly the dance is intended to look like . Is it the hard freezes ? The comic Jesters ? Is it totally improvisational or does it have some set foundational structure and moves? Is it supposed to be aggressive or casual ? Most of the theory’s are just that ,They are theories and opinions ! However depending on the setting and circumstances. The dance of Locking exemplify ALL of the elemenents mentioned above. Therfore why are we trying to make a limitless dance have such restrictive limits. It can be summed up in a few words IT is our PERSONAL EGO’s
I personally believe we focuses too much on whether we don’t freeze hard enough, Or how strait our arms are during a point, Rather than on much more important things, like, The influences and purposes which cause us to expierience the feelings which produce the moves..Many times we are too busy focusing on the correctness of the actual technical move itself, And not the power which has inspired the move in the first place. I believe there is No One person who has this absolute answer as to what the correctness of Locking SHOULD be. But the Egoic Mind of both the teacher and the student believes there is. Why ? Because both the individual and the collective EGOIG mind always seeks to defend itself and its position.Often times even to the point of self stress or open aggression. Once we realize that no two minds and no two experiences view things the EXACT same way we will be better off as people and as dancers. I believe , The problem runs deeper than what one looks like or who one looks like when they dance or Lock. It runs deeper than just what moves , and what foundations are correct.This controversey and need to be correct, is the food that the conscious Egoic mind feeds from. It is the very product of the egoic mind of ME and I. It is the BATTLE of who is right and who is following the right master. Who knows the way. It is the same ancient mental conflict that has created dissention for centuries. It is very close to the same religious conflicts that has plagued man since the beginning of time.
Today there are many of us searching for rhythmic or dance salvation, And much like back in the day,There is a bunch of self professed ,self entitled profit style teachers,Who have stepped forward, teaching from that same egoic mindset,claiming to have the key to such things as funk asnd soul,passing the basket and collecting money, while neglecting the real essence of dance inspiration. I believe the parallels between mans search for religious enlightenment and today’s search for Dance Enlightenment are Remarkable !
The Problem that exist within both .Is very simple, yet very complex, It Is what has plagued man since the beginning of time, it’s mans original desease or sin, “The conscious Egoic mind” It is what we see as our individual thoughts and personality, It is that voice in each individuals head that we identify with as Me or I. It is the Me/I consciousness that strives for survival and strive to be right, It feeds off of CONFLICT, CONTRAVERSY and CONTROL.. It strives to flourish and most of the time takes great delight if it accopmplishish this at the expense of what it considers the adversary or competition.
As I watch many of the dancers today I realized that most of the time, even the actual dance itself is being done while under the EGOIC COUNSCIOUS MIND. And those Voices in our heads are controlling every actual move. The mind is counsciously seeking to portray the dance as aesthetically perfect. Its seeking approval and applause. We do need the conscious mind to count and to block, To act and perform and it feeds off of the approval that it brings. But that approval is only short term gratification. Immediately the egoic conscious mind is validated and says “see my way is right” and then it IMMEDIATELY begans to seek another confrontation to feed off of. Is that wrong ? No, Not all of the time. Although we need these thoughts to perform, we DO NOT need the councious mind to simply DANCE !
We all seek approval , but those that dance ONLY from their conscious mind , miss one of the most satisfying and enlighning moments in the Dance. And they may find themselves forever in search of that missing element or feeling. In the 1960s that feeling was referred to as having Soul, later it was Identified as Funk, which comes from the Soul, I have had several people today which have asked me to teach exactly how to BE or dance funky , what they don’t realize is that it can NOT be taught from the conscious Egoic MIND..
The ONLY way to experience this , The ONLY way to progress toward what I call DANCE ENLIGHTENMENT. Is much the same way others reach SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT. And that is to SUBMIT to the DANCE itself. Not to the profits, and their egoic motives, but to the essence and purpose of the dance . In the spiritual world or religious world MAN must SUBMIT to the higher power or essence of the supreme Being, who we refer to as GOD .. BUT we all know, Many consiously refuse, It is because they believe their egoic minds know the way. These people cannot find true INNER Peace.They find Just the fleeting gratification of worldly approval. They cannot evolve to a stage of SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT.
It is the same in the dance world ! UNTIL WE SUBMIT we can NOT reach that level of Dance Enlightenment ,which opens up the door to our Souls and emits that which we call TRUE FUNK. Until we submit we cannot reach the level of Dance Enlightenment that we seek as a dance community or as individuals.
Lets look at it strictly from an actual physical dance perspective. Some of us ,not all of us have experienced some level of DANCE ENLIGHTENMENT while on the dance floor.This happends when we totally submit and surrender ourselves to the dance, the music, and purpose. And when we also seek to evolve as messengers of that dance and its purpose,That is the point,where we take the dance away from the egoic conscious mind and we move toward dance enlightenment. We place it in the spiritual consciousness, Many say it the place where our spirit or energy lies. It is our inner being. Where we since and feel. Not where we think. It is the place where dreams and creativity lies. When this happens on the dance floor ,When we have totally submitted to the music and dance, We cannot be in the conscious mind, just as Light and darkness cannot exist at the same time , The Egoic conscious mind and ENLIGHTENMENT cannot exist in the same place at the same time. We are now in a stage of Dance or funk euphoria. We are no longer counsciously, doing. The dance is NOW doing us. The moves are pronounced, they have purpose. . The egoic voice in our heads are turned off.. We are no longer DOING the dance (of Locking) , the dance (of Locking) is expressing through us. We have totally submitted , there is a GLOW and an ENERGY that can not only be seen, but can BE FELT.It is Electric, It is like no other HIGH..It is the manifistation of the dance of LOCKINGS purpose to inspire. not for personal EGOIC gain. But for the Love of the dance and its historical heritage, and its initial purpose to unite.
I feel very sorry for those that will not release their conscious egos and are destined only fake the funk, for they will never reach this stage of Dance Enlightenment..They will never feel what was felt in the evolutionary stage of this dances inception. Although they may not admitt it, something in them will know there is a difference and they will forever seek it , Thousands today are being spent while today’s dance generation seeks this through their conscious mind. Many will continue to seek it this way, This is because they have seen the conscious egoic performance of Locking breed worldly success.The day may come soon when some Locking guru, trys to sell our COUNSCIOUS MIND a book ‘ HOW TO BE FUNKY AND HAVE SOUL IN 5 EASY STEPS” I hope we all realize. It is just like in our personal lives you CANNOT reach that true stage of inner peace and Enlightenment there.It cannot be bought or taught, it must be surrenderd to and felt. The councious Egoic way, will only satisfy the ego for a short time.
I Believe we as teachers are feeding the body the moves , but we are not feeding the soul or the spirit the purpose…, WE as a comunity HAVE NOT yet SUBMITTED to the essence of the art form we profess to LOVE
(James L. Higgins)