The “Streetstyle” Locking Battle”
by Skeeter Higgins
Our history through Locking shows us that there is much confusion involved with the various types of Locking competitions, we have seen where dancers have entered “Streetstyle” LOCKING BATTLES” but do not include the elements of a street style battle when competing, What they usually do is come out turn and face the Audience , or face the Judges for the majority of the time and do some wonderful show style ,showcase or social Party style dancing & Locking, many times they do some great stuff and yes they are Locking, But The elements of the ‘STREET BATTLE” is missing… We believe that we as event promoters have the responsibility to emphasize what TYPE of competition and what the judging criteria for each type of competition will be…
Webster’s learner’s dictionary defines the word battle as:
“A fight between people or groups in which each side engages the other while trying to win a contest (such as a game or an election) or to gain control of something (such as a company)”
A battle is a conflict between two opposing forces, which confronts and challenges each other in a show of skills, words or actions. The word battle is no a passive word but Now let’s add the word “Street style” To the term dance Battle and we all know that we are not talking about a ballet recital, although it can be used as, intensive but friendly competition.
So what are the elements of A Locking Battle? Are they different compared to the elements of a Social Party dance contest, or a showcase style dance contest. YOU BET THEY ARE
The elements of Challenging, Engagement & Confrontation are key elements in any Street style “BATTLE” including Locking. These elements however must also incorporate the fundamental ingredient of that dances’ art forms. And that means by displaying the art forms basic skills within the rhythm and beats of the music. In this Hardcore Street style locking battle the essence of the original street challenge exist where one challenges and the other answers with a response. Locking as well as all battles includes an element of showmanship, but that element is done within the context of the challenge. The same holds for creativity, Street dances are known for its innovative concepts and new creative innovations are not only welcome but encouraged but within the Battle Engagement concept,
The fundamental element of the Locking art form are the Locks, Points , handclaps, and established foot moves from the Art form of Campbellocking or Locking, creativity and innovations ARE ENCOURAGED and should be built from these initial elements. Splits and floor work are also part of the Locking element, however they are only judge’s compliment and not locking skills within themselves, they should be used to compliment the basic locking skills
The On the One “Street style Locking Battle”RULES
· Competitors will be primarily judged on how well they display “LOCKING” Skills, within the rhythm and beat of the music, they must demonstrate that these skills were developed with some knowledge of the Fundamentals of Locking
· Competitors will be judged on how well they challenge and engage their opponent within the Hardcore Locking battle format.
· Competitors will be judged on how well they respond or answer the challenges with creativity and Locking Skills
· Competitors will ONLY be judged on Showmanship, Floor moves & splits as a compliment to their LOCKING SKILLS within the battle format.
LOCKING IS A DANCE… so no matter how great your skills are, it must be done within the concept of DANCING!
Dancers must Display Locking Skill within the rhythm and beat of the music
Dancers must actively Face to Face Engage & Challenge their opponent
Dancers must show the ability to respond to the challenge
Dancers at no time will touch their opponent
Type of music will be both Old school Funk, and New School
Judges will Judge New School Battle style with the winner advancing
The History of Locking competitions, as well as all streetstyle dances show us that competiveness started in the social Party dances, Where one or any number of people would began to attempt to show up others on the dance floor with their dance moves , this is taken as a challenge by others who would respond to the challenge back in the day this was called trying to “turn someone out”, this was also done in locking back in the early 70s, and was actually done in other social dances and parties prior to that time.
The Tap Dance challenges of the 1940s was actually very similar to today’s battles ,where dancers developed reputations, and unique tap styles, along with their colorful street names Often other dancers would DIRECTLY “Challenge them in an effort to build their own reputation, This practice was known as challenges or One UP man’s ship.
There has always been showcase or Talent style battles, where acts or performers take the stage and entertain an audience, at this style contest often the audience would judge by applause. Locking in general has elements taken from all of these influences in history. But each as a completion on their own has specific criteria…