Category Archives: Streetdance

The Streetstyle Locking Battle

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…    

The search for DANCE Enlightenment

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

“Og SkeeterRabbit”

(James L. Higgins)