AskDefine | Define popping

Dictionary Definition

pop adj : (of music or art) new and of general appeal (especially among young people) [syn: popular]


1 an informal term for a father; probably derived from baby talk [syn: dad, dada, daddy, pa, papa, pappa, pater]
2 a sweet drink containing carbonated water and flavoring; "in New England they call sodas tonics" [syn: soda, soda pop, soda water, tonic]
3 a sharp explosive sound as from a gunshot or drawing a cork [syn: popping]
4 music of general appeal to teenagers; a bland watered-down version of rock'n'roll with more rhythm and harmony and an emphasis on romantic love [syn: pop music] adv : like a pop or with a pop; "everything went pop"


1 bulge outward; "His eyes popped" [syn: protrude, pop out, bulge, bulge out, bug out, come out]
2 hit a pop-fly; "He popped out to shortstop"
3 make a sharp explosive noise; "The cork of the champagne bottle popped"
4 fire a weapon with a loud explosive noise; "The soldiers were popping"
5 cause to make a sharp explosive sound; "He popped the champagne bottle"
6 appear suddenly or unexpectedly; "The farm popped into view as we turned the corner"; "He suddenly popped up out of nowhere" [syn: crop up, pop up]
7 put or thrust suddenly and forcefully; "pop the pizza into the microwave oven"; "He popped the petit-four into his mouth"
8 release suddenly; "pop the clutch"
9 hit or strike; "He popped me on the head"
10 drink down entirely; "He downed three martinis before dinner"; "She killed a bottle of brandy that night"; "They popped a few beer after work" [syn: toss off, bolt down, belt down, pour down, down, drink down, kill]
11 take drugs, especially orally; "The man charged with murder popped a valium to calm his nerves"
12 cause to burst with a lound, explosive sound; "The child popped the balloon"
13 burst open with a sharp, explosive sound; "The balloon popped"; "This popcorn pops quickly in the microwave oven" [also: popping, popped]popping n : a sharp explosive sound as from a gunshot or drawing a cork [syn: pop]popping See pop

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A funk dance.


  1. present participle of pop

Extensive Definition

Popping is a funk dance and street dance style based on the technique of quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to cause a jerk in the dancer's body, referred to as a pop or a hit. This is done continuously to the rhythm of a song in combination with various movements and poses. A popping dancer is commonly referred to as a popper.
Popping is also used as an umbrella term for a group of closely related illusionary dance styles and techniques that are often integrated with popping to create a more varied performance (see below).
It is generally believed that the dance evolved in Fresno, California in the 1970s, partly inspired by locking.
Like other street dances, popping is often performed in battles, trying to outperform another dancer or group of dancers in front of a crowd. This gives room for improvisation and moves that are seldom seen in shows and performances, such as interaction with the other contestants and spectators.
Today, popping has been incorporated into both the hip hop and electronica dance scenes to some extent.


In the late 1970s, a popping group called Electric Boogaloos (earlier known as the Electronic Boogaloo Lockers) from California greatly contributed to the spread of popping, partly because of their appearance on the television program Soul Train. as well as a fad dance popular in the 1960s known as the jerk. While dancing, Sam would say the word "pop" everytime he flexed his muscles, eventually leading to the dance being called popping. This is less controversial regarding various related styles, which the Electric Boogaloos themselves acknowledge: "''While Sam was creating popping and boogaloo, others were creating and practicing unique styles of their own. Back in the day many different areas in the west coast were known for their own distinct styles, each with their own rich history behind them. Some of these areas included Oakland, Sacramento and San Francisco."


Popping'' is the name given to a specific style of street dance. The name was coined by Boogaloo Sam, the founder of the pioneer popping group the Electric Boogaloos, when he used the word "pop" everytime he flexed his muscles to perform the characteristic popping technique. and can vary in explosiveness. Stronger pops normally involve popping both the lower and upper body simultaneously.
Normally, pops are performed at regular intervals timed to the beat of the music, causing the dance to appear very rhythmic in nature, and are often combined with stopping and holding a pose right before the pop. A common technique of transitioning between poses is the so called dime stop, heavily utilized in robot dancing as well, which basically means to end a movement with an abrupt halt (thus "stopping on a dime"), after which a pop normally occurs.
Poses in popping make heavy use of angles, mime style movements and facial expressions, and the lower body has many ways to move around, from basic walking and stepping to the more complex and gravity defying styles of floating and electric boogaloo. Movements and techniques used in popping are generally focused on sharp contrasts, being either robotic and rigid or very loose and flowing.
As opposed to breakdance and its floor-oriented moves, popping is almost always performed standing up, except in rare cases when the dancer goes down on the knees or even lie down for a short while to a perform a special move.


Having its root in the late 1970s dance club scene, popping is commonly danced to dance and pop music of that time, such as funk, disco and electro. Today, it's also common to see popping danced to more current music genres such as modern hip hop music (often instrumental hip hop) and various forms of electronica.
Songs are generally favored that has a straight and steady beat at around 90-120 beats per minute, a 4/4 time signature and a strong emphasis on the back beat, normally by a snare drum or a drum machine. The pops performed by the popper normally occur on every beat or on the distinct back beats. The popper can also choose to follow the music more freely, such as by timing the pops to the rhythm of a melody or other rhythmic elements.

Integrated styles and techniques

There are a number of techniques and styles that are commonly integrated with popping to enhance the dancer's performance and create a more varied show, many which are seldom seen outside of popping contexts. When using popping as an umbrella term, these can be considered a part of popping.

Famous artist whose style is related to Popping

Popping also influenced Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson's famous Billie Jean performance at Motown's 25 anniversary in 1983, which included the famous moonwalk was influenced by the legendary dancer and popper Jeffery Daniel. Jeffery Daniel originally called the moonwalk the backslide. The Backslide was already used by poppers but it was made famous by Michael Jackson's performance.

References and notes

See also

  • Official site of the International Urban Dance Master Assoc. est. 1996.
  • Interviews and articles with famous poppers.
popping in Czech: Popping
popping in German: Popping
popping in French: Popping
popping in Italian: Popping (danza)
popping in Dutch: Popping
popping in Japanese: ポップ (ダンス)
popping in Russian: Поппинг
popping in Swedish: Popping
popping in Chinese: Popping

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1