*disclaimer: The dance knowledge section is based on our current observations, research, and/or interviews. What we write here is merely just to shed some light onto the subject to those interested in learning about these topics. We encourage you to also do your own research and search for the truth yourselves! We will continue to update these with every bit of information we can find. If you’d like to contribute to any of these sections, feel free to contact us. Enjoy!
Locking was created around the late 60s or the early 70s by Don Campbell. It stemmed from the different soul dances of that era. Just watch Soul Train! Moves like the Breakdown, Rocksteady, Funky Chicken, etc. The Lock was created by accident. Don was trying to do the Funky Chicken/Robot Shuffle and ended locking up his arms a certain way within the move (which move out of the two moves he was trying to do exactly I’m still not sure about). When he did this, people would keep telling him to “do that lock Campbell”, and thus the Campbell Lock was born. From there other moves were brought into locking such as Points, Fives, Scooby Doo, Stop & Go, among many others. Stunts such as Air Splits, Dives, also were brought into locking (inspired by Nicholas brothers and other tap dancers before the soul era). His group The Campbell Lockers (later to be renamed The Lockers) became world famous and appeared on such shows as the Carol Burnett Show, Johnny Carson, Dick Van Dyke. This style is super funky and has a lot of character.
The Lockers were one of the first in the urban street dance game to put DANCERS in the forefront of big shows on Television. Before this time, dancers were never the headliners. The Lockers changed this. Although The Lockers were the first group to break into mainstream America, they weren’t the only lockers of that time. Don was the creator of the Lock, but there were also many other dancers in that generation that influenced the development of the dance. Another group called The (Original) Go-Go Brothers were considered to be the first synchronized locking group and also played a huge part of the dance’s history.
Other dancers from that generation: Greg Campbellock Jr. Pope, Flukey Luke, Fred Berry, Slim the Robot, Shabbadoo, Toni Basil, Tony Go-Go, OG Skeeter Rabbit, Peekaboo, Jimmy Scooby Doo Foster, Damita Jo Freeman, Creative Generation, 33RPM, The Ghetto Dancers, among many more!
*lockerlegends.net is a great site where you can learn more in detail about Locking history, movement and culture. Great forum where you can communicate with lockers around the globe. Even some of the OGs are on that forum and are very welcoming to answer questions people have.
Here are some clips of the Lockers and also the Soul Train TV show that we compiled on a playlist:
Great interview with OG Locker Jimmy Scoo B Doo Foster.
More info to be posted on the next generation of Lockers soon