*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!
Many dancers from different areas have contributed to this genre of dance. We’re including those pioneers by region. Not really in any order, and this is the best we can do for now, so we’ll keep adding/editing as we learn more.
We compiled a bunch of clips below so you can just see for yourself. The different pioneers of these styles.
OAKLAND, CA (late 60s)
A dancer named Albert Milton aka Iron Man, performs a robot/pantomine style dance on the local Jay Payton TV Show. I’m still trying to hunt this footage down
SAN FRANCISCO, LOS ANGELES, CA
A mime duo named Robert Shields and Lorene Yarnell were known for their amazing ability to do realistic robotic movements, that resembled animatronics. They eventually had their own tv show in the late 70s and were also known as the Clinkers on that show.
BAY AREA STYLES (BOOGALOO ROBOTING STRUTTING):
Bay Area, California, specifically the San Francisco/Oakland/Richmond areas, were known for contributing these styles. Notable groups then to now range from The Black Resurgents, Black Messengers, Derrick & Co, Close Encounters of the Funkiest Kind, Granny & The Robotroids, Demons of the Mind, Midnight Persuasion, Casualistics, Dr. Grave & the Cemetary Slaves, and later Jam Patrol, Audionauts, PT-3000, Playboyz. Fillmore, Boogaloo, Roboting & Domino style Strutting routines are known to come from this area. The Black Ressurgents perform on tv’s The Gong Show as “Mechanical Device” in the 1970s. I am still digging to find this footage. More research to follow on this
For more info, visit the BRSAA site here
Here is a playlist that showcases this style:
A dancer by the name of Sam “Boogaloo Sam” Solomon of Fresno CA is known for his boog style (distinct isolation and rolling of the hips, legs, etc) and popping , (muscles quickly flexing and relaxing to the beat).
Boogaloo Sam started a group in the mid 70s called The Electric Boogaloo Lockers, and they are now called the Electric Boogaloos. According to the EB’s, the term popping was coined by Boogaloo Sam when he would mouth the word “pop” as he popped.
A few noteable names (among many): Boogaloo Sam, Popin Pete, Skeeter Rabbit, Suga Pop, Mr. Wiggles, Jazzy J, Creepin Cid, Puppet Boozer, Robot Dane.
For more info on the Electric Boogaloos, visit their website here
Check out this playlist of Boogaloo Sam and other Electric Boogaloo clips
A style that re-innovated the robot by blending it with another dance called the popcorn, hitting, and mime. Noteable names include Boppin Andre, Robot Prince, and Tangerine.
*still researching on this style. Found a great interview with Andre on 4dapoppers.com
From what I’ve read around, this style is described as more “freestyle” mentality. A lot more waving involved and hard hits. I believe it also comes out of the Pomona area.
*still researching on this though.
Note: Slick Dogg, Dolla Bill, Tempo.
Mrwiggles.biz has a great history time line that breaks down some real knowledge on bboying, popping, and locking. It’s the most informative one in my opinion.
Pop Tart’s youtube channel The Strutter’s Room has really good footage and information on Strutting.
A more recent documentary released called “BRS, Boogaloo Robotting Strutting”. Features Pop Tart interviewing some of the Bay Area OGs and their stories on their dance style.
Another documentary, History of a Forgotten Era also has some interviews with Boogaloo Sam and I believe there is an updated version that added the Black Ressurgents as well. (I’m not for sure though.)
More research and updates to follow.