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Locking is a contemporary dance form that became widely popular in the 1970s, influencing everyone from little girls dancing at backyard parties to pop sensation Michael Jackson. Locking can still be seen in today’s movies, television programs, and choreographed stage shows, and is performed by recording artists such as Usher, Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake. This entry describes the history of locking and its impact on American dance culture.

Origins of Locking

Don Campbell, the originator of locking, was born in St. Louis in 1951. He grew up in California with a love for art, sketching throughout his teenage years and attending Los Angeles Trade–Technical College (LATTC) to study art. During his time at Trade-Tech, Campbell soon found himself influenced by local dancers ...

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