It was early part of 1978, where, an otherwise nerdy 16 year old SCI-FI-Ultraman-Japanese Super Hero-Godzilla-Star Wars loving teen’s life encountered an incident so surreal that it was truly life-changing. I discovered the magic of STREET DANCE. For me, it would be the Locking and Strutting (what we referred to as ‘Popping’) styles.
I grew up in the Mission District of San Francisco. Not exactly the nicest neighborhood in the world either. I always saw the Mission as a mini East LA where it had its share of urban troubles including gang activity. But, living there for some time can toughen up even the meekest of souls.
Crammed up in a small Victorian apartment with my mom, dad, brother, and two sisters, I, realized at an early age, nothing comes easy without working for it. That, I did. Had started taking on part time jobs since I was 13. We weren’t dirt poor but we did learn to live without some things.
One day as I was coming home from my after school job, I came across a mob of people gathered around two groups of tough looking guys. I remember one side had taller, bigger Samoan dudes and the other were Hispanics.
There was definitely some type of confrontation getting ready to take place. I thought a gang war was ready to break out but was confused why people weren’t moving away. Were they that anxious to see a fight go down? Willing to risk getting stabbed or punched for getting too close?
Then the boombox came into view. The music started playing. I found myself coming closer to see what the hell was going on.
That’s when the blows were thrown. Except, nobody was getting hit. They weren’t fighting…they were throwing some crazy, funky DANCE MOVES at each other. Getting into each others faces. Up close and personal. Yet, the moves flowed with the music.
I saw points, splits, back flips, dives. Even saw ROBOTIC movements. I saw their bodies literally vibrating, some unreal waving. Saw what I would learn to be HITS and other important things like “THE LOCK.” I was mesmerized by the complexity of the body contortions . Fascinated by the grooviness. Pleased to see that no one got hurt while, instead, turning out to be a celebration.
The crowds went wild, screaming and cheering for each move that was delivered against each opponent.
This exchange went on for the whole song. I honestly could not tell which side actually won, but the circle did eventually break apart. The people around, different ages and types, were smiling. Laughing. Patting some of the dancers on the back. Mocking and insulting some of the others where it almost did become an unpleasant situation.
This was called a CUT UP. A CALL OUT. Where dancers challenge each other to what appears a MUSICAL DEATH MATCH to the death.
I was so taken over by the sheer excitement of it all. I went home thinking “I WILL DO THIS. I WILL LEARN HOW TO DO THOSE MOVES AND DO THIS!”
Over time, I did. I learned, after painful trial and error, what the dances were about and how there was this CULTURE and HISTORY behind it.
DOC LOCK was born from that moment.
Through this site, I will tell about and share with you those experiences and accounts. The competitions, performances, street CALL OUTS and CHALLENGES from back in the day to my return to dance, where I so gratefully became a part of my loving GROOVMEKANEX family.
All, so you, too, can appreciate the positive force I would come to discover from these dances.