Campbellock (Don Campbell)
B-Boys

Campbellock (Don Campbell)

Dancer Campbellock (Don Campbell) was born January 7, 1951 in Saint Louis, Missouri and raised in South Central Los Angeles.[1]  As a child, he had a strong passion for drawing and enjoyed sketching trees, insects and people’s hands and faces.[2]  Campbell eventually pursued a career in commercial art when he decided to attend LA Trade-Technical College, but ended up discovering and falling in love with another art: dance.[3]  In the late 1960s, he began practicing avidly and created a new dance that he called “The Campbellock” (later known as “locking”) by accident.[4] “Locking” can be defined as “freezing from a fast movement and ‘locking’ in a certain position, holding that position for a short while and then continuing in the same speed as before.”[5]  The dance is very performance oriented and often involves playful audience interaction mixed with humor.[6] Campbellock amazed club crowds with his unique style, and he began winning a myriad of dance competitions throughout the city.[7]   

Campbellock’s distinctive moves soon landed him a position as a cast member on the popular dance show Soul Train in 1971, and he recorded a song “The Campbellock” to accompany his dance on Stanson Records in 1972.[8] He remained a featured dancer on Soul Train until he requested compensation from the show in 1973.[9] Unfortunately, he and the other dancers were denied payment, so he decided to form his own dance crew called “The Campbellock Dancers.”[10]  The group became known simply as “The Lockers” and consisted of his girlfriend at the time Tony Basil (dancer/recording artist), Fred Berry (dancer/actor from What’s Happening?) and Shabba Doo (dancer/actor from Breakin’ and its sequel).[11] Their popularity grew after they made appearances locking on The Carol Burnett Show, The Johnny Carson Show, ABC In Concert and Saturday Night Live.[12] The crew went on to build over 80 credits to their name until they disbanded in the early 1980s.[13] 

Campbellock continues to teach choreography and holds classes in countries like Japan, Canada, Portugal, England, The Netherlands and Germany.[14]  He has been featured in various magazines and also included in Vibe’s History of Hip Hop book published in 1999.[15]  He has also attended Hip Hop culture events including B-Boy Summits, The American Street Dance Championship and the 1st Annual Hip Hop Dance Awards (where he was honored for his accomplishments).[16] He was also honored at the first ever Hip Hop Conference sponsored by The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.[17]  The event covered Hip Hop’s past, present and future.[18] Artifacts, such as Don’s outfits worn during his career, were on display inside The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as abroad as a way to promote awareness about Hip Hop Culture.[19]

Campbellock is currently working on an illustrated book of his dance and its teachings, an autobiography, a DVD detailing his life and two feature autobiographical films.[20] He resides in Canyon Country, CA and has three children with his wife Mary of 33 years.[21]  Dan has had the opportunity to work with notable superstars like Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, Bill Cosby, Christina Aguilera and Michael Jackson.[22] Many artists like Britney Spears and Snoop Dogg also include variations of Campbellock’s choreography in their videos today.[23]  Locking continues to remain popular in various elements of pop culture and has become a part of Hip Hop culture under the umbrella of street dance.[24]

Style/Technique:

  • Invented the “Campbellock” (later shortened to “locking”) by accident.  The dance can be defined as “freezing from a fast movement and ‘locking’ in a certain position, holding that position for a short while and then continuing in the same speed as before.” The dance is very performance oriented and often involves playful audience interaction mixed with humor.

 Videos:

Campbellock Dancing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFw0bRafZmo

Donald “Locking” Campbell – Judge Solo at Battle Of The Stylez 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQWuxHO-u2Y&feature=related

Workshop Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZgdWJaZ5BM&feature=related

Interview with RAW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78fdjJnjNHs&feature=related


Cited Sources

[1] http://www.myspace.com/campbellock/blog/140347523

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locking_%28dance%29

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] http://www.myspace.com/campbellock/blog/140347523

[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Campbell_%28dancer%29

[9]

[10] Ibid.

[11] http://www.myspace.com/campbellock/blog/140347523

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] http://www.myspace.com/campbellock/blog/140347523

[15] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Campbell_%28dancer%29

[16] http://www.myspace.com/campbellock/blog/140347523

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Campbell_%28dancer%29

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

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