Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Waacking and Voguing (Street dances) Part I

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part series on the styles of street dancing known as "waaking" and "voguing". This post provides information & comments about waacking and showcases two videos of that dance.

Click for Part II of this series. That post provides information & comments about voguing and showcases six videos of that dance's styles.

The content of this post is provided for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all the featured dancers. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of this video on YouTube.

WARNING: A number of YouTube street dancing comment threads contain profanity and homophobic content.

"Waacking and voguing both fall under the “urban” or “street” dance genres. Waacking began in the 1970s on the West Coast, more specifically in Los Angeles. It can be recognized by it’s wild yet controled arm movements and posing. Waacking incorporates arm movements, footwork, and elements of drama as well as the dancer’s personal and unique style. There is also a wonderful aspect of musicality because the dancers are specifically tailoring their movements to the beats and the rhythm of the song.

Voguing, while very similar to waacking, began on the East Coast and became popular in the 80s. This dance emerged from the Harlem ballroom scene (and I am not talking about the waltz). Voguing is characterized by model-like poses integrated with angular, linear, and rigid arm, leg, and body movements. In its original form, it served as a non-aggressive battle between two feuding individuals. Just in case you were wondering, the term voguing was influenced by the poses models often take when gracing the pages of fashions magazines, like Vogue"...

"The dance style called Waacking involves fast and dynamic movements of the arms, which resemble the wrist roll in locking but more exaggerated and extended. This style of dance also incorporates sharp angular poses, which is called Voguing, a style commonly done together with Waacking. Essentially, I like to think of waacking as elements of jazz dance combined with locking because of the distinct arm actions and styling involved...

Disco Music was the perfect vehicle for Waacking, with its driving rhythms and hard beats. In the early 1970s in Los Angeles, dancer Lamont Peterson was one of the first to start using his arms and body to the music...
At the time Waacking was primarily a gay Black and Latino dance. Many people mistakenly believe that “Waacking” came from “Locking” because some of the movements are very similar. The Gay community is solely responsible for the creation of Waacking style of dance. Waacking and Locking do have some similarities but they are different dances. Waacking is the original name of the dance...

The name “Waacking" originated from The Soul Train Dancer Tyrone Proctor and Jeffrey Daniel’s of the Outrageous Waack Dancer’s in 1972 themselves (Because of the thrusting of the arms). “Garbo” is another name given to the dance by Andrew because of the posing he did (like the pictures of the glamour women of the 40’s) ...

The difference between “Waacking” and “Voguing” is “Waacking” became popular in the early 70’s on the West Coast. “Waacking” is mostly done to Disco Music. “Voguing” became popular in the late 70’s on the East Coast.”Voguing” is done to mostly House music.”…
Over 35 years “Waacking” is still going strong..."

These videos are posted in chronological order with video with the oldest date posted first.

Example #1: WAACKING DANCE: Step Ya Game Up (NYC 2009)

TheRussianTiger, Uploaded on Jul 30, 2009

Waacking preliminary at a hip hop jam called Step Ya Game Up. Battles in wacking (whacking), popping, locking, hip hop and house all took place directly after this. This jam happened in New York City on July 25th from 2:00pm to 4:00am. Very cool and rare dance style to see in battle. Battles judged by Tyrone Proctor! Enjoy the footage :)...
Here are three comments from this video's viewer comment thread:
tenchichrono, 2010
"This dance started out in the gay dance clubs in LA/Hollywood. It's really similar to locking in a way."

baeksoltang, 2011
"I have first watched this vid in 2009 at the time when it was posted. I don't know what is going on in US, but waacking scene in East Asia (including Korea, Japan, China) has grown so big that it is almost as big as that of popping and locking now. It is getting recognized as a disdinct style under the umbrella of funk styles, as popping and locking do. You can see Pop&Lock events are transitioning to Pop&Lock&Waack events nowadays. As a locker my self, it's nice that Funk Style is flourishing"

Laggin6, 2013
"I love watching this very dramatic style of dance, but can't help thinking about people dancing like this in clubs and getting WAACKED in the head by those flying arm movements. I'm guessing that's where it gets that name? LOL!"
“whack” = slang word for forcefully hitting (striking) someone or something
Note that "wack" also is a slang word that means "foolish" and "uncool" but that definition doesn't apply to this dance form.


Published on Mar 22, 2013

Dazzeling Final Whacking Battle at Streetstar festival 2013. Winner is Waackeisha from Canada.
Here are four comments from this video's viewer comment thread:
exit planet dust, 2013
"It's not "Whacking". It's Waacking."

Luiss Mota, 2013
"YASS Ms. Princess Madoki was giving me life honey she was serving WAACKeisha"

MrDambiSchool, 2014
"I have to strongly disagree with that. Madoki was a crowd pleaser, she gave face and attitude and sexiness and she grooved a lot, which was nice, but at the end of the day it's a waacking battle and girl you need to waack at some point. From 1:10 to 2:00, which is almost her entire round. She did 6 waacks... 6 And they were sloppy. Shes great at doing lines and feeling the music but like I said It's waacking and Waackeisha will give face while still showing that her technique is amazing and her waacks are just powerful and clean. It was a pretty obvious choice. "

Geoff Simmons, 2014
"waackeisha was hellllla clean though - they are both amazing and their styles are off the charts, but waackeisha was more on-point"

Here's a link to a Soul Train video that I believe showcases some of the dancers waacking:
"Soul Train Line Don't Stop Til You Get Enough Michael Jackson"

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