Unleashing Expression and Style: The Art of Waacking Dance

Waacking is a high-energy dance style that emerged from the LGBTQ+ communities of Los Angeles during the 1970s disco era. Combining elements of funk, soul, and disco music, waacking is characterized by fluid arm movements, dramatic poses, and sharp, precise footwork. The dance form’s roots can be traced back to the underground dance clubs of LA, where performers would battle it out on the dance floor in fierce competitions. Today, waacking has become a popular style around the world, known for its expressive and theatrical movements that allow dancers to embody a range of emotions through their performance.

Who is the father of Waacking?

The father of Waacking is considered to be Tyrone Proctor. He is credited with developing and popularizing the dance style in the 1970s. Proctor, also known as “The Bone,” played a pivotal role in shaping Waacking by infusing it with elements of funk, jazz, and the showmanship of old Hollywood divas. His contributions to the dance form and his influence on subsequent generations of Waacking dancers have solidified his status as its founding figure.

Style of Waacking Dance 

Waacking is a solo street dance style that is characterized by strong arm movements and dramatic body isolations. Waacking isolations involve isolating parts of the body, such as the shoulders, chest, hips, and legs, to create a sharp, popping, and robotic look. Waacking also involves the expression of emotions and attitudes through facial expressions and arm movements. The arms are used to create funky shapes and intricate patterns in the air. Waacking can be performed in a variety of music genres but is traditionally performed in disco, funk, and soul music.

What is the Waacking technique?

Waacking dance is characterized by a variety of distinctive features that make it a unique and exciting dance style. Some of the key characteristics of waacking include:

  1. Arm movements: One of the most defining aspects of waacking is its use of fluid, expressive arm movements. Dancers use their arms to create dynamic lines and shapes, often incorporating dramatic poses and gestures.
  2. Footwork: Waacking also involves intricate footwork, with dancers performing fast, precise steps that are often synced with the music’s rhythm.
  3. Musicality: Like many other dance styles, waacking is closely tied to the music it’s performed to. Dancers often use their movements to accentuate the beat or other elements of the music, creating a visual interpretation of the sounds they’re hearing.
  4. Attitude: Waacking is a highly theatrical dance style that allows performers to showcase their personalities and emotions through their movements. Dancers often adopt strong, confident postures and facial expressions that communicate their attitude and energy.
  5. Freestyle: While there are some standardized waacking moves, the dance style is primarily characterized by its freestyle approach. Dancers are encouraged to develop their own unique style and interpretation of the dance, making it a highly individualistic and creative form.

Music Involved in Waacking

The music involved in waacking is typically disco, funk, or soul, which are all genres that were popular during the dance style’s early years in the 1970s. The music tends to be upbeat, with a strong and steady beat that provides a solid foundation for the fast footwork and dramatic arm movements that are central to waacking. Some of the classic artists that waacking dancers often perform to include Donna Summer, Sylvester, Chaka Khan, and Michael Jackson, among others.

While waacking is strongly associated with these classic disco and funk tracks, the dance style has evolved over the years to incorporate a range of different music genres, from contemporary pop to hip hop and electronic dance music (EDM). This reflects the fact that waacking has continued to evolve and adapt over the years, incorporating new influences and styles while still retaining its core elements of fluid arm movements, precise footwork, and a strong sense of musicality.

Waacking Costume 

Costumes are an important part of the waacking performance, with dancers often wearing outfits that reflect the style’s theatrical and expressive nature. Some common elements of waacking costumes include:

  1. Tight and fitted clothing: Waacking emphasizes the body’s movements, so dancers often wear tight and form-fitting clothing that allows them to showcase their lines and shapes. This can include leggings, shorts, or body suits.
  2. Flashy and colourful clothing: Waacking is an expressive dance style, so costumes often incorporate bright colours and bold patterns to help dancers stand out on stage. Sequins, glitter, and other eye-catching embellishments are also common.
  3. Accessories: Accessories such as belts, hats, and scarves can help accentuate arm movements and add a sense of drama to the performance.
  4. Heels: Many female waacking dancers wear high-heeled shoes, which can help to elongate their legs and create a more dramatic effect as they move.

Overall, waacking costumes tend to be flashy and attention-grabbing, with a strong emphasis on the dancer’s movements and personality. The goal is to create a visual representation of the music and to capture the audience’s attention with a powerful and expressive performance.

In conclusion, waacking dance is a dynamic and expressive dance form that has its roots in the disco era of the 1970s. It is characterized by fluid arm movements, sharp footwork, and a strong sense of musicality that allows dancers to express themselves in a unique and creative way. As a dance style that encourages individuality and self-expression, waacking has continued to evolve and adapt over the years, incorporating new influences and styles while still retaining its core elements. Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or a curious newcomer, waacking is a thrilling and high-energy dance form that is sure to captivate and inspire.

Check out the tutorial for Basic Waacking Dance Steps

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