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New Otis Funkmeyer article on Westcoastpoppin.com

Our old friend Otis Funkmeyer started writing popping articles on westcoastpoppin.com again. You can read the entire article here, but let me give you a reader’s digest version with these three quotes that really blew my mind.

I realized recently that the way I was taught waving, the way I teach waving, the way every single person I have ever met (except PacMan) teaches the arm wave, is wrong. It’s not how the best wavers wave. Simple as that.
And it got me thinking. The best dancers are the best DANCERS. They aren’t necessarily the best teachers. But eventually, people come along and they go, shit, how do you do that?!!? And so the best dancers are forced to become teachers. But they don’t actually know how they do what they do, so they just try different ways of teaching. Eventually, one of them sticks, and they just run with it. Then their students get good and become teachers and this method, which was not necessarily even a good method, let alone the best method, becomes the standard way that things are taught.

What I’m trying to say is this. We all got taught popping wrong. The way I got taught is wrong. The way you got taught is wrong. It’s all wrong. You want the proof??? The way that people teach is NOT the way that people dance. When I was in Calgary in 2004 learning Electric Boogaloo Style Popping from Boogaloo Sam himself, he doesn’t dance like that. He doesn’t just do the fresno. He doesn’t actually dance like that. That’s just some routine he came up with. When you seen him dance, boy, that man was GANGSTA BOPPIN. Hard ass robot. Hard ass dimestops. Clean. Quick. Shakes. Everything HARD. The fresno doesn’t teach you that. It teaches you to be on beat. On rhythm. On time. Loose and funky. But not HARD.

The arm wave is the same way. All the best wavers I know curl their fingers as the wave comes out. Nobody does that dorky upside-down-V thing that is how the wave is always taught. Why? Because it doesn’t look as good. It looks better to curl your fingers on the way out.

See, the way I teach popping, the way I was taught popping, is that you should be loose and relaxed and then when it’s time to hit, you QUICKLY tense and then QUICKLY relax again. See, this is actually a very good way to teach Japanese people who can’t dance and White Americans who can dance even less than that. Because when we see popping, we get so damn tense it looks uncomfortable. But the problem is that the baby gets thrown away with the bathwater. The best dancers ALL have that tension. That’s part of the unreal looking of popping. Even boogaloo at its highest levels is dope because it DOESN’T LOOK REAL. If you don’t have the unreal, robotic, animated, gangsta look with your popping, you are partially missing the point.

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