Popping History Pt. 1



The evolution of music has always changed the way we dance. Music went from the softer feel of soul to funk with hard drum rhythms. That gave dancing a harder feel (hard movements and steps). This also began to change as popular music went from funk and disco to electronic and hip-hop. Below is a timeline that you may use to cross-reference with the history of Popping dance.


Before the “Boogaloo era” (in order of influence):

~                     Gospel            (Mahalia Jackson)

~                     Jazz                 (Duke Ellington)

~                     R&B                (Ray Charles)

1956               Soul                (the Temptations)


These genres formed the bedrock of African-American culture and music which greatly influenced the genres in the following list.


Boogaloo Era and onward:

Popular Music that can be directly connected to the evolution of Popping dance

(some dates refer the popularization of the genre as opposed to the origination of the sound)


1964   Funk                                                                           (James Brown, Prince)

1965   Disco on the East Coast (NYC, Philadelphia)             (Saturday Night Fever)

1970   P-Funk                                                                        (Parliament Funkadelic)

1977   Electro-Funk                                                               (Zapp & Roger, Soulsonic Force)

1980   Breakbeats/Rap                                                         (Big Daddy Kane, Sugar Hill Gang)

1985   Bass Music (aka. Miami Bass, Atlanta Bass)              (2 Live Crew, Ghost Town DJs)

1986   New Jack Swing era (Hip-Hop)                                  (Bobby Brown)

1991   G-Funk                                                                      (Dr. Dre, DJ Quick)

2002   Dubstep                                                                     (Skrillex)

2009   Trap Rap                                                                     (Future)



As you continue learning about the history of this dance, keep in mind that popular singers and music groups were the ones who popularized many of the dances we see today. Not to mention that many of these dancers were also musicians. Many of the early groups even had their own bands that they would perform live with.

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