Charles Viet Nguyen, member of Poreotics, Kinjaz, and Culture Shock LA, shares with us his knowledge on popping. He focuses on ways you can utilize this training in a choreography class, such as his own on STEEZY Studio.

“Popping choreography, or what I call “Iso Hip Hop,” incorporates a lot of different popping techniques and can be integrated with hip hop, contemporary, jazz funk- really, any style.”

Here are 7 exercises that Charles recommends in order to train your popping fundamentals, as well as tips on taking those skills into executing iso choreography.

See Related Article: How To Execute Choreography With Strength, Speed, And Cleanliness Like Franklin Yu (ACA)

A Popping Drill For Every Day Of The Week

Popping Drill #1: Hitting

These drills will help with any other kind of popping that you do.

It’s like the 2-step of popping.

Essentially, you’re relaxing and quickly flexing your muscles to create a¬†hit.

Boogie Frantick explains Hitting in detail in his STEEZY Studio class. Click to take it!

DIY (Drill It Yourself)

Do the Fresno- it’s perfect for beginners, you’re just hitting by 2’s, on each beat: Left left, right right.

Try this to slow paced hip hop / funk music so you have more time to be attentive to how your body looks and feels.

When you’re more comfortable with the hits, try switching your weight as you change direction, to add some groove to the move.

Popping Drill #2: Dime Stops

A dime stop is basically when you reach point B without any extra shaking or reverb.

Imagine you’re going from¬†100 to 0 real quick. So quick, as in, in no time.

DIY (Drill It Yourself)

Simply pivot your direction from left to right, but when landing, reach that complete stop without engaging any muscles.

Be extra conscious of not flexing.

Repeat switching directions then add your arms when you feel comfortable.

Popping Drill #3: Ticking / Strobing

Ticking is when you’re moving at very small intervals.

You’re splitting your pathway into sections to give it that animated feel.

DIY (Drill It Yourself)

Move your hand from your leg to your chest, very minimally, a few inches at a time.

Literally say “tick tick tick” in my head while I’m doing this.

Popping Drill #4: Waving

Waving has a fluid appearance, but before you reach that point, you first need to unhinge what you are waving.

DIY (Drill It Yourself)

Put your arm on your leg. Lift your wrist up, pull your elbow up, then shoulder.

You’re detaching those points within your arm so that the wave is polished and precise.

Repeat “pulling” those fixed points until it is embedded in your muscle memory.

You can also take Boogie Frantick’s Waving class on STEEZY Studio!¬†

Popping Drill #5: Tutting

Tutting is great for those who love creating geometric pictures and illusions.

But to look good, it requires a lot of body consciousness and precision.

DIY (Drill It Yourself)

A simple way to practice is just stick out your arms, and move your hands and elbows by 90 degrees each.

Think of your arms as Tetris pieces.

As you’re twisting or pulling,¬†study your angles in the mirror.

Make sure your pictures are nicely squared.

And that all your fingers are touching together, straight, as if they were resting on a flat surface- no duck hands!

Popping Drill #6: Gliding

Gliding creates the illusion that you’re floating across a surface.

There are so many variations of it, but first you want to feel comfortable moving across 1 plane.

DIY (Drill It Yourself):

Glide left and right and back.

Do this by putting your weight on one foot, pushing that heel down, scooting the other foot out (weight shifting on to it), and bringing on the first foot back in using your toe.

Popping Drill #7: Isolation / Fixed Point

Isolation is when you move a part of your body without moving other part of your body.

Fixed points is when you don’t move one part of your body and the rest moves around it.

DIY (Drill It Yourself)

Put your hand out like its on a wall, and just move left and right, without moving your hand.

Repeat that for different body parts.

Take It To The Studio

When taking an iso-y class, the key is patience.

This will lead to better textures, musicality, and body control.

Specifically in the piece from my STEEZY Studio class, we do dime stops, tutting basics, and some waves.

Practice these drills on the side so that the moves feel more comfortable when embedded in the piece.

The rest of the choreography is precise, and heavy on muscle control.

Pay attention to the timing of your flexes and releases.

For any other class, I suggest to first and foremost get familiar with the music.

Pay attention to how the choreographer is “singing” the moves.

And if you’re newer to popping, stay open to the different ways your body can move.

It’ll feel different from other styles you might be used to- but in order to really explore it and grow you need to keep an open mind!

See Related Article: The Ultimate Guide To Execution Of Movement For Beginner Dancers

 

If you want to explore some of these popping fundamentals, within a choreographed piece, take class with Charles using STEEZY Studio!

 

Whether you’re a popper or not, a beginner or¬†advanced dancer, the careful timing and precise movements of Charles’ choreography will help¬†you reach a better understanding of your body and the different ways to play with¬†musicality.¬†

All this from the comfort of your own home! Try out STEEZY Studio today!

This article was originally published August 4, 2015.

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