“Waacking” at Lincoln Center”
I met Princess Lockeroo at Night of 1000 Gowns while she was performing with Jody Watley as one of her fabulous dancers. She impressed me with her outgoing personality, her impressive dance moves on stage and her beauty as well. I later found out through another interview, and through Ms. Watley, that she was extremely accomplished in the art of “Waacking”. Fascinated and intrigued by this form of dance called Waacking I jumped at the chance to speak with Princess about it.
On June 25th Princess Lockeroo will be performing at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing, along with Jody Watley and Shalamar.
So Princess, what exactly is “Waacking?”
Waacking is a freestyle club dance that originated in the early 1970’s in California. It came out of gay clubs and was originated to classic, imported disco music. Imported meaning from Europe. There was a particular DJ by the name of Michael Angelo who played the Disco music which inspired whacking. He would play the entire record including the breaks of this disco song. He played the music at a much faster tempo up. The dancers were inspired by movie stars like Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Marlena Dietrich.
It was all about elegance and class and feeling fabulous. When it began, it had no real name, it had no real vocabulary, but the most important thing about it is having elegance; performing the dance almost the way a drag queen performs a song. They’re right on top of the music. The pulling out of the vocals, the melodies and the beats within the music so that when a person is watching another person WAAC, they can literally hear what they’re seeing with their eyes. All of the originators of Waacking, dies of Aids. My generation knows the history thanks to Tyrone Proctor.
I’m also going to be performing waacking to my new disco single “Dance Dance Dance” which I produced along with my artist development adviser Mario Spinetti.
So you are going to be teaching this dance at Lincoln Center?
That’s right. I’m going to be teaching a waacking class at Lincoln Centers Midsummer Night’s Swing series, featuring Jody Watley and Shalamar reload. It’s actually very interesting because Jody Watley was one of the very first female waackers and we both have the same waacking teacher, Tyrone Proctor, who is a legendary “Soul Train” dancer. He danced on Soul Train for about 10 years, which is where he met Jody. It’s thanks to him that there’s been a major resurgence of waacking all around the world. I have been to over 23 countries teaching this dance. It’s caught wild fire and everybody is doing it, and everybody is appreciating disco music again. Actually I will be teaching a workshop which is going to introduce people to the dance and I’m also going to be performing waacking to a new song that I produced. It’s called “Dance, Dance, Dance.” The music came first, the music is what inspired the dance. It made me want to bring back a new disco style in order to inspire the new generation to appreciate this music and this dance.
Jody mentioned that you and she had a history.
That’s right, because of Tyrone Proctor. He was the one who taught Jody how to waack on “Soul Train”. She was on staff there since she was 14 years old. I met Jody through Tyrone and performed with her at BB Kings. She saw me dancing and then she invited me to go on tour with her in Japan. It was an incredible experience. There is no other artist I’d rather dance for. I really love dancing with her. She’s one of my idols. I look up to her, I respect her so much.
Tell me a little about Princess.
Princess Lockeroo is a multi-faceted performer who has been doing everything to spread waacking around the world for the past 10 years. I have a background in musical theatre and opera and I discovered the dance totally by chance. I was really just trying to get in shape after my first year of college. I started taking dance lessons at “The Broadway Dance Center”. That’s where I met my first teacher Brian Footwork Greene.There really wasn’t a lot of waacking at the time. In 2003, 2004 you couldn’t go online and see waacking. There was no YouTube. Brian Footwork Greene introduced me to Tyrone and so yeah, the dance team really changed my life – saved my life. I became completely health conscious and vegan conscious. I began taking care of my body. and I believe that dance and self-expression is the most important training that we can do as human beings. It’s one of the things I really want to share with the world. So one of my newest ventures has been beginning a new entertainment company. Our mission is that we believe that urban expression deserves to be held with the same amount of respect and dignity as classical art forms like ballet or contemporary. Emphasizing the ingenuity of the culture and history is extremely important to me because what those dancers did on “Soul Train”, they’re the reason why I have a career today. Without all those dancers who danced for free – a lot of people don’t know that they danced for a piece of chicken and CocaCola – they paved the way for the entire global dance community. I am providing a new channel of entertainment that celebrates enlightenment, eloquence and sensuality without objectifying or modifying the intentions of the artist. A lot of the mainstream urban music and dance that is popular today, is inappropriate for children. It is disrespectful and doesn’t have intelligent lyrical content. This is not where “black music” began. Disco, Funk, Soul & Hip Hop music is classy, sophisticated and intelligent One of the reasons why I love disco and WAACKING is that it’s so sensual and beautiful, but it’s about being classy not trashy. It’s a feeling. In the future I plan to put a Broadway show on with dancing and with the music of the 70’s.
Is there anything you’d like to promote that’s coming up for you?
I teach whacking at the Broadway Dance Center weekly Tuesdays and Fridays. On August 22nd in New York City I’ll be holding THE WAACK DOWN, the World Waacking Championships. This competition will feature dancers from all over the world. There are three categories.. Patriotic Performance, where contestants get to perform a waacking piece to the music of their own culture. we have the Waackography contest, and the one on one battle. It’s going to be hosted by Bob the Drag Queen – NYC’s top drag queen performer. It’s going to be super exciting.