Popping is a street dance and one of the original funk styles that came from California during the 1960s–1970s. It is based on the technique of quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to cause a jerk in the dancer's body, referred to as a pop or a hit. This is done continuously to the rhythm of a song in combination with various movements and poses.
Closely related illusionary dance styles and techniques are often integrated with popping to create a more varied performance. These dance styles include the robot, waving and tutting. However, popping is distinct from breaking and locking, with which it is often confused. A popping dancer is commonly referred to as a popper.
As one of the earliest funk styles, popping is closely related to hip hop dancing. It is often performed in battles, where participants try to outperform each other in front of a crowd, giving room for improvisation and freestyle moves that are seldom seen in shows and performances, such as interaction with other dancers and spectators. Popping and related styles such as waving and tutting have also been incorporated into the electronica dance scene to some extent, influencing new styles such as liquid and digits and turfing.