Shuffling Part 1: The Underground Dance That Went Mainstream
Towards the end of the eighties, a new dance began to gain traction in the Melbourne trance and electro scenes. Involving rapid toe to heel movements. Bearing similarities to the dance steps of the trance and techno scene of that time, the Melbourne Shuffle separated itself from the crowd thanks to the involvement of hand movements that were unusual for the rave scene.
The 90s and subsequently the 2000s saw shuffling become ever more popular, thanks to more accessible video capturing equipment and social sharing platforms such as YouTube and The Vine. Meanwhile, contemporary dancers established their own variants, as well as building upon the existing techniques—a new age of shuffling was born, and thanks to the numerous styles, the dance has almost entirely dropped its “Melbourne” association.
Where did the Melbourne come from? Where did it go?
Of course, shuffling is a dance movement. Without music, it probably wouldn’t exist. Fortunately, the electric rave scenes of the late 80s and the innovative ravers of that time culminated in the creation of the worldwide phenomena that we have today—when asked about his unique dance style, Rupert Keiller of Sonic Animation informed the Rage interviewer that it was the Melbourne Shuffle.
Thus, an icon was named.
In the years since that interview, the dance has shuffled itself from the parties and clubs of Melbourne to the far corners of the globe. Shuffling has evolved and now included and although they all stay honest to their Melbourne Shuffling heritage, they all have their own intricacies—the shuffle had evolved and the “Melbourne” prefix was no longer necessary or entirely relevant!
The Popularity of Shuffling
Nowadays, shuffling is renowned all over the world for its innovative and entertaining style. The fluid motions and casual shapes thrown by shufflers mean that it is now a popular social activity while retaining its status as a rave and club favorite. LMFAO’s hit single, Everyday I’m Shuffling and the Utah Saint’s Something Good 08 really helped to bring shuffling to the masses and its popularity has continued to rise long after radio stations and music television stopped the playing of these songs.
Shuffling has gotten so big that it is now an iconic dance style in EDM circles and thanks to the ease of picking up the basics, even kids are getting in on the action! What’s more, in some countries, shuffling competitions have popped up—offering professional dance contracts and advertising contacts for winners.
The Basic Moves in Shuffling
The shuffle, regardless of style or form, is generally never just one move. Rather, it is a combination of heel-to-toe movements, kicks, jumps, and arm actions which work together to create a single and often unique shuffle. Whether you’re looking to learn an existing style or shuffle, or create your very own, there are a few basic moves that you’ll need to get you started—we’ve taken the liberty of listing them for you!
Probably the most fundamental of all shuffle movements is the T-step. It is the backbone of most shuffling styles and luckily it is relatively easy to learn! Starting with one foot behind the other, forming a ‘T’ with your soles, lift one foot and shuffle the other before bringing your feet back to the starting position—and you’re shuffling!
Person performing the T Step dance move, popular dance move in the shuffle dance.
The Running Man
You’ve probably seen at least one variant of the running man before, after all, it is probably one of the most widely used and easily recognizable movements in the entirety of dancing. Shufflers love the running man and it looks very much like the dancer is running—except they’re unlikely to get very far!
Person performing the Running Man dance move, popular dance move in the shuffle dance.
Spins & Kicks
Of course, a shuffle that only incorporated steps and the running man would make for some dull watching! As such, spins and kicks are fairly basic additions that can get any shuffle moving while simultaneously adding a bit of style and flair. The great thing about using spins and kicks in your shuffling is that they allow you to go in any direction imaginable without interrupting the flow of the shuffle that you’re performing.
Advanced Moves: Make your Shuffle Pop!
Of course, if everybody just utilized the basics, there wouldn’t be the great diversity of shuffling that we see today. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll probably start looking for ways to make sure you’re only cutting the most original shapes. We’ve found a good playlist with a few advanced moves to get you started, but if you really want to be unique, you should start adding your own techniques to the mix!
LED Shoes: Adding a whole new Light to Shuffling
If you’ve been to a club or dance show recently, or you’ve got an account on just about any social media platform, you’ll have noticed that shuffling of all styles and speeds has got a new craze. LED shoes which light up the entirety of the soleare the latest craze to take off in the world of dancing.
At Flashing.Shoes, we realized something. Lighting up the dance floor shouldn’t be the only aim of LED sneakers—as exciting as illuminating the sole of your shoes may be there should be more to it than just light.
That’s why we designed our sneakers with the ‘three Fs’ that we mentioned in our previous post: functional, fashionable, and fun!
The Future Looks Bright for LED Sneakers and Shuffling
LED sneakers and shuffling have already made their impact on the world of dance, and that’s definitely something that is set to continue. It is safe to say that shuffling is going nowhere, and on the feet of a good dancer, LED shoes can really help to bring the art form of cutting shapes to life.
If this look back at how shuffling has evolved over the years—and how LED sneakers have played their part in this evolution—has got you wanting to cut some shapes then there’s only one thing to do: pick up your own set of Flashing.Shoes and get shuffling!