Melbourne Shuffle

melbourne shuffle


The Melbourne Shuffle (also known as Rocking ) is a rave and club dance that originated in the late 1980s in the underground rave music scene in Melbourne, Australia. The basic movements in the dance are a fast heel-and-toe action with a style suitable for various types of electronic music. Some variants incorporate arm movements. People who dance the shuffle are often referred to as rockers, due in part to the popularity of shuffling to rock music in the early 1990s.

In the late ’80s, the Melbourne Shuffle began to emerge as a distinct dance, incorporating more hand movement than its predecessor, Stomping, which in turn originated from Celtic and Malaysian folk dances. The clog and sword dance can easily be matched to some earlier experimental rave and club dance moves that evolved into Stomping.

Shuffling originally incorporated tap and traditional ballet -style foot shuffling. When b-boys started attending Shuffling dance events, they brought in their own set of hip hop dance moves, for example, ‘the running man’ and ‘gliding.’ These hip hop influences became predominant, and breakbeat and techno music was gradually replaced with the more hardcore forms of rave music, such as hard trance. By 2005, the Melbourne Shuffle had helped to change the sound of hardstyle and hard trance music, with DJs and producers aiming at a constant 140-160 beats per minute speed. By 2006, early hardstyle was largely replaced by nustyle and epic trance -influenced hard trance music at popular shuffling clubs and raves. Nustyle and the newer form of hard trance focused on swung euphoric orchestral-like trance melodies that would suddenly drop into a constant kick drum that was of preferable speed for shuffling to by the rockers.

In early to mid 2009 the infectious popularity of the Melbourne Shuffle on YouTube began to calm, bringing on a new age of shufflers. The dance began to revert back to what some people call ‘Oldschool.’ This reversion of shuffling consisted mostly of wide variations of the ‘T-Step’ and minimal running man, and is accented by glides and spins. Although referred as ‘Oldschool,’ this of style is still very different from the way rockers in the ’90s danced. Many of the new wave of rockers perform in cypher (dance offs). Some of the older and more experienced shufflers refer to the younger people of this new wave as ‘teeny boppers’ (TB), arguing that battling is not what shuffling is truly about. TBs are also generally described as being young people that are not old enough to attend raves, so they dance at school, in a street or in a park instead. Whereas individuals who participate in those aspects of the dance argue that enough of the current Shuffle scene is influenced by Hip Hop (such as the arguably widespread inclusion of the ‘Running Man’) that these activities are justified.

Some dancers sprinkle talcum powder or apply liquid to the floor beneath their feet to help them glide more easily, some including 360 degree spins or jumps into their moves. Others apply smooth plastic tape to the soles of their shoes. Hardstyle is performed to music that features a fast 4/4 beat (also known as a ‘four-on-the-floor’ beat), and is normally accompanied by a heavy, booming (or hollow) bass. For this reason, many people in the US and Europe incorrectly refer to the ‘shuffle’ as just ‘hardstyle.’ This is despite the term ‘hardstyle’ being an umbrella term for many different rave dances globally, as well as a genre of electronic music. Hardstyle is a rave dance, while most other styles were typically performed in clubs and dance parties.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.