In the recent years, we’ve seen a lot of EDM fans show off this weird, and somewhat new, dance move in a lot of music videos, throughout the web and on Youtube in their own personal videos. It seems like you are missing out on a lot of fun when you’re not sure what it’s all about and how to do it.
At first sight, it seems like the person is running while smiling and having a good time. To dance music fans, shuffling is more than just having a good time. As with most things EDM-related, it is a form of self expression, an accomplishment, and as some put it “a way to improve their mental and physical health”.
The Shuffle dance was developed in the 1980s, it is improvised dancing where the person repeatedly “shuffles” the feet inwards, then outwards, while thrusting their arms up and down, or side to side, in time with the beat.
Let’s go into more details and learn more about the dance and find out how you can start dancing it in 5 minutes!
Where did it start?
The Shuffling dance started in Melbourne, Australia, in the underground rave scene back in the early 1990s. Back then, it was known as the Melbourne Shuffle. With the growth of the electronic dance music scene around the world, Shuffling dance popularity grew and is now practiced by people from around the world at all the major EDM festivals. In 2012, the Melbourne Shuffle became a popular dance in the UK and became known as simply “The Shuffle”.
The Best Music For Shuffling
Melbourne’s underground scene in the early 90s was under the huge influence of Techno music. This high-BPM electronic music sub-genre placed the perfect beat for shuffle dancers. But shuffling became so popular that it crossed over into electro house and hardstyle genres. Today, shuffling spans into almost the full spectrum of electronic dance music. We’ve seen shuffling in videos from EDM, Trance, House, Techno, Electro and most of it’s sub-genres.
The best music for Shuffling is usually the more upbeat versions of electronic music. Although any EDM genre will work for the dance. Which makes Shuffling a very versatile dancing style: you can choose whatever music you want to dance on. There’s no limit to how much you can personalize this dance.
Check out this Spotify playlist for music to Shuffle dance on
Shuffling For Beginners
As a beginner, you have to learn to master just two basic moves before moving on to the more advanced stuff.
The first image below shows the T-step movement. The second is the same T-step combined with a variation of the running man dance. You can take a closer look at the dance by watching it being performed by Janet Jackson in the video of her hit “Rhythm Nation”.
A great tip you can keep in mind as beginners is that you can sprinkle talcum powder or add liquid to the floor to help you slide more smoothly and easily.
After mastering the basic shuffle moves you can now throw in some jumps, spins and slides. You’ll make the dance your own, having a complete shuffle routine that’s personalized and unique to you alone. After that, all you need is some awesome EDM banging music blasting through your speakers and let the fun begin!
Time To Learn How To Shuffle
Learning how to shuffle might seem like a difficult task, but it really isn’t!
When you take it slow, understand the steps and practice, you’ll be ready to hit the dance floor in no time!
As we previously mentioned, you’ll be starting out by learning the basic “running man” move. With time, you’ll be able to switch things up and add your unique twists to the overall dance. Hell, you might end up having a unique dance for every song, you’ll become the unstoppable Shuffle Master! Sounds awesome no?
In the below tutorial video, you will learn the basics of Running Man. You’ll start by breaking down the steps easily and after that we put the steps to the counts and then to the music.
When getting started, keep these tips in mind:
1. Start slow – learn and practice the basics over a period of time
2. Dance in front of a mirror to better see what you’re doing
3. Copy the experts: watch Youtube videos to see how others are doing it
4. Wear good shoes and socks (or your feet will hurt like hell!)
5. Start slow, use slower BPM tracks such as deep house at first to get the hang of it first
6. Find people who already have mastered the dance and become friends, they’ll give you tips and tricks from their own experience
And most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP! Like everything in life, this will take it’s time to master and will need practice time, even though it looks easy in the videos.
Here Are Some Advanced Moves
The Kick Side Step:
The Charleston Shuffle:
Club Dance Footwork Moves:
Are There Any Benefits To Shuffling?
Shuffling, as you might have already discovered by now, is a lot of work. Your legs are moving, your hands are moving and your whole body is balancing itself throughout. You will be sweating in out when you shuffle, that’s almost a guarantee. But consider it a workout. Throughout the years, fitness experts and clubs have promoted dancing to music as a sort of exercise regime. And it is! Nowadays, shuffling falls into that category.
During a shuffling dance, your full body is moving and shaking. Burning around 500-1,500 calories an hour. Your leg muscles, calves, and glutes (and behind area) are getting toned with every passing minute, in addition to the toning of your abdominal muscles, with every twist and turn. Your legs get a serious focus, in addition to the muscles being stretched and toned, the joints and ligaments in your legs are getting some much needed attention. They’re getting extra strength with every active move.
But shuffling not only improves physical health. It can do wonders to your mental health as well. Similar to other physical workouts, shuffling releases endorphins into your nervous system. These are the anti-stress hormones, and the longer you shuffle, the longer they’ll stay in your system and the more stress and anxiety goes out of your way.Shuffling also improves mental focus, you’re in your zone trying to keep the rhythm going and focused on your moves, being in this mindful state is very beneficial to you. Once you’re in your rhythm and going about your dance, the success of every move will boost your confidence levels and keep you away from the everyday stresses of our lives. You’ll have a great sense of accomplishment after a successful streak. One dance will create a momentum in you to keep on going and try the more complex moves and get out of your comfort zone.
Speaking of “zones” being focused on your body movements will also bring you closer to the music. This deeper appreciation for the melodies and the detailed undertones of the track adds a special bond between you and your favorite artists.
There’s a whole community of Shuffle dancers out there. With the above knowledge and some time to practice, you’ll join them on the dance floor and you’ll be showing those awesome moves at the next EDM festival in no time!