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What is Shuffling? 

Shuffling is a dance characterized by its main move, the running man, and various other steps used to travel, spin, or glide.  

How did shuffling begin as a dance form?

It's very difficult to put a birth date on shuffling since it is a dance form that has evolved from other styles over many years. 

All we can do is appreciate the roots and guide them into the future. 

The fundamental move ("the running man") is originally an African dance, that developed into a street and fad dance between late 1986–early 1987 and was performed notably by Janet Jackson in the video of her hit "Rhythm Nation" and MC Hammer in the video of his song "U Can't Touch This".


Other foundation moves, like the "T-step", which helped define specific styles of the dance weren't discovered until the mid-late 2000s, but have since then taken the dance to a whole new level. 

What type of music is used for shuffling?

The running man is and always will be a part of African American culture. It originated as an afro-dance and was later adapted into hip hop culture as a "fad dance". But everything changed once shuffling was established...


In the beginning, the most popular music style for shuffling was an electronic subgenre called "hardstyle". This is where the "Melbourne Shuffle" was born. The name "hardstyle" says it all... it is in fact a very fast-paced genre with a tempo typically ranging from 145-155 BPM (beats per minute).


Shortly after, another shuffling style gained popularity, it was called Malaysian Shuffle. It took on a slightly different form of groove and traveling, but remained in the same music genre. 

2009 - 2011 is when shuffling became very popular in Southern California. Both Melbourne and Malaysian styles were widely known, but it was time to put a little twist. Around this time, electro and house music (125-130 BPM)  were entering the mainstream and shufflers made a big discovery. By dancing to a slower tempo, you could focus more on the groove and technicality of the movement instead of exhausting all your energy to keep up with the fast pace of the hardstyle. This is where "Cali Style" was born.

Eventually, it was only inevitable for shuffling to reach every single subgenre within the blanket term "EDM" (Electronic Dance Music) with styles developing further as they are met with new sounds. Techno, Trance, and Tech-House are currently among the most popular style of music to shuffle to, but it's always changing! It's encouraged to find a song with a "four-on-the-floor" beat and a nice riding bassline to accompany it. A lot of 80's pop, electronica & disco are great for shuffling too!  

What are the different styles of shuffling? ​

Melbourne Shuffle:

Originating in Melbourne, Australia it was the first style of shuffling created by implementing the running man with "t-step" variations, spins, and glides. Gives the visual illusion of flowing smoothly through space when done correctly. 

Malaysian Shuffle: 

From the country of Malaysia, it is a much more explosive style of shuffling. It involves full-body pivots and larger movements all around. A very long stride is used in this style, which causes a bit of hunching over.     


Cali Style Shuffle:

Cultivated in Southern California (USA), this style is derived from the Malaysian style. It is also a very explosive style filled with energy. However, one of the main differences is that this style incorporates more groove/rhythm into the movement. You'll notice a straight posture and more hip movement accompanied by lifting the knees higher and making the stride a bit shorter than Malaysian style.     


These are other dances that are typically mixed in with the original shuffling styles to create a cool hybrid style. These are NOT considered shuffling, they simply enhance the flow of the performer.  

Cutting Shapes, House Dance, and Miami Step. 

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