What is the Melbourne Shuffle?
What does it look like?
The Melbourne shuffle is a dance style comprising 2 main 'movements' which usually define it. These two steps are the 'running man' and the 't-step/shuffle'. When someone incorporates these two basic moves into their dance style, you can be pretty sure it's the shuffle. There are, however, many more components to the shuffle which can be optionally added to a persons shuffling style. These can include 'kicks', 'spins', 'forward steps', 'switching', hand movements, 'moonwalking', 'glowsticking' and 'hat tricks'. On a side note, dance moves like glowsticking and hat tricks can be considered dance style by themselves and you can visit niche sites/forums dedicated to them if you want to learn more about them. Personally, I (Jack_40k) like to incorporate most of these moves into my shuffling style - and I love gaining inspiration from other styles - however I encourage everyone to develop their own individual style of shuffling, that's the beauty of it! I would like to give a massive thanks to BigMilan for the effort he has put in to creating the Melbourne Shuffle tutorials we all love today. I learned to shuffle from this guy and I would recommend his videos to anyone looking to learn about the Shuffle and how to do it.
Make sure to check out this informative thread by iLLeR [ex-Melbshuffle admin] here
The most famous BigMilan tutorial
Different 'types' of shuffling
This is such a sensitive and heavily debated topic that it may not be worth mentioning. In some peoples eyes, there is one form of shuffling - which is the Melbourne Shuffle, nothing more, nothing less. However, it is supposed by some that there are different, distinct forms (or styles) of shuffling. To give you a brief overview of the debate, I will mention a few of the most popular different supposed 'forms' of shuffling and what they are composed of.
Hardstyle (Might also be considered "Stomping")
An overview of Hardstyling from DarkRavN17 [ex-Melbshuffle member]:
A style popularised in 2007/2008, it is generally accepted as the RM heavy variant of the shuffle. Up to the point of being 100% RM for some people. Often involves other footwork such as Hard Step. It is not, as pointed out in TXPC's thread, a dance where people simply try to look as hard as possible, by stomping the ground as hard as they can. This style is widely considered to be only "TB." This statement, however, is completely wrong. If one were to post a hardstyling video, one is not a TB. One simply is a hardstyler. HARDSTYLING =/= TB. Well, not anymore. The definition of TB is, according to TXPC, a conformist. You will see many, many carbon copies of people, such as Sacco, Mikki, Francis, and etc on Youtube. However, there are a few people out there who still prefer hardstyling over the MS style. Hardstyling normally uses the HardTrance and Hard/Nustyle genres.
Txpc [ex-Melbshuffle member] explanation/definition of Hardstyling:
Cross over running mans, stalls, stall spins, an actual whole foot stomp, arm movements are more rigged and cut. Upper body is more stiff and neck bops forward and backwards. The transition is alot different.
It is, in fact, so difficult to find a definition for 'hardstyling' that it is almost impossible to explain it to a newcomer (one of the argument points used against the existence of hardstyling). This point of argument can be used against the existence of other forms of shuffling too. However reading through the thread above will provide a great outline of the debate and different explanations of what 'hardstyling' is.
One video example of 'Hardstyling'
Softstyle (might also be considered "Oldschool")
DarkRavN17 [ex-Melbshuffle member] opinion on (against) Softstlying in which he provides a loose definition for us:
This is the main dance which, more often than not is confused with "Softstyle," by the thousands of children on Youtube. Involves much more "T-step" than the other style, the ratio, generally speaking as it varies between shufflers, is around 40% RM (Less more often than not) and 60% T-step. Often incorporates many different dance styles, such as Tektonic, Liquid and any other EDM dance. As an example; Romara uses Hip hop dance moves in his shuffle. This style is usually more associated with the "Old-school, rave culture" shufflers. It is often a more individual take on MS, changing between each person, with variation being kept in the front of ones mind. This blanket description of shuffling style can be done to almost any music type, depending on skill and personal taste.
Again, it is difficult to obtain anything more than a loose definition of the style (since definitions vary from shuffler to shuffler).
One video example of 'Softstyling'
I suppose these are the two 'forms' of shuffling around which most debate takes place. However there have been many more forms which have attracted quite a lot of attention and you can research these for yourself using the Melbshuffle Search Bar if you want more information. Make sure to search these among those:
- The Brisbane stomp.
- The Sydney shuffle.
- Electro shuffle.
Melbourne Shuffle History
If you are looking to learn about the history of the Melbourne Shuffle, check out this
In early 2007 the Melbourne Shuffle had well and truly transitioned from an underground dance - only witnessed at certain overage clubs and events - to a more commercial dance which was also pulled off by a younger crowd. K*N*G (Australian hardstyle/hardcore producer) claims that he and Danielz (from Youtube), were the first underage teens to sport the famous PHD hoodies at an underage event in the suburbs of Melbourne. At the time, the shuffle became a craze and spread quickly throughout the underage scene. Hordes of teens could be witnessed shuffling at underage events, hosted in and around Melbourne, such as Lush and Liquid. It was this commercialism of the shuffle which brought the dance to the attention of two year 10 high school students in Melbourne, Jack and William. Having already been exposed to other commercialised underground dance styles such the C-walk, Tutting and Popping - all of which had dedicated forums - Jack and William decided to create a shufflers forum, Melbshuffle.com.
Past experience with other forums, as well as technical experience in computers and good grasp on marketing meant that the forum boomed and was a great success. Jack, known better by his alias 'Jack_40k', created several compilations of shuffling videos (uploaded to Youtube under his account Jack40k), featuring the now-famous shufflers Danielz, Mikki, Hiltzy, Brazuka, Kebabi and Francis to name a few, which provided large amounts of traffic to the forum. Throughout 2008 Melbshuffle was booming and saw more than 20,000 user signups from all over the world. New initiatives were taken on: such as Shuffle battles (a shuffling competition where 2 people would 'dance-off' against each other using Youtube videos - now abandoned due to public disapproval), Melbshuffle hoodies and SOTW (Sig of the Week) - all of which involved the community and drove Melbshuffle to be the most popular shuffling site in existence. Since then, hits have declined as the shuffling 'fad' dies down across Australia. However the shuffle is booming in other parts of the world and is yet to reach its peak in popularity worldwide. Melbshuffle aims to spread the word about the shuffle, educate people on the topic and provide a welcoming, active and up-to-date community for everyone to enjoy.
*Check out Melbshuffle and track membership progress in the early days using the Wayback Machine*Melbshuffle in July 2007