Wednesday, September 12, 2007

1920's & 1930's Shuffle Influences

The Melbourne Shuffle grew from a combination of girls doing Ballet/Tap dance and BBoys break dancing, with new steps thrown in.

Most girls in Melbourne learn social dancing from a young age and Tap dancing is a normal part of the dance lessons. The word Shuffle as a dance style actually comes from the Tap dance genre.

Here's some great old movie clips of the sort of dance steps the girls learned, and then showed the BBoys at underground dance parties in the early 1990's in Melbourne. There's some brilliant professional dancers here such as the legend "Rubber Legs" Al Norman.

It's worth remembering that these old movies were made just a year or two after sound was added to film - The Talkies. People would sing along in the cinema with the tunes. So if you feel inclined, you can sing along with them in front of your computer. After all, most shufflers dance along to shuffle clips in front of their computer these days :)

Penny Singleton and "Rubber Legs" Al Norman perform this dance number to the song "Good News" From 1930 . The music is played by Abe Lyman and his Orchestra.

An interesting move here in this first still from the vid. Somehow it never really caught on as a Melbourne Shuffle move. One can only wonder why :)

Check out the 1930's phatties

Some classic shuffle sideways moves

Mass Running Man

Good News 1930

With Abe Lyman and his Orchestra, Nancy Carroll, (Rubber Legs) Al Norman and Skeets Gallagher. From 1930 " Dancing To Save Your Sole

Dancing To Save Your Sole 1930

and the famous The Charleston

The Charleston 1920's

"That is the cool Melbourne Shuffle"

Came across this pic with the title 'That is the cool Melbourne Shuffle' on a Vietnamese site posted by shuffle boy - Melbourne has a pretty big Vietnamese population.

Yeah, well it is Melbourne and a not too uncommon sight ;) Goths were a part of the oldskool Melbourne Shuffle scene. Nice pic... but we wanna see her dancing :)

See Melbourne Shuffle Brief History for some oldskool Goths dancing in old wedding gowns.


I've just had an email from Ben Collinson about the pic above. Ben's an oldskooler from the Global Village days. He's now living in London, but on May 20, 2006 he was in Melbourne and took this great photo. He told me it's actually not the Melbourne Shuffle (Someone grabbed the pic online and put a different title to it) but the Zombie Shuffle. I kid you not. :) Here's the flyer, great looking flyer too btw.

The shot was taken as the Zombies shuffled their way down Flinders Street. They actually went past the front of my building where I have my studio, the Nicholas Building on the corner of Flinders Lane and Swanston Street. (See google map for a closer look) I have a vague recollection of them passing, seeing them from my window which looks down to Swanston Street. I just thought, 'Oh yeah, just a bunch of Zombies going for a stroll' nothing unusual for Melbourne. There was about 100 of them. Hmmm thought the girl in the pic looked familiar :)

View Larger Map

So there's gonna be another one this year according to the official Zombie Shuffle site This time I'm gonna not be lazy, and go out and film it !!! It looks fantastic. They have heaps of links to pics of the Shuffle and lots more info such as what's on the menu for the next Zombie Shuffle picnic. pic below

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Shifter - Melbourne Shuffle Winners

Congratulations from Melbourne Shuffle Oldskool, to Shifter for 1st place doing a great choreographed team shuffle at the 'Graceful Live Show And Art Exibition 2007' in Jusco Tebrau (Malaysia).

Seems their practice has paid off! Some really good synchronised shuffling here, great to see. Here's some vids of the performance

Shifter @ Jusco Tebrau (posted by Apekwhuut)

shifter hardstyle prodigy 3

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Apekwhuut - Melbourne Shuffle Champion 1st International Dance Festival - Malaysia

Congratulations from Melbourne Shuffle Oldskool to Apek, for his Melbourne Shuffle first place win, at the 1st International Dance Festival in Malaysia in June.

Yep, the Melbourne Shuffle is an officially recognised dance style now. The festival is recognised by both the International Dance Sport Federation and the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

Who'd of thought eh? The Shuffle could be an Olympic event!! Better get yourselves into training :)