Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy (western) New Year 2009 Tesla Coil Light Show


Yeah we know, is this for real or photoshop ? It's for real and if you wanna know how they do's the place Tesla Down Under.

and their Disclaimer
This is dangerous stuff. Your first touch of live primary Tesla coil voltage (10,000 volts) has a good chance of being fatal depending on circuit paths and peak current. The secondary voltage (500,000 volts) is less dangerous due to lower currents but will still cause burns with less pain than low frequency current.  High voltage capacitors as used with the can crusher are even more dangerous with many times a lethal charge.  The capacitors from defibrillators are actually designed to stop your heart.

The Dept of Energy Safety has approved the Tesla coil equipment but see Misc for details as they are not plugged directly into the mains but rather pass through a 50 V AC stage.

Read and enjoy the information here.  Do not attempt any of this unless you have read everything you can about it here and elsewhere and you have a clear and fool proof plan for safety.  See further info in Misc

Then...if you must you can do this.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Goth Shuffle crews

Goths were a big part of the Melbourne oldskool underground and they had their own shuffle style.

Being hardcore goths, they of course got fully into the role and would have goth names and characters etc who'd never be seen in full costume in daylight etc.

There were some brilliant goth crews too.

Mortisha's (a goth fashion shop) crew would do these annual goth costume balls. All the costumes were made by the wearer, or small design crews who would work with the wearer as a model. One guy had full on rubber bat wings on his back which could open out.

Goth Ball - Carnival Of Lost Souls. 1995

Another crew The Scream even had a basketball team in the local suburban comps. with a goth cheer squad who would shuffle to punk and industrial, and glare at the opponents all night psyching them out - it works.

These shots are from 1994, it's like an episode of Buffy :)

Other goth shuffle crews would do these elaborate choreographed stage routines in goth clubs. Local goth bands would write the music.

On Stage at cult goth club Apocalypse 1994

These were my neighbours in Commerce House in the early 1990's, they produced horror literature and a monthly mag called Bloodsongs.

You can check out all these goths in action in this compilation from mid 1990's. The tracks at the opening are by Melbourne goth bands, Love Lies Bleeding and Dead Can Dance.

TOE - Theory Of Everything 1993/95

Thursday, December 18, 2008


*click to view large*

eiChi has just posted this great looking event in Kuching / Malaysia.

You guys will gona see this in tomorrow's 诗华日报,Borneo Post and Utusan Melayu.

The design company which i'm doing part time now is organizing a big event called December Extravaganza from 24 Dec till 31 Dec, at the out door car park of Crown Square. several events will be held there within those days, and two of the main events are the one listed above in the advert, the 24th shuffling finale and christmas countdown party, and the 31st Rock'in 2009 Countdown Party.


The 8 days outdoor stage events will start from 24 December 2008 until 31 December 2008. ENTER-K MELBOURNE SHUFFLE COMPETITION 08’: THE GRAND FINALE will be the first stage event of the extravaganza.

On the night itself, the shufflers will compete among oneself on their last journey to be the winner of ENTER-K MELBOURNESHUFFLE COMPETITION 08’!

Besides that, the joint organizers has included XMAS EVE COUNTDOWN into the event, in which will be a countdown party after the shuffle competition. Local artists and bands are invited to perform, such as “LIVE BAND CHARITY 08” winners, “NEW VOICE KARAOKE CONTEST 08” winners, and of course, the judges of ENTER-K MELBOURNE SHUFFLE COMPETITION 08’ - Alicia (Tribezone), Daniel, Wallace and Nicholas (Hazard Minors).
ticket price @ 30 nett

The last day of ENTER-K’s DECEMBER EXTRAVAGANZA! @CROWN SQUARE will be hosted by invited DJ.

Besides having beers and preparing for the new year countdown, the audiences will have the chance to experience the “disc-scratch” skills and techniques of the invited DJ, together with the special stage effects, which will further bringing the audiences “live” to the fantasy world of musical entertainment!

In addition, other stage entertainments like hot dance, street dance and live band will push the countdown environment into climax. The audiences can also dance and rock at the specially created “Rock & Dance Area”, which is located in front of the stage, and blend into the atmosphere of new year countdown!
ticket price @ 50 nett

yea.. so those who are interested, kindly contact me to get the tickets. yes, i have them with me. i'm now selling tickets too besides doing graphic work XD

so people, esp Kuching people, must support Kuching's big event ah~
thank you very much for your attention :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brunei Shuffle Compilation

Our good shuffle friends in Brunei have been busy. Here's a new compilation, with some great editing by FHFBazz .

Check out the fantastic Brunei Shuffle forum too,  even I'm a member ;)

Brunei melbourne shuffle compilation 1


Brunei melbourne shuffle compilation 2

Thursday, November 27, 2008


ROBOSHUFFLE We don't mean shuffle like a robot, we mean make a real robot shuffle !!!

Mindstorms ALPHA REX in particular. (pic below)

Can you make your Lego Mindstorms Alpha Rex Shuffle ?

I can't, but I'm going to try, he's already got Phat type legs :)

So far I can get him to boogie along to Jpop, which is kinda appropriate, but hardstyle is a bit intense. I'm figuring that I'll need to adjust gear ratios a bit and get some sideways leg movement happening.

Then of course play around with the AI programming to get some smooth shuffling.

SO wanna join me in some fun trying to get robot's to shuffle and shoot shuffle vids of them ?

Have you already succeeded and have some code or tips you want to share ?

Then join us on the MSO forum


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Best Shuffle Tutorial Ever !

Our good friend Len Hall from
We Dance Hard has just released what MSO considers to be the best Melbourne Shuffle tutorial ever. - and yes you may quote us ;)

Great job Len. This DVD is a fully comprehensive guide to shuffling. With fantastic clear footwork for all the common shuffle moves spins etc. And there's enough time in each example to actually practice along with it. A great way to learn and practice at the same time.

Beginners...I defy you to get lost with this dvd ;) No excuses, it's everything you need to learn, practice and at the end shuffle along to with a great music video section with live shuffle party footage, vid mixes and stomping soundtrack.

This is where to get it  >>>

KFC Shuffle comp - Malaysia

You know the Melbourne Shuffle has gone mainstream when you get KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) sponsoring a shuffle competition and doing TV ads for it !!! KFC Hotrods it is called, Shuffle your way to Melbourne is the tag.

The main prize is a trip for 2 to Melbourne, plus ipods etc for other prizes.

KFC Shuffle TV ad

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How the ‘MELBOURNE SHUFFLE’ name started

Rupert Keiller has been wrongly credited with making up the term Melbourne Shuffle around 2000. Rupert was in Sonic Animation a local Australian music act from about 1998 to 2003. Rupert had simply mentioned the Melbourne Shuffle in an interview on a Sydney TV music show.

The term Melbourne Shuffle had been in common use for nearly a decade by then. Everyone in the Melbourne, Sydney, UK/Europe and USA dance scenes said it, going right back, years before Rupert had even appeared anywhere.


We called ourselves shufflers or stompers in the oldskool. Stomping was like todays hardstyle, usually to dutch gabba/hakken and d+b (drum and bass). Shuffle was already the name of the dance moves going back to the 1920's and earlier.

I first heard 'Melbourne Shuffle' in mid 1992, from Rhonda Burchmore who had flown down from Sydney to our TVU crew warehouse  dance parties, which we broadcast on our own free-to-air tv station.

She was on a break from rehearsing in a broadway type dance show (created by David Atkins) called Hot Shoe Shuffle, (Pic above). She'd heard about the Melbourne Shufflers and wanted to meet us, see our shuffle moves and join in and dance with us.

She and her friends from the show one who was originally from Melbourne, asked me to film them in the party, which I did. A wonderful lady, and all brilliant dancers. You can see the footage in the feature doc

So 'Melbourne Shuffle' was in common useage for years and just stuck after a while to distinguish it from the broadway type dance theatre shuffle, and to identify what town it originated in – Melbourne (Australia).

Rhonda went on to a successful broadway and London west end theatre career. Seen in Riva coffee commercials in Melbourne these days or hangin with Bill.

Monday, November 17, 2008


With so many shuffle crews around now, MSO is introducing an OFFICIAL SHUFFLE CREW REGISTER service for Shuffle Crews.


The MSO OFFICIAL SHUFFLE CREW REGISTER will help serious crews to identify themselves as legit and lay claim to their shuffle crew name, with contact email and details such as what countries they operate in, post links to facebook/orkut etc pages if they have them, and promote their crew merchandise and upcoming events - ALL FREE

This will also help new crews find out if a crew name is taken. At the moment, most crew name lists are just forum games, and the names don't belong to any crew at all.

Beginner crews can register their new name on the MSO OFFICIAL SHUFFLE CREW REGISTER and immediately start recruiting.

Most shufflers want to be in a crew in their local area, but don't know anyone else in town who shuffles. So here's a chance for you to connect.


  • It's free and will remain online permanently
  • Crews can publicly register their crew name
  • Crews can provide public contact details
  • Crews can post recruit ads
  • Shufflers can post want to join a crew ads
  • Crews can promote their events, meet-ups and merchandise.
  • Crews can display Crew Shuffle banners (links below) on their site, blog, forum etc to show they are on the MSO official crew register. 
  • All Crews have their names posted in the MSO sidebar and linked to their registration.

So what are you waiting for ??? Here's the link...


Links to Crew Shuffle Banners

Avatar 100 px wide

Medium 180 px wide


Large 400 px wide

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Girls Shuffling

Katie a 14 y/old from New York known as HelloKittyGurl101 has done this fantastic mix of girls shuffling.

Well done Katie, lets see some more ;)


Girls Shuffling

Friday, November 14, 2008

Can You Shuffle To Rock ?


Can you shuffle to rock ? Sure you can, you can shuffle to any music you like, otherwise we'd all have to shuffle to music from 1992 and be forbidden to shuffle to anything else.

Totally nuts, and we oldskoolers would just ignore any fool thinking they could tell us what music we could listen and dance too.

That's Melbourne culture and Shuffle culture, where

Just like AC/DC here cruising down Swanston street Melbourne in 1975 with their first track off their first album - It's A Long Way To The Top, If You Wanna Rock n Roll. And Bon Scott does a great bagpipe solo !!!

We do things our own way in Melbourne, with a little help from some great shuffle girls from Brasil ;)

The clip has some great footage of Melbourne in 1975. There's even shots of where I've been living in my studio for the past 10 years, The Nicholas Building

It's near the end with Bon on lead bagpipe. It's this very area the shuffle and Phats were created in, down Flinders Lane.

And check out Angus (lead guitar) doing his famous 'ANGUS STOMP' a well known and loved stomp style from Melbourne in the 1970's.

AC/DC meet Girls Shuffling In Brasil

Monday, November 10, 2008

Russia: 4MR Shuffle Crew + 1st Moscow Melbourne Shuffle Cup


Our Russian shuffle friends have been very active the past few months. We welcome for the first time on MSO, Russian crew from Moscow 4MR (For Mother Russia).

The first vid is a short introduction to the 4MR members, and the next 3 are from 4MR's very well organised first ever Moscow Melbourne Shuffle Cup held earlier this year.

The prize is a very nice looking medallion. The competition is 1-on-1, and the competitors are selected from a draw of names from a cap.

A great looking shuffle scene there in Moscow guys, we're looking forward to seeing lots more from you.

Russia Moscou Shuffle Compilation 4MR-Team


Moskow cup part 1


Moskow cup part 2


Moskow cup part 3

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Advanced Shuffle Footwork - Exercises #1

We've had a great response from our Advanced Shuffle Footwork post, and lots of questions on HOW YOU DO IT ! :)

  • If you're new to the Shuffle, start here, on the MSO forum for lots of information on moves, styles, what shoes, how to use baby talcum powder on the floor, stretching exercises, balance exercises, why did we do the Shuffle in the first place, who started it etc.

    You can ask questions and get answers as well, it's beginners friendly (no flaming or dribbling) and designed to encourage you to Shuffle and help you improve. 

As we've mentioned, shuffle footwork is based on Celtic Dance and the vids posted below will give you enough information to keep you busy for 6 months.

Turns, spins, jumps, hops, sideways steps, kicks, all these basic movements are used in shuffling and this is where they came from, Celtic Dance.

You don't need to do them exactly like the vids unless you want to learn strict Irish Dance. But the exercises are great for getting your similar shuffle moves working properly. They'll also give you a breakdown of the steps from different angles with English language commentary.

The moves and steps are for both male and female.

Irish Dance Movements

beginner slip jig

men's reel

steps broken down


Here's some great instructions from Learn To Dance

The first thing to remember is that at all times during the dance your arms must be straight and held down by your sides (Like a soldier at Attention)

Basic Position  (This position is usually called the 'T" in shuffling)

Start with your feet together with the heel of your right foot by the toes of your left foot. Feet at 90° to each other. This will mean your right knee has the left tucked behind. This position is the normal position after each step, changing to ending with the left foot in front instead, and vice versa.

The Basic Steps
There are three basic steps to Light shoe dances, around which all dancers are built.

Teachers weave these into their choreography in different ways and vary them slightly, but if you can't master them in their basic form you will never really make the grade as a step dancer.

The basic steps are the Jump Threes, the Hop Threes and the Sevens or Side Step.

Jump Threes (basic step)
Start in Basic Position

1) Now lift the front leg (in this case the right) keeping it dead straight with the toes curled forwards, so don't try to lift too high. (The worst thing you can do is point your toes up so that people see the soles of your shoes)

Jump off the foot still on the floor onto the raised foot, landing just in front of where it started.

As you jump bring the back foot up to kick your behind.
This is all done at the same time so takes practice!

2) As you land, step forward onto the original back foot, placing it just in front of the other foot.

3) Tuck the original front foot "behind" to end up in "basic position" but with the other foot now in front

Jump threes are always started from whichever foot is in front.

Do threes very slowly to start with and build up speed. One Three per bar of music. Once you have the hang of them try the lead round

Hops threes (basic step)
Start in Basic Position

1) Hop on the back foot as high as possible, landing back on the same foot.

At the same time the front foot is brought up across the knee of the other leg, as high as possible (try to  touch your hip with your toes)

2) step very slightly forward on front foot

3) tuck back foot behind

Hop threes are always started by hopping off whichever foot is behind. One three per bar of music.

Sevens or side step (basic step)

1) is a hop or jump
2) The leading foot is moved to the side
(for example, the leading foot is the right one so move right, left foot move left)
3) back foot moves the same direction but crosses behind
4) front foot again
5) back foot behind again
6) front foot again
7) back foot behind again

All Irish Step dances follow the same basic pattern.
There are usually several components :

The Lead Round
The First Step

The Second Step (or Lead Back)

As the dances become more advanced these become a little harder to distinguish. However in the early stages they are very easily defined. Below is a basic beginners reel.

A Beginners Reel
this is a Beginners Reel, so choose Reel music. Try not to make it too fast, as this is hard work!

A Reel is a soft shoe dance so either get some proper Irish shoes, or use ballet shoes or the like (preferably black)

For a costume you need something with a shorter skirt (above the knee) with plenty of material so that you can lift your legs freely. A Sports skirt would be fine, although something a little more colourful would be better.

A simple white blouse with loose sleeves would also suffice. If you really want to look traditional then take a simple scarf and pin it onto the left shoulder. Then drape it across the back and pin it at the waist on the right side.

Count the bars in your mind, stood in basic position.(the bars are usually easy to count in Irish music)

At the first note of the sixth bar point your front foot and toes forward moving the leg ahead of the back foot so that only the toes touch the ground.

Keep your feet in the same turned out position as in basic position.

You do not start dancing until the first note of the ninth bar

The lead round is simply Eight continuous Jump threes in a circle, alternating leading legs.

You must end up back where you started, facing the front again.

As each persons jumps are different don't try to follow someone elses circle.


Hop three twice
Hop Seven side step to right
Jump three twice
Jump seven side step back to left

repeat A but to opposite side

Repeat A again but this time move forward more with each hop three (on step 2 of the three)

repeat C but opposite (your sevens should be along the very front of the stage)


Repeat Lead round (eight jump threes), but instead of creating a circle just curve back to end your last three facing the front again in your original starting place in basic position


To finish any Irish Step dance do the following :
Point your front foot as if starting, and bow from the waist, head and face up, arms still by your side.

Then turn towards the musician (or person running the music machine) and bow in the same way to them.

This is a recognised show of respect that all Irish dancers uphold, and it looks very smart.

Stand up straight, turn left and walk off stage with arms still by sides, and still straight legs and pointed toes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lithuania Shufflers

Our shuffle friends in Lithuania are really getting their shuffle scene into action. Fantastic to see so many at the meet-ups, wearing some great Phats too! Good on ya guys and gals lets see some more :)

Here's a great MSO recommended forum, for shufflers in Lithuania >>>

Lithuania Shuffle meet-up . Vilnius Karolina

LT Meet Up pt6

3 members Last Shuffle Vid Till Lithuanian Shuffle MeetI

nsane Hardstylerz - 129% Pure Insanity---------------------------------------- --- errm yeah just watch the video xD i hope u enjoy don't forget to comment and rate xP Songs in order: Southstylers - Crystal Noisecontrollers - Crump DK&L - Destiny Karpe-DM - 8th Wonder Of The World (Dj Rise Remix)


Lithuanian Melbourne Shuffle Compilation

Meet-Up NYC 24 Oct 2008

Attention American Shufflers in New York, there's a meet-up on 24 October 2008 Time Square in front of Virgin organised by EHS (Emo Hardstyle Shufflers). So lets see some vids huh ? :) UPDATE: Now on Friday 24 October 2008, @4pm

> Yo there's a place to meet up with some other shufflers in New York, My group E.H.S. will be there and bring anyone else who loves to shuffle and whatever.

More info, questions etc >>>

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Shuffle Meet-Up / Party. Brunei 30 Nov 2008

Our good friend DJ Qwamii from the Brunei Shuffle forum is organising a great looking Shuffle Meet-Up and Party in Brunei.

Live bands, Wet Bouncer (Bring extra clothes) BBQ/Kebab etc

Date: Sunday 30 November 2008
Time: 9 am onwards
Venue: No 10 Lot 6306, Simpang 217. JLN Kecil KS SG Tali. KG SG TARING LUMUT (BRUNEI)

More info:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Shifter - hardcore

Geez missed this one from Shifter. I-Qal's been very busy. I was in hospital with a leg injury a few weeks ago, so I've been getting behind on all the shuffle action.

Great rokin track here, anyone know the name ?

Check out Shifter having fun with some serious grunt.

shifter hardstyle prodigy - new trailer 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Shifter vid

Great new vid from Shifter Hardstyle Prodigy, editing by I-Qal, who is definitely having some fun with the cut. Very nice mix of tracks there too, I-Qal, well done ;)

Check out the mobile sound and light system these guys have got in the back of a car !!! These car park shuffles have been a favourite with shufflers since time began. Try it sometime :)


Shifter Hardstyle Prodigy 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pillars Of Creation

Pillars Of Creation, wow, ya gotta be confident to name something that. But here it is as seen on the Hubble telescope. Those bright dots are where suns are born. This is the real photograph, not a computer graf. Pretty amazing huh?

Checkout the Dragonhead Nebula (my name)

This looks just amazing...

Starry Night

I've seen lasers do this at dance parties, but this is the real thing. The Hourglass Nebula

This is the famous Trifid Nebula. Day of The Triffids, was a brilliant 60's sci-fi movie. The plants uproot themselves and start killing off humans - but we win of course. This is the actual place the spores were said to have come from on a comet, in the book/movie.

And this is what happens When Stars Die, they let everybody know about it. A red giant explodes and the white dwarf is formed in the centre.

You can find more of these brilliant pics of our galactic neighbours at >>>




Be sure to let us know if you spot any shufflers out there too ;)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ayumi Hamasaki

Happy Birthday Ayumi Hamasaki, just 30 today. For those of you unfamiliar with Ayu, you're seriously missing a Jpop genius. Ayu's often referred to as the Japanese Madonna, but she's way better than old Madge ;)

This is the album that did it for me The opening track with killer guitar solo, blew me away. Been a fan ever since.

Never Ever (2001) Release Date: 7 March 2001

01. NEVER EVER "Original Mix"
02. NEVER EVER "Yuta's prayer mix"
03. SEASONS "H-H remix"
05. NEVER EVER "Laugh & Peace MIX"
06. NEVER EVER "Empty Pot Shuttlecock wood"
07. evolution "Ayu Can Hear U Mix"
08. NEVER EVER "nicely nice hot stab remix"
09. NEVER EVER "tears of aquarius mix"
10. NEVER EVER "Original Mix -Instrumental-"


Here's a live shorter version of the opening track. I have no idea what the words are in English, all I know is I believe every word she sings.


This live guitar intro by Yoshio to Endless Sorrow in a 2005/06 tour will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It's magnificent. 

Ayumi Hamasaki Countdown Live 2005//06 Endless Sorrow guitar intro by Yoshio Endless Sorrow ~Intro~ CDL05//06

This is a great little rockn track MissUnderstood. wonderful production and maturity in Ayu's voice.

Ayumi Hamasaki - Missunderstood > shinobi movie

Ayu's remixes are astounding and inventive. She works with a very wide range of producers covering all sorts of dance styles. Here's a hot Morning Musume remix, although it'd be nice if someone taught them how to shuffle ;) This track is part of MSO Xtreem Shuffle challenge, do your own remix with shuffling in it.

Morning Musume Ayumi Hamasaki remix


And another killer track BOLD and DELICIOUS  with english subtitles. This one has not been far from my sound system the past couple of years, it's brilliant, in production and writing.






So check out her work, she writes and records her own music, she plays keyboards, performs with symphony orchestras and the dance remixes are brilliant, but very few of them are on youtube, so check out her site and jpop forum for tour dates, free downloads and buy the originals, they're superb.

And perhaps just a couple of trance remixes to go out on ;)

Ayumi Hamasaki - "M" (Above & Beyond Cyber Trance Remix)




...And lets finish with the hauntingly beautiful Dolls, from the movie of the same name. Ayu plays piano in this one, and we have some Rozen Maiden visuals to go with it.


Ayumi Hamasaki Dolls - with Rozen Maiden remix

Here's the actual DOLLS film trailer. It's a fantastic Takeshi Kitano film from 2002. It's available on DVD, well worth seeing.

DOLLS Trailer. Takeshi Kitano 2002

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How To Make A Shuffle Crew


Any shuffler will tell you, the only thing better than shuffling, is shuffling with friends.

The Shuffle is a social dance, that's how it began. A bunch of friends getting together and doing what they love, Shuffling. Simple as that.

Whether it's 2-3 friends hanging out at home or hundreds at a Shuffle event, being with others who have the same passion for Shuffling is a buzz like no other.

There can be dozens of different types of crews, and not all crew members need to be pro shufflers. Some members may not be able to shuffle at all, yet they can be just as valuable a member as the crew stars who win competitions.

Lets have a look at some of the different types of crew members.

A crew can have any or all of these types of members, and one member can do more than one role.


These are the most visible crew members. They'll be the ones who are in the crews shuffle vids and enter competitions.

Often the competition crew members form teams. Shifter Hardstyle Prodigy for example have 50 members and a number of teams, from the most experienced older ones, to starter teams for the younger ones who are in training.

Having different teams in your crew gives everybody a chance to perform at their skill and age level.

Generally new crews will just have one team who are all at the same age/skill level to start with.


These are the people who video and edit the performers. They don't need to be able to shuffle, but they do need to have a passion for shuffling and understand Shuffle culture.

The film crew provide valuable feedback to the performers. Together they can view the shuffling and discuss how to make it look better, or have a greater impact.

The end product, usually a youtube vid, is how the world sees the crew, so it is a very important role. Film crews need to keep up with the latest editing styles, software and cam techniques, just as the performers need to keep developing their moves.


All crews need some sort of web presence, a myspace, friendster, orkut page etc, and often a forum, for updates meet ups, comps. Even for posting vids online.

So crews need a good web tech who loves this stuff, and knows how to manage all the online activity.

Online time moves FAST it's a fulltime job just keeping up. So this is often a great opportunity for someone who's not a great shuffler, but is a great tech and can spend a lot of time keeping up with online developments and work with the rest of the crew to make online content work for the crew.


Well of course if you're gonna have a crew, you need some crew artwork. That's where the visual artists come in. They will discuss with the crew all sorts of ideas for that big crew logo you want on the back of your hoodies, to the header on your crew page.

Artists understand shuffling really well, as most of the oldskool shufflers were artists to start with. So the crew artist/s will express in a graphic form what your crew is about.

logo's need to work on all sorts of levels, from hoodies, to grungy youtube resolution, it's a fine art (pardon the pun) getting the balance right, and artists need to keep up with changes in styles just as much as the performers do.


Your crew will probably want it's own phats, competition costumes and will want to sell it's own merchandise at some stage. That's where designers come in.

It's a fashion area, so you need someone with fashion design knowledge, an understanding of fabrics, and clothing manufacturing techniques.

Cript Ballas for instance have their own tailor who makes the crews phats. That's a great idea, and the crew designer is the one who understands the demands of wear and tear on clothing, especially clothing that has to perform hard in shuffling and not fall apart in the middle of a comp. Not a good look to have a bit of reflective fabric come off in the middle of the comp finals and trip everybody over on stage ;)


Most crew members will have their favourite tracks to shuffle to. Keeping up with latest tracks and changes in styles is a busy job.

Some crews are now considering working with musicians and composers to write tracks specifically for their crew. As a musician and composer myself, I think that's a great idea. I've spent most of my life writing music for dance crews and dance productions, I love it. It gives the crew a real edge to tailor make the music they shuffle to, and helps them stand out from the crowd with a truly unique combination of music and dance.

The difference between a musician and composer is, a composer writes the music, a musician plays it (like a guitar or keyboard). They can be the same person. A composer is different to a 'producer', a producer generally does not create or write the music, they generally use pre recorded loops and samples and just rearrange them with a computer. The risk with loops is, you can sound just like everyone else. But that's ok when you're starting out.


You may find someone in the crew is great at choreography, they can stand back and arrange the shuffle moves to make an impressive routine.

Often individual shufflers can come up with great ideas, but sometimes these can get lost in the rush, if you don't arrange them and pace them. For instance you'd do a 30 sec shuffle routine differently to a 5 min one. And it'd be different again if you are working with a team of 8 shufflers for a competition. That's where a choreographer comes in.


Most crews will have someone who takes care of the administration stuff of the crew. Someone who is the contact for the crew to answer emails, phone calls etc.

This can become quite a lot of work when your crew gets to 30-50 people. Admin organise information so everyone knows when a practice is, or when you need to pay entry fees to a competition etc.

Admin can be a great job for someone who loves doing that sort of thing - most shufflers loathe it ;) but it needs to be done and done properly. For instance when I want to contact a crew, perhaps to offer them a contract to be on a shuffle dvd, I look for the person who does the admin. That way I'm pretty confident that my messages will be passed on to the relevant crew members, and my emails will be returned.


When you have to get 30 members to a competition on time, you need a support crew. Firstly to make sure everyone has transport to get there and back, and also transport all your costumes etc. Perhaps even arrange for food if it's an all day competition event.

Often it's girlfriends/boyfriends with a car or helpful parents doing all the running around. It's a great way for them to not only 'feel' like part of the crew, but to actually do something practical, to free up other crew members minds to concentrate on the competitions etc.


Fans are great, they'll support you at events, give you encouragement when you're down or missed out on a place in a comp, and will generally be a delight to have around.

Fans want their crews to succeed, in what ever the crews are doing. So make sure you let fans become part of your crew somehow, wearing your crew hoodies, talking about 'their' crew on forums and comments pages, and letting everyone at school know you exist.

There's nothing like turning up to a competition or a Shuffle event and seeing a crowd of friendly welcoming faces who are there to cheer for you, knowing that you're probably scared to death with nerves...

So make fans part of your crew, they're worth their weight in gold !





Friday, September 12, 2008

Advanced Shuffle Footwork

Most Shufflers get bored with running man, and lets face it, a move you can learn in 5 minutes can get pretty dull after a few months.

The move popularised by one hit wonder McHammer (1990)was a common sight in aerobic gyms across the world for a decade by then. It's what people looked like on a gym tread mill. Running on the spot was also a warm up exercise for sportspeople across the world, as well as dancers.

McHammers running man was often derided as his failed attempt at Michael Jacksons Moonwalk. It was too hard for McHammer, so he did this gym exercise instead.

McHammer's only hit U can't touch this, is a classic 1980's gym workout music video, like former Melbourne girl Olivia Newton-John did in 1981 with (lets get) Physical and the frightening Jazzercise - Move your Boogie Body of 1982...oooh yes, it is as bad as it sounds, but the video tapes sold more than records.

So people like McHammer jumped on the gym bandwagon and did a McHammersize track, complete with cheesy lycra/spandex booty in your face. To give you something to look at while exercising in front of your TV.

  • McHammers - U Can't Touch This, is not all that original either, it's just a remix of Rick James 1981 hit Super Freak.
Rick James "Super Freak" 1982 [update: seems this particular vid has been taken down, but it's worth doing a search to check out the track.]


Jazzercise - Move your Boogie Body 1982


McHammersize. MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This (1990)


McHammer was probably the last of the genre, thank god ;) In 1990 Wall Street had just collapsed and triggered global recession and the Berlin Wall  had been torn down by ordinary people on both sides of it, just fed up with the whole superpower, superego trip Russia and America had been on for a lifetime.

It was a brave new world and we didn't want anything to do with the one we'd just torn down, we were sick of it. Like life was the running man, you run but you go nowhere.

Because of Melbourne's large and long established Celtic community ( mostly Irish, Scottish,Welsh ) Celtic dance was our first stop for inspiration when wanted the foundation to create a new dance for a new era.

The so called shuffle 'T Step'  is the classic Shuffle. It's a simplified version of Celtic Dance.

I'd recommend shufflers who are tired of Running Man to have a look at this stuff. Because that's what we did in the creation of the shuffle when we needed inspiration.

You will find enough steps in the first 60 seconds of the opening solo of 'Feet of flames' Warriors from Riverdance in the vid below, to keep you busy all year.

For all you crews looking for inspiration...

You will see synchronised choreography for 30 members so tight, you will weep with tears of joy. And in the vids are original Melbourne Shufflers, who auditioned in Melbourne and landed roles to tour the world with Riverdance in the mid 1990's. All done live on stage in front of picky audiences who love excellence in dance, just like shufflers today.

And the more you see it the more you see the brilliance of the artistry that has been cherished for centuries. Like fine interlaced Celtic artwork itself, whether on shields, swords and jewellery, or in sacred books and carved in stone. It still has a magic buzz like no other.

Dance in Celtic culture is seen as a sacred part of it's culture, often with magical powers. There are many tales of Celtic dance transporting you to the Celtic OtherWorld.


Shuffle footwork is based on Celtic dance, Welsh, Irish and Scottish Highland mostly. Most Europeans would spot the similarities in the dance styles in a seconds.

The earliest direct linage is Clogging

More than 800 years ago Welsh seamen danced on the wooden decks of their sailing ships in wooden clogs, and Clogging was born. Clog is from a Gaelic word (traditional Celtic language) meaning 'time'.

'Time' as in keeping time when dancing. The clogs were the percussion / drum section. The rest of the music usually provided by pipes, banjo's and later fiddles (violins). The dance quickly became a favourite and is still practiced centuries later, today.

Variations spread to different regions by the sailors when they were in port, often combining with local folk dance traditions to form Irish dance, Scottish Highland dance and Flamenco in Celtic Iberian/Spanish.  

Clogging went on to become the foundation for tap dancing, introduced to America first by Irish/Welsh sailors and later Celtic and European immigrants. Over the centuries regional variations emerged and local cultural dance was often included.

The full wooden clog made way for a leather top clog around the 1400's as the dance moved inland to wooden floored dance halls and ballrooms. Such as the traditional Lancashire wooden soled clog (pic above right)

Clog dancing is also known as Stomping, which is what the oldskool Melbourne Shufflers called themselves - Stompers.

The single biggest difference between Shuffling and other street dances today, is that Shuffling is danced 'in time', ie strictly on the beat. Your stomping foot keeping time, exactly as it's been done for centuries in clogging.

Clogging, or Stomping as it was called locally, was the standard dance style in Melbourne for much of the 1960's to 1980's as traditional folk dance became popular in the folk revival years. Melbourne has a very large Celtic population. The steps fitted as easily with pub rock as they did with electronic dance or traditional Irish jigs.

It's from here the Melbourne Shuffle inherited it's core basic steps. All the instantly recognisable shuffle moves are in traditional clogging.

Hardstyle (Stomping), Shuffling (sideways movement by twisting heel/toe)  kicks, running man, glides.

The big hit Irish Dance stage show Riverdance hit the world stage mid 1990's just a few years after the Shuffle started, and really kicked interest in Shuffling over the moon.

Celtic dance has been around for many centuries, as well as the Celtic dance music styles, the jig (gigue) and reel.

These are basically melody loops. The musicians would play a 4, 8 or 16 bar melody then repeat it 4 times often getting a bit faster each time, then change tunes, They could go on for as long as people wanted to dance. Exactly like DJ mix today.

You could go on all night with fresh musician's 'sitting in' when the other musicians got tired. All without missing a beat.

This is a dance style that has lasted centuries and still has people in awe with the skill and pleasure this extraordinary dance brings.

In the 1700's it was actually outlawed by the English Monarchy along with playing Celtic pipes and wearing tartan. The penalty was death - yes seriously. The law lasted for 50 years.

So we figured something that had survived wars and death threats, was something that had soul and spirit and freedom, just like we felt at the end of the Cold War.

These 5 vids are taken from live Riverdance and feet Of Fire performances, no  trick photography, no quick editing to make it look faster, just well practiced dance.

This is the Irish styled celtic dance, the arms are generally kept firm at the sides, in Scottish celtic dancing the arms are used a lot more, such as in The Highland Fling and Sailors Hornpipe. This arms-at-the-side thing is a common sight today in Shuffling, with attention on the footwork.

Scottish highland styled arm work (G.Shepherd 1994)

There were a number of very well known oldskool shufflers who did great intricate Irish styled footwork. I even have footage of a famous shuffler who did variations of jigs, sailors horn pipe etc, and The Goodies, Tim Brooke Taylor's 'I'm A Teapot' routine - excellent :)

A common sight at oldskool parties, shuffle girls with traditional Irish Dance skirt and stockings. (G.Shepherd 1994)

You'll hear the traditional pipes, and all the footwork is strict Irish dance - the original tap dancing introduced to New York by Welsh and Irish Immigrants in the 1800's.

Remember the footwork is in strict time with the music, the tapping sound from the heel and toes are used as percussion instruments as well as feet. Originally the shoes were chunky wooden soled ankle boots, now they have small metal plates.

If you wanted a slight pause you would time your footwork to include a small leap where you could change feet and leg positions ready for the next sequence, landing precisely on the beat.

You will also see costumes with reflective lines and patches inspired by Melbourne's Phats.

Riverdance is based on stories from Celtic Mythology.

In Celtic Culture women and men are honoured as great warriors, heroes, champions and artists. There is never any question or suggestion that girls can't dance. Any oldskool celtic shuffle girl could dance a guy on the dancefloor into the ground, with ease... ;)

In Celtic tales a young male warrior would often have to fight a female champion to prove his worth. They could never beat her, they could only survive the test.

A shuffler will need 5 hard years of training to just do the steps of the synchronised routines, and 5 more years to make them brilliant.


For shufflers wanting to increase their shuffle vocabulary ( 1 move = 1 'word'), here's a clear and brilliant example of how it is done.

Take note of the first vid in the series below. Watch the lead male character, the guy with the mask and Celtic X on his chest.

Feet Of Flames Warriors, is about the noble, but often nasty, celtic warrior class. To illustrate that, the choreography uses para-military uniforms that would immediately suggest an Army to a modern audience. Even including some marching routines if we didn't get it the first time.

To demonstrate the power and honour the warrior class has about itself, the choreography uses modern day body building poses as symbols of modern masculinity.

The poses show off different muscle groups to be judged for balance and perfection. They are based on ancient Olympic marble sculptures of Olympic athletes doing exactly the same thing.

In dance language such a simple move in between the main routines, can convey immense pride and power. They are iconic gestures of victory and the victors.

Don't limit yourselves to just a few moves, put some depth to your style. Not just global things, but local things. Draw on your own cultural tradition too, make the shuffle part of you.


Feet of Flames - Warriors


Feet of Flames - Break Out


Riverdance "Thunderstorm"


River Dance Finale~Michael Flatley & Jean Butler


And it that finale wasn't big enough for you, try this below ... lots of great feet close ups in this one too.

The opening Flamenco solo by Michael Flatley, is tribute to the Iberian Celts who have been living in modern day Spain / Portugal for 1500 years or so.

Feet of Flames - Finale