Article about Shuffling in Malaysia by The Star
Dancing in the streets Wednesday April 23, 2008
By IAN YEE
Join the party: The crowd, a mix of shufflers and rockers, in the Bukit Bintang area in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
BY ABOUT 5pm every Saturday, the open space outside Maybank at the Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail intersection in Kuala Lumpur becomes the venue for a huge outdoor party. Teenagers just turn up from everywhere, with music blaring from portable speakers hooked up to their MP3 players and cellphones.
They would slowly find members of their crew, and start to chat and catch up. But many of them have a different purpose for meeting up.
Showing support: These kids are wearing shirts bearing the logos of their shuffle group.
Hidden identities: This group of shufflers came ready with their masks last Saturday, which are worn during dance-offs with shufflers from other groups.
Johnson Lau, 18, has been taking the train there every Saturday from his home in Sentul. Five months ago, he discovered something there that has become a passion – shuffle dancing.
Shuffling is now more than just a hip dance move. It’s a movement. Almost every state in Malaysia now has a shuffling community, and the shufflers are hardcore. They participate in huge events and competitions, and some of them are sponsored by big brands like Hotlink and DiGi.
They take their moves seriously, working hard to elevate it to more than just a dance. It is now a legit street culture with a massive following among teenagers.
At Jalan Bukit Bintang, around five to 10 shuffle groups come each week to create their own dance floor by gathering together in a small circle. Cheering and jeering each other, they take turns showing off dance moves to music from their little portable speakers.
“I think it’s fun,” Johnson said about their weekly gatherings. “I love to shuffle because it helps me to relax, and every time I dance it seems like I have an escape from all my troubles.”....
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- Good one Ian :) MSO
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