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 http://www.rhondaburchmore.com/bio.html 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 www.globalshuffle.com

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.

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