Sunday, August 23, 2009

American Shufflers - How to find each other !

Do you want to find other shufflers in your part of the USA ? Or join/start a local shuffle crew, or have a local shuffle meet-up?

Of course you do !!!

Just leave a message or comment on the MSO Forum and get those crews and meet-ups happening...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shuffle Music: Practice Mix 4. Swing - Dorothy Dandridge

mix title: swing
shuffle music genre: swing
to develop smooth full body motion.
 beginners > advanced
speed: nice and easy 90 -120 bpm
time: 9 mins

Swing is a 1930's-1940's development of tap dance. Tap is a fusion of Celtic clogging and African-American folk dance from New York around 1900.

Swing is also the music style that dominated the scene. Swing is a development of 1910-1920's trad jazz combined with European styled marching military band orchestrations typically called Big Bands, 15-40 members. A small band was typically 4-7 members usually for smaller venues, clubs, speakeasy's etc.

The Big Band was for big occasions in big venues. Such as Earls Court in Melbourne 1950 (pic right) getting it's dance floor resurfaced. 

Swing loosened up the tempo to allow for a broader louder dance style, generally called 'dance hall' these days.

Dorothy Dandridge is a fantastic singer and dancer from the era. She has a faultless sense of timing and a personality that simply glows on the screen. It is little wonder she went on to a successful movie career.

Swing is a full bodied dance. You really need lots of room and you literally swing yourself, and partner around.

Shuffling in relation to swing is a soft shoe dance routine [1:40 in first vid], actually called a 'Shuffle' at the time, and is where the name Shuffle today originates. Basically a shuffle is tap without the wood or metal taps on the shoe soles, performed in a small area concentrating on the footwork. Just as we think of shuffling now. Swing lets loose and takes up as much space as it can get :)

In these clips you'll find lots of big suits (Zoot Suits) baggy pants,  gliding, shuffling, spins and splits.

And a warning...the Nicholas Brothers are seasoned pro's, if you try doing the splits like them, without years of training first, you'll pop hamstrings all over the place and end up in hospital for weeks ! (True - be careful !)

Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Nicholas Brothers, & Dorothy Dandridge Chattanooga Choo Choo!



Boogie was a bar room stomp, which people such as Count Basie elevated to high art. It often has coded sexual euphemisms in the lyrics.

There's no real dancing in this last clip, but Dorothy's amazing voice and cowgirl outfit more than make up for it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Scooter - J'adore Hardcore

A new clip by Scooter - J'adore Hardcore has emerged online with lots of Shuffling shots in Melbourne.

It's worth a look. The shufflers look like hired pro dancers who know shuffle steps, rather than Shufflers. They do the oldskool steps well, but just repeat the same couple of steps over and over. It would of been nice to see some more variety.

But that might have been out of the control of the dancers. It's really a marketing clip to sell this track, not a Shuffle vid. The record Company wouldn't like people to be more impressed with the shuffling than the lead act, Scooter, who doesn't dance at all.

Cultural: How did the clip maker go at representing the Melbourne Shuffle on it's home turf ? - We like to do this to correct any cultural misunderstandings. In a city that speaks over 200 languages in day to day life, we find it's a benefit ;)

Well they got the roof top shuffling right, plenty of space fantastic view, and it was usually the roof of the building oldskool shufflers lived in.

They got Laneways right as a cultural reference (read more ) though we never really shuffle in them, Basically because they're too narrow, we've got plenty of really wide open places to shuffle.

And Unlike that freshly swept laneway in the vid - with fresh never walked on chalk to grunge it up a little, in your average Melbourne back alley and lane there's always gravel small stones, broken glass, squashed food from waste bins, rats, vomit and piss on the ground, not to forget junkies used syringes. Not the safest or most enjoyable place to shuffle.

We'd go for a polished marble floor in a building foyer. Most often we'd shuffle outside our studio front door in the polished vinyl passageways of our buildings. It's the only way to glide, in socks too ! :) Or multilevel carparks, with smooth concrete plenty of room, under cover. There's hundreds of them all over town.

We'd have Laneway parties for sure, but they'd be packed wall to wall, standing room only, you wouldn't shuffle there.

I think they're a bit confused with the graffiti too. Graf isn't part of shuffle culture it's part of hip-hop. By 1990 we'd already had a decade of 1st-time-'round hip-hop.

We wanted  something new, we got into animated computer graphics and experimental video making, then broadcast them on our own tv stations, exactly the same as shufflers do today posting Shuffle vids on youtube, kind of a cultural, missed on that ;)

But never mind, just having some fun with ya there Scooter, the clips not a bad job.

But a rave anthem hands up in the air ? no Scooter, you should be shuffling feet, this is 'dance' music. You should try it. It's easy to learn, even little kids can do it...

Checkout the MSO SHUFFLE TUTORIAL to learn. ;)



Seems scooter's been a naughty boy and not only copied his look from Billy Idol, but copied the other idol clone Vanilla Ice, stupidly stealing tracks

But first I must state, that he may have actually paid for their use, quite rightly. After all his big 1996 hit was a happy hardcore version of Billy Idol's 1983 hit, Rebel Yell.

You can be sure Mr Idol's lawyers made sure license fees were paid in full by Scooter ;)

So judge away friends.

J'adore hardcore - Scooter Copying

Scooter 1996 cover of Billy Idol, Rebel Yell.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

HARD HEADZ @ 16.05.2009. 4MR//Moscow

4MR (For Mother Russia) are having fun this summer in Moscow. They're shooting video for the Global Shuffle dvd documentary, and showing us what it's like being a Shuffler in Moscow. Which includes going to dance parties ;)

Here's some great shuffling, jumpstyle and hardstyle done Russian style at HARD HEADZ a few weeks back.

2 BROTHERS OF HARDSTYLE, S.I.D.R., Andy Wolf, Dertexx, Hardstyler, Pitch Project, Screamer, LoLo, Solovey, МС B-Kicker, J4S, 4MR, E.A.T., MHD, H4L.

HARD HEADZ @ 16.05.2009