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Melbourne Shuffle (also known as the “Hardstyle Shuffle”) is a dance associated with the electronic music genres hardstyle and hard trance. The dance movements consist of quick heel-and-toe slides known as “shuffling”, accompanied by a variety of freestyle hand motions.
According to Wikipedia, the Melbourne shuffle originated in the late 1980s through the breakbeat and techno electronic music scenes in Melbourne, Australia. By the early 1990s, the dance became associated with various genres of rave music, incorporating hip hop dance moves like “the running man” and “gliding" into its style.
The dance bears many similarities to the celtic dance known as “stomping”, which used ballet-style foot shuffling movements. Stomping originated with Irish stepdancing, which has its roots in Pre-Christian Ireland.
In 2004, Underground Epidemic Productions began filming a documentary titled “Melbourne Shuffler” (shown left), which detailed the history of the dance and included interviews with notable Melbourne dancers. The film was released on DVD in 2005. On September 25th, 2005, YouTuber fhearnoiz uploaded a video titled “Melbourne Shuffle”, which included interviews with Melbourne residents along with dance club footage of the shuffle (shown right).
On March 27th, 2007, the website WeDanceHard was launched (shown below, left), which featured compilation videos, music downloads and an online store with instructional DVDs. In November of 2008, the Australian Shuffler video competition website was launched (shown below, right), which provided a forum for Shuffle dance crews across the country to showcase their own style, share feedback and vote on individual videos.
The the American electronic duo LMFAO has had a significant impact on the shuffle dance subculture with their hit single “Party Rock Anthem”. On January 25th, 2011, the “Party Rock Anthem” was released for LMFAO’s second studio album Sorry for Party Rocking. In January of 2011, a contest was held on the Party Rock People website to find dancers to shuffle in the official music video. On March 8th, 2011, the video was released on YouTube (shown below) and accumulated over 434 million views within 14 months. On March 14th, 2012, the website Shufflin.net was launched, which included forums for shuffling videos, dance music, instructions and clothing.
On March 5th, 2006, the first Urban Dictionary definition for “Melbourne shuffle” was submitted by user ChemicalJames, which defined the dance as an “organized freedom of movement.” On November 8th, 2006, a discussion thread titled “The Melbourne Shuffle – Your Opinion” was started on the drug enthusiast Blue Light Forums. On October 25th, 2009, a movie titled “Melbroune Shuffle Stick” was uploaded to the flash site Newgrounds, which featured a stick figure performing the shuffle. On June 21st, 2010, the dance blog How to Dance to Technopublished a post titled “Caution: Melbourne Shuffling”, which included YouTube videos of shuffling fails (shown below).
Many YouTubers have uploaded footage of themselves performing the shuffle, as well as notable dance footage of shuffle dancers. As of May 15th, 2012, YouTuber jack40k has received over 37 million views on seven Melbourne shuffle compilation videos, the “Melbourne Shuffle” YouTube channel accumulated over five million views on 27 videos and there are 62,600 YouTube search results for the keywords “melbourne shuffle.”