Gliding

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default Gliding

Post by Prometheus on Thu 16 Jul 2009, 10:59

I believe one of my last big hurdles for shuffle is gliding. Does anybody know the technique for it?
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default Re: Gliding

Post by Garry on Fri 17 Jul 2009, 16:46

WAX Smile That's the best, a well polished wax surface, flat leather soled shoes, and lots of leg muscle strength.

It's made to look easy, but it's really asking lot to drag your weight across the floor, especially if you're wearing standard trainers/nike etc which give grip, on a rough concrete surface.

Part of gliding is weight distribution. Get your body weight over your resting leg - the one not gliding, so there's little if any weight on your gliding leg. But don't let people know that Wink Make it look like there's weight on your gliding leg.

This becomes a real art when you change legs a lot, very difficult to do, but great to watch.

Check out these legendary gliders from the 1940's, Tip Tap Toe in Shout Brother Shout. for some moves.

You'll see the classic melbourne shuffle step too, that twisting of your foot/ankle to move sideways [1:25], and a warning DON'T EVER TRY DOING THE SPLITS without 6 months preparation in stretching exercises Smile Once you've stretched your leg and groin muscles, ok, but for first timers, sit on the floor and widen your legs a little bit every day for 6 months

Then you can spend another 6 months in a gym to stregthen your legs to squeeze/glide yourself up. hehe this is pro athlete stuff. You'll be pulling hamstrings all over the place other wise.

So build up those thigh muscles folks, that's the secret to gliding.


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default Re: Gliding

Post by Prometheus on Mon 20 Jul 2009, 04:32

I'm afraid I still don't understand yet on the technique involved. I'm only guessing, but as I watched some shuffle videos in slow motion and studied their gliding movements, it looked like they pull their shuffling foot in as they do the standard foot/ankle side step. Is this what they're doing? Or is it something different?
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default Re: Gliding

Post by Garry on Mon 20 Jul 2009, 10:50

Yep that's it.

Remember It's a visual effect, an illusion.

Mainly the shuffle glide started with beginners who didn't have enough strength in their legs to lift them off the ground doing runing man, so they dragged their foot - instead of having the toe pointed down and heal up, you keep your foot flat and just skim the sole across the ground, mainly to keep balance. And on video it looks like it glides.

When you combine it with your other foot doing moves like the side way suffle, your whole body then looks like it's gliding, or sliding on ice. It takes a huge amount of practice to get it looking right.

The rest of your upper body and other leg has to move like you are gliding too, to give the overall effect. It might only last a few seconds, but it's a memorable image.

The glides that are around on shuffle vids, are pretty basic, as you can see from that 40's vid, there's lots of ways you can glide, some of it real on a highly polished surface, such as a mall or school passageway floor.

So there's no limit to the glides, just your personal preference.

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Post by Garry on Tue 21 Jul 2009, 01:33

Check out the brilliant Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers doing some gliding.

You can see the Nicholas Brothers easiest doing that dragging glide you mentioned [3:00]. It's part of what was called then a 'soft shoe shuffle' , soft shoe because it didn't have metal taps like for celtic/tap dance.

You'd drag your foot to make a scrapping sound, like the wire brush sound used on a snare drum. Often sand or pumice powder was sprinkled on the stage to get that sound. We use talcum powder in exactly the same way in Shuffling, but for the opposite reason, to give slip to the surface for gliding.

The Nicholas Brothers also do the finest spins and splits you'll ever see, extraordinary athletics. And a dragging sissor glide from the floor after doing the splits, I lost count how many times...!!

Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Nicholas Brothers, & Dorthy Dandridge


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