The Melbourne shuffle is a rave dance that developed in the 1980s. Typically performed to electronic music, the dance originated in the Melbourne rave scene and was popular in the late 1980s and 1990s. The dance moves involve a fast heel-and-toe movement or T-step, combined with a variation of the running man coupled with a matching arm action. The dance is improvised and involves “repeatedly shuffling your feet inwards, then outwards, while thrusting your arms up and down, or side to side, in time with the beat”. It is also strongly associated with the wearing of phat pants. Other moves can be incorporated including 360-degree spins and jumps and slides. Popular Melbourne clubs during the dance’s heyday included Hard Kandy, Bubble, Xpress at Chasers, Heat, Mercury Lounge, Viper, Two Tribes at Chasers and PHD. Melbourne’s first techno dance parties Biology, Hardware and Every Picture Tells A Story were popular with Melbourne Shuffle innovators.
UK and Netherlands
In 2012, the Melbourne shuffle became popular in London. In the UK, the style has been referred to simply as “shuffling”.
The Melbourne shuffle was reported to have made an appearance on the Netherlands dance scene in 2014, where it was referred to in derogatory terms as “konijnendans” or the “rabbit dance”.