Everyday I’m Shufflin’ – EDM Dance Styles

November 1, 2014 by
Filed Under: Blog, Dance Styles


When stepping into Bella Ballroom, you may expect to hear John Legend’s “All of Me” as couples practice their first dance for an upcoming wedding. You might also suspect to find dancers smoothing out their waltz technique, or firing up their salsa patterns. These scenarios are completely plausible and likely. What you might be surprised to find in Bella Ballroom are dancers getting down to Electronic Dance Music (EDM). While we are most known for offering private lessons in ballroom and wedding dances, we also often work with those eager to shuffle, lock, pop, and flow to electronic beats.

The creation and evolution of EDM gave birth to a variety of dance styles. There are also many dance styles that already existed and merged their way into the EDM scene. Shuffling, tutting, hip-hop, flexing, tectonics, breakdancing, and waving are just a few of the existing popular genres embraced by EDM lovers today. New dance styles and fusions are also being discovered around the world daily. Let’s take a look at some of the more common EDM dance styles.

The various types of shuffling seen today evolved from the Melbourne Shuffle, a dance that originated in the 1980s in the underground rave music scene in Melbourne , Australia. It originally consisted of the “T-Step,” a fast heel-toe action of one foot shuffling across the floor and the free foot lifting up and down in sync with the traveling foot. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3evoNeD45g) Shuffling evolved to include running man variations, stomping with the beat, and foot swiveling. Modern interpretations include motions from other dances such as the C-Walk, Toprock, and Jumpstyle. When shuffling is done well, the dancer appears to be gliding across the floor.

While the history of tutting isn’t well documented, most will agree that young 1980s funk dancers originally practiced the style. It is said that the dance began as a mimicking of the angular poses seen in the art of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. The movements make use of the joints such as the wrists, elbows, knuckles, and shoulders, to create right angles and geometric shapes. Boxing, miming and the hinge illusion are all elements of this dance and give it a magical appeal.

Hip-hop dance holds a huge history on its’ own and was born independent of EDM. While originally associated with hip-hop music, many of the moves have been adapted to fit electronic music. Waving, or liquid dancing, popping, locking, breakdancing, and c-walking are a few of the sub genres of dance that have crossed over to the electronic side.

Swing and the Hustle:
Woaaah! Swing and the hustle?! You might say, “But these are partner dances!” Exactly. What most people don’t realize is that these social dances can be adapted to EDM. Many of our dancers enjoy leading or following and dancing with a partner to their favorite music. Curious about partner dance and EDM? We’re happy to help!

The EDM dance world is vast, creative, and always growing. Frankly it’s too expansive to be properly relayed in my little blog here. I leave you with some fantastic finds on Electronic Dance Music and the movement surrounding it. Happy dancing!

Rapping duo Redfoo and Sky Blu of LMFAO bring shuffling into pop culture with their song and video “Party Rock Anthem”:

This is Tutting

Other links:

Seriously AWESOME Collection of EDM Dancers:

House, Trance, Dubstep, Techno, and more… “An Idiots Guide to EDM Genres”:

Comical (but true) explanations of how to dance to Electronic Dance Music at festivals:

Steve Aoki shares his interpretation of typical EDM dance moves:

11 Ways to Dance at Ultra

Article by Bella Ballroom Dance Studio teacher, Ziva. Here at Bella Ballroom we can help you learn all the EDM dance styles–get in touch with us today!