Is Saint-Henri home to Montreal’s next best dance crew?
Whether or not you have rhythm, Allison Rector — or Ali the Shuffler — insists she can teach you how to shuffle.
“The shuffle is a combination of some fundamental moves that are known as the T-step, the running man and then just multiple variations of kicks, spins, you can move with your arms, it’s all a linear dance,” she explains.
“So, you are moving from side-to-side, being very fluid.”
It’s a hip-hop derived rave and club dance style that started in Australia in the 1980s and 1990s.
It’s most commonly known as the Melbourne Shuffle — and is also nicknamed “rocking” or “The Shuffle.”
“It expanded over the years and really cultivated in the rave scene to be something super expressive and freestyle,” Rector tells Global News.
The 25-year-old Texas, U.S., native has just finished a degree in philosophy at Concordia University — “came for the boy, stayed for the city,” she jokes.
Though there doesn’t seem to be much of a shuffle community in Montreal, Rector insists there is a market here for it.
“Montreal is a very progressive, artistic, expressive city,” she says, adding that Toronto already has its own shuffle scene.
“It’s cool because each city has its own style. My mission is to spread the word, tell people that there’s this amazing dance that really should have its own community here.”
She points out shuffle communities already exist across the United States, like in Los Angeles and New York, as well as in Europe and of course, in Australia.
“Hopefully it takes off and people see the passion, like everybody else,” she tells Global News.
Starting in April or May, Rector will be teaching people the art of the shuffle at Gym St-Henri in four workshops.
“Once you have those fundamental moves, that’s when you can start experimenting with your own type of style,” she says.
So far, she’s seen interest from all different age groups — from university students to people in their 40s and 50s.
Anyone interested in getting involved in the movement, or who wants to take part in a workshop, can connect with the group Montreal Shuffle Movement on Facebook.
The first workshop will take place at Greene Avenue Community Centre on March 25 at 1:30 p.m.
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