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The Rapper Sword Shuffle Step


Shuffle Step



It is most unusual for bells to feature in the rapper sword dance. Instead, the dance uses a driving, almost running step for the figures, punctuated by the dancers becoming suddenly still and "stepping" in time with the music. This is usually used to display to the audience the complexity of the plaited swords and give them a chance to applaud.

Assuming that you start every phrase of the music on the right foot, at the last beat, stamp on the left foot. Then, starting with the right foot, transfer your weight onto that foot and brush your left foot on the floor in a forward and backward motion (sometimes, using a circular motion helps make the taps separate). Then transfer your weight to the left foot and brush forward and back with the right. Then repeat the cycle. This takes a bit of practice but, when the dancers have mastered the technique, the effect is electrifying. In general, the stepping starts on the first beat of the bar of music and continues for 2 or 4 bars before the dancers continue with the figures, starting their running step again on the right foot. To get the clearest sound, leather soled shoes on a wooden floor work best.

The sound samples below should help you get the feel for the shuffle step. I have added a few bars of words to the slower sample as a help.

Help! I can't hear the music >>

If the sample player does not work, please click on the link and it should open in another tab in your browser to play.
If this does not work (especially on a Windows PC) it is possible that you are not using the default Windows player. Try Right-Clicking the tune name to see a drop down box and then Left-Click "Save target as..."
Then navigate to a suitable place on your hard drive to save the file. Remember where you have saved the file and click "Save".
Now open Windows File Explorer (Windows key and "E" together), navigate to where you saved the file and double Left-Click it. It is very likely that you have a program on your system that will open the file. Usually, the file will play in Windows Media Player.

Shuffle Step (slow pace) (60 bpm)

Shuffle Step (up to speed) (120 bpm)


© R. Stradling 2015