Liquid dancing

Liquid dancing

Liquid dancing (or Liquid) is an illusion based form of gestural, interpretive dance that sometimes involves aspects of pantomime. The term invokes the word "liquid" to describe the fluid-like motion of the dancer's body and appendages. It is primarily the dancer's arms and hands which are the focus, though more advanced dancers work in a full range of body movements. Liquid dancing has many moves in common with popping, born out of 80s b-boy and funk style dance movements.


Since the spontaneous rise and propagation of Liquid throughout the rave culture sometime during the 80’s and early 90’s, the root origins of the dance have ultimately remained a source of contention between both those involved directly with the dance as well as those outside of the immediate culture. In fact, even the time frame is difficult to pinpoint. Sightings of the dance range all the way back to the early and mid 70’s. While some argue that the dance evolved spontaneously from combining elements in the rave culture, others still contend that the dance is merely an extension of existing ideas from other art forms. It should be noted that scores of these artists (Funk Stylists, Glowstickers Contact Jugglers, Mimes, & The Unknown) attended raves regularly all throughout the 80’s and 90’s. In the wake of the decline of the original rave scene, Liquid has become a standing part of a worldwide club culture and the underground street dancing movement.

B-boys and funk stylists generally contend that liquid dancing is a development of waving, a technique in popping. Liquid dancing covers many of the same fundamentals as popping and it is fully possible (and common) for dancers to combine the styles, further blurring the distinction between the two. The defining difference is liquid dancing concentrating on smooth movements while popping is characterized by "pops" (hits) and contractions.

Some other liquid dancers uphold that liquiding is a pure B-boy style of dance that was merely inspired by popping and that the liquiding done by ravers is merely a toned down version of the dance meant to compensate for the lack of space and lights within a rave.

Techniques, Styles, & Construction

Hand flow

Hand Flow is the most commonly used technique in Liquid dancing and simultaneously the easiest to grasp. Hand Flow technique can vary depending on the dancer's approach to liquid, as there is no definitive way hand flow has to be done, as long as a fluid illusion is maintained between the hands. This Illusion needs to be maintained rhythmically or else it can not be considered dancing. A Liquid dancer's personal style is defined by his or her individual approach to hand flow, and how it fits into their dance as a whole.


Rails, often times a heavy focus in liquid, are charactarized by the moving of your arms along a set path ar "rail".


Waves are an attempt to maintain the illusion that a wave is passing through one's body by the isolation and alternating tensing and relaxing of one part of the body at a time at a steady speed in a constant direction.


Traces are a technique where one's hand follows the path of a wave going through one's body. The hand moves at the same speed and in the same direction as the wave.


This style maintains the illusion that one is pulling parts of their body through holes created by the positioning of ones arms. An example of this would be holding one's shoulder to create a closed loop which the other arm goes through. These are performed at the same speed as the flow of the liquid and waves to maintain an illusion of continuity.


This technique entails the hands following exactly the outline of an object, real or imaginary. Most commonly the hands follow the outline of one's own body.


This technique is characterized by the hands moving independently of each other while maintaining the illusion of a fluid relationship between each other. One way of achieving this illusion is by having one hand in front of the other and each hand reflecting the motion of the other.


Builds identified by the manipulation of imaginary objects in a manner similar to pantomiming. The movements are carried out at the same speed as the flow of the liquid to maintain an illusion of continuity. These moves can be combined with video editing to show the imaginary object being manipulated as the person dances.


Some liquid practitioners commonly accentuate their dance with light emitting gear. Typically the gear will consist of either glowsticks, very bright LED keychain lights called photons or even white gloves. When a dancer specializes in glowsticks, the dance often ceases to resemble liquid and is then referred to as glowsticking.

External links

* [ Floasis] - Current Liquid Dance Community [May2007] . Forums and tutorial/exhibition videos can be found.

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