Floating (dance)

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Floating, gliding or sliding refers to a group of footwork-oriented dance techniques and styles closely related to popping, which attempt to create the illusion that the dancer's body is floating smoothly across the floor or that the legs are walking while the body travels in unexpected directions. It is most famous for its use by Michael Jackson and his moonwalk (a.k.a. the backslide), but is commonly used in popping with much greater variation.

A dancer doing the moonwalk (backslide).

The terms floating, gliding and sliding can also be used to refer to more specific areas, though still closely related:

Floating is a simple traveling technique of alternating between the toe and the heel of the feet to make the body float smoothly across the floor. It is normally performed sideways.[1]
Gliding uses the float technique but also adds a push and a pull to cause the feet to glide over the floor, taking up more space and creating a bigger illusion.[1] Gliding can be performed in many directions, but most common are the sideglide and the circleglide.
Sliding and airwalking are a kind of walks that make it appear as if the dancer is walking in the air or on ice, with no friction under their feet, while traveling in unexpected directions. Common sliding moves are the forward-, backslide, and the "moonwalk" which is a technique very similar to the backslide popularized by Michael Jackson.


  1. ^ a b Mr. Wiggles. "Move Lessons". Dance Lessons. Retrieved 2006-05-16.