What is longboard dancing?

December 11, 2020 | Skateboarding
Longboard dancing: combining the technicality of freestyle skating with the aesthetics, rhythm, and movements repertoire of dancing | Photo: Anna Logvinova/Creative Commons

Are you into dancing? Have you ever thought of performing body movements on a longboard skateboard?

Longboard dancing is a highly visual and creative outdoor activity.

It combines the technicality of freestyle skating with the aesthetics, rhythm, and movements repertoire of dancing.

In other words, dancing on a longboard is taking skateboarding into the territory of performing arts.

It blends longboard surfing with old-school skateboarding and can be practiced by people of all ages and skill levels.

All you need is a longboard skateboard, and you're ready to start expressing yourself on the concrete.

One of the things that distinguish longboard dancing from skateboarding and even longboarding is the continuous carving from left to right.

In dancing, you move your body around to the rhythm of the music; on a longboard, you create your own rhythmic motion with your board.

At each run, the longboard dancer performs a choreography that may have been previously rehearsed or improvise with or without background music.

Longboard dancing also takes some of the more flowy movements of surfing into the streets and boardwalks.

Longboard dancing: expressing yourself on a skateboard | Photo: Purple Smith/Creative Commons

Fluidity, Creativity and Technicality

There are many styles and even sub-disciplines within this skateboarding subgenre.

You can ride along smooth surfaces doing elegant tricks like cross-stepping, hang five or hang ten, or stick to carving and focus on the more dancey movements and stylish body spinning motions.

And you can also mix both.

Longboard dancers are always on the move, riding at medium speed.

They can dismount the skateboard and use their feet and arms to spin and rotate it and then get back on the board again and skate away.

Longboard dancing requires balance, coordination, agility, and patience.

You don't need to be a skilled skateboarder to do it, but it takes practice, creativity - and grace - to become a virtuoso.

Because it involves a lot of footwork, carving, stepping, and turning moves, you may need to warm-up before starting rolling on flat ground.

Today, longboard dancing is a popular, fast-growing activity among boys and girls, men and women in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Many longboard dancers evolved from cruising and commuting on skateboards, and not necessarily from street or park skateboarding.

In the end, it's not all about the tricks.

It's about being artistically meaningful and exploring the potential of our body as a means to express ourselves while enjoying the ride.

Longboard dancing: the arty side of skateboarding | Photo: Shutterstock

Deck, Trucks and Wheels

In theory, you can get into longboard dancing on any skateboard.

Nevertheless, the larger the board and the easier it will be to learn the basic moves and progress.

The reason why you need a longboard is you will need extra space to perform fluid, continuous movements like, for instance, cross-stepping.

The average longboard dancing deck is between 42-48 inches long and up to 12 inches wide.

The flexibility of the deck is also an important variable.

If your goal is to add technicality and classic tricks to your riding style, you should get a slightly stiffer deck.

Heavier riders should also privilege stiffness over flexibility.

However, if you're looking for a more comfortable experience focused on cruising and simple body movements, extra deck flexibility is the wise pick.

The majority of dancer longboard decks feature a relatively flat, symmetrical cutaway shape, as well as front and back kick tails.

They are top-mounted and showcase a mellow concave deck that will allow your feet to move around freely.

A subtle rocker is often common, too.

You'll want to equip your board with reverse kingpin trucks and open bushing seats because they allow you to turn faster and smoother.

When choosing the right size wheels for your longboard dancing routines, stay in the 70-74 mm range for optimal traction and better carving and hot stepping.

If you're into sliding, go with smaller wheels, i.e., less contact area.

As for the hardness, get a set of wheels in the 80A-86A range.

Choose a lower (and softer) durometer for cruising or a higher (and harder) durometer for tricks and maneuvers.

Basic Longboard Dancing Steps and Tips

The easiest and most basic longboard dancing moves are cross-stepping, 180 step, switch 180 step, Peter Pan, and the cross-step to Peter Pan.

To start things off, you must get used to carving when you dance and tilt your feet while doing it.

As you progress, add more speed to your routines and lines so that they look more fluid and dynamic.

Also, make sure to stay true to yourself - don't copy others.

Develop your own style, moves, combinations, and transitions between steps and tricks.

Listening to music while longboard dancing will help you and inspire you to be more creative, innovative, and unique.

Remember that improvisation is part of the game, so don't be afraid of trying something new or bold, and make sure to free yourself from standards and normalized patterns.

There's only one way from good to great - keep pushing yourself and improve your dance lines on the longboard.

Your style and confidence will develop over time. Just express yourself and have fun.

So You Can Longboard Dance? (SYCLD) is an annual international longboard dancing competition that gathers riders from all over the world.

The event features a sponsored World Cup contest, which crowns male and female champions.

There's also a non-sponsored contest showcasing innovative tricks, a groms-only competition, and free skating areas for everyone.

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