Smooth Operator: Master Floats, Glides and Slides

Want to add to your bag of hip-hop tricks? Try learning floats, glides and slides. When mastered, these fluid steps can wow audiences by making it seem like you’re skimming the floor. All three moves require you to be able to execute a series of small foot movements while transferring your weight from one foot to the other as smoothly as possible. Here, hip-hop dancer, choreographer and teacher Jonathan Lee breaks down each step. It may take some practice, but pretty soon you’ll be freestyling at a whole new level.

Float: As the name implies, this step makes it seem like you’re floating across the floor thanks to the continuous, smooth transfer of weight between your toes and heels as you move to one side.
Float
Float
Float
Glide: Jonathan says that when this move is done correctly, it should look like you’re ice skating.
Glide
Glide
Glide
Glide
Back Slide: Thanks to Michael Jackson, many people think that this move is called “the moonwalk,” but according to Lee, that’s another move altogether.
Back Slide
Back Slide
Back Slide
Back Slide

Float: As the name implies, this step makes it seem like you’re floating across the floor thanks to the continuous, smooth transfer of weight between your toes and heels as you move to one side.

Step 1/4

Begin by standing in a neutral position with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your upper body relaxed.

Float

Step 2/4

Lift your right heel and twist the balls of your feet to turn your toes in. Keep your
knees soft throughout the movement. Roll through your feet in a toe-ball-heel, heel-ball-toe pattern.

Float

Step 3/4

Simultaneously twist your left foot, bringing your heel in with your toes pointing out, and drop your right heel, lifting your right toes and twisting your right heel to point your toes out. Then, drop your left heel.

Float

Step 4/4

Drop your right toes as you lift your right heel and left toes. Twist your left heel and your right foot to point your toes in again. Continue moving to the right in this toe-heel-toe pattern for as long as you desire. You can also reverse it to the left.

Glide: Jonathan says that when this move is done correctly, it should look like you’re ice skating.

Step 1/5

Begin by standing in a neutral position with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your upper body relaxed.

Glide

Step 2/5

Twist your feet so that your weight rests on the ball of your right foot with your right toes pointed in. Your left heel should be on the floor with your left toes lifted and pointed out.
It’s not about the arms! Just concentrate on your feet and let your arms move in whatever way feels natural.

Glide

Step 3/5

Drop your right heel as you drag your left heel in toward your right foot. When your left heel gets close to your right foot, slightly cross your left foot in front of your right as you step on the ball of your left foot to transfer your weight.

Glide

Step 4/5

Push the ball of your right foot out to the right again, as you drop your left heel and lift your left toes.

Glide

Step 5/5

Drag your left foot to the right again. Continue this push-and-pull pattern for as long as you desire. You can also reverse it to the left.

Back Slide: Thanks to Michael Jackson, many people think that this move is called “the moonwalk,” but according to Lee, that’s another move altogether.

Step 1/5

Begin with your feet together. Your left foot should be flat and the ball of your right foot should be on the floor.

Back Slide

Step 2/5

Press your weight into the ball of your right foot as you slide your left leg back, keeping it flat on the floor.

Back Slide

Step 3/5

Leave your left foot in place and lift your left heel as you drop your right heel and slide your right foot back to meet your left.

Back Slide

Step 4/5

Press your weight into the ball of your left foot as you slide your right leg behind you, keeping it flat on the floor. Drop your left heel as your right leg completes the slide.

Back Slide

Step 5/5

Leave your right foot in place and lift your right heel as you slide your left foot back to meet your right foot. Continue this pattern for as long as you desire.

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