Are These Russian Dancers Floating?

This past week, Twitter has been blowing up with this video of these Russian dancers seemingly floating across the stage. The dance group, known as the Berezka Dance Ensemble, appear on stage with huge dress skirts that completely cover their feet.

It’s as if their legs are not moving at all. Also, all the girls are perfectly in sync to the point that they don’t seem real, rather like life-like animatronics. And no one can seem to crack how the dancers are doing it! 

So let’s break down everything we know about this dance routine and the performing group. 

1. This group of folk female dancers are known as the Berezka Dance Ensemble.

2. The Berezka Dance Ensemble was founded in 1948.

Moree specifically, the dance was founded in the Soviet Union by long-time dancer and choreographer, Nadezhda Nadezhdina.

Source: The New York Times Archives

3. They’re performing the traditional dance of Berezka.

It’s not magic or a machine making them move so effortlessly and robotically. It’s actually just the dancers taking mini and quick steps, which are hidden by their huge dress skirts. This, combined with being completely in sync with one another, gives audiences the illusion that these dancers are floating on top of the stage.

4. This movement became the dance group’s trademark.

The “Berezka” dance is now an iconic move of this dance group. It is very hard to replicate and takes a lot of training to nail the move. 

5. The dance is a “secret of the firm.” 

When founder Nadezhda Nadezhdina was asked about how this technical dance is learned and perfected to create the floating illusion, she said: “That’s a secret of the firm.” 

She explained the technical side of the dance that is now known in the Soviet Union as the “Beryozka step.” However, she even expressed that not even all their dancers can do it.

“You have to move in very small steps on a very low half-toe with the body held in a certain corresponding position,” Nadezhda told the New York Times.

Yikes. While this dance sounds easy to perform – and many may think that the long skirts would help make the moves easier to execute – it is way more difficult than anyone expects. Once this video spread across the internet, people’s reactions were shocked, confused, and also hilarious.

Here’s some of funniest Twitter theories on what’s really going on during the dance number:

You can watch more of MJ’s moves here
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