How I think about liquid in gloving

I am in no way an authority on the concept. This concept has been around much longer than me and utilized in multiple dance styles. These are just some thoughts I have on it. Feel free to comment your thoughts!



The illusion of liquid is moving your hands and arms in a way that gives the illusion of moving through water or moving like water. Liquid gloving is characterized by its smooth and continuous movements, creating a hypnotic graceful display.

Liquid is a foundation concept that allows the mechanics to be used in other concepts as well. This will give you a smooth and seamless flow from position to position. You can use liquid as the main focus like with liquid dance, or you can blend it with other concepts to give you that buttery smooth flow!

Liquid has been used by glovers for a long time. All of the greats utilize it in one fashion or another. Glovers such as Tuna, Flowsonn, and Folly all use liquid with in their flow. The concept has permeated almost every corner of gloving. Learning liquid will push your shows to that next level!


Liquid in respect to gloving follows a lot of the same mechanics and illusions as Liquid dancing. Liquid can be used as a whole within gloving, but glovers use parts of the dance style to work with their flow.

Glovers will utilize waves, tracing, shapes and rails to name a few mechanics. These mechanics can all be utilized to create the illusion of liquid. The illusion of liquid has been described a few different ways. Some people describe it as a a ribbon that extends between two points. Others have described it as a wave in the water moving along a path. No matter how you like to imagine it, as long as you focus your inner liquid and stay smooth, you too can blow peoples minds with this concept.


The mechanics of liquid would be the ability to move parts of your body up and down in a consecutive order creating a wave like or liquid movement.


:ocean: Waves

Liquid uses wave-like movements that flow smoothly through the fingers, hands and arms. These waves can be slow and graceful or quick and dynamic, creating the illusion of water ripples or waves. The mechanical movement can be broken down in to consecutive sections of the arm, hand, or both moving up and down through the available space.


Liquid movements can involve tracing the body’s contours, creating the impression of water flowing over the glover. This can be imagined as a membrane over the area you travel over. Never really touching the surface.


Isolations are points along the path you are following where the liquid appears to move around. The illusion will have the body parts you are using move up and down over the isolation point as they pass.

:8ball:Figure 8s

Figure 8s are what they sound like. The glover will trace a figure 8. Traditionally this is done with the wrists together. It isn’t required. As long as the pathing is done to create a figure 8 it is correct. As well it can be done in a multitude of orientations and range in size.


Rails in respect to gloving are straight paths that are followed in between the waves. These straight paths are often placed on a shapes that are followed. Such as squares, triangles, and other shapes.


Liquid folds are liquid paths that move around tight bends and your hands fold over one another to change direction. This can be applied to the grid and isolations to allow the flow of the water look like its folding over itself. Almost like a ribbon folding against itself.


While moving through the liquid path you can split your hands away from each other. Can be thought of as both hands leading in their own pathing.



Liquid gloving is characterized by its smooth and continuous movements, creating a hypnotic graceful display.


The goal is to make movements appear as though they are flowing seamlessly. A continuation of the momentum from one path to the next. Almost as if the path was predefined.

:balance_scale:Momentum Manipulation

Liquid has the ability to use momentum to change how the trails of the lights look based on the intensity of the momentum and kinetic energy used. Imagine water going down a water slide. It doesn’t just turn when the slide does. The momentum will carry it up the wall of the slide a little bit. Same thing with a water fall. It is a slow fall over the edge before there is a massive expel of energy as it flies down the face of the mountain and crashes on the rocks below.


One way to think of liquid is to break down the following variables. You can use these variables to change up your liquid and add your own flair to it! Each variable can be applied to each hand and swapped around to give different trails in the illusion

  • Axis
    • When most people think of the grid they think of technical concepts. But what if I told you liquid can be applied with the same x, y, and z axis? That’s right. You can think of your liquid movement in those axis. If you want to travel left to right, you are moving on the x axis. If you go up and down, you are moving on the y axis, and if you are moving forward or backward, you are moving on the Z axis.
  • Palm Orientation
    • Depending on how your palms are oriented it can create different trails or allow different momentum manipulation. Palm orientation can be thought of like this.
      • Both palms up
      • Both Palms Down
      • One palm up and one palm down
  • Hand Orientation
    • You can create different illusions depending on how your hands are oriented. If they are side by side, you tend to get more horizontal movement compared to a vertical stack, you tend to get more up and down movement.

Relations to other Dance Styles

:dancer:Liquid Dance

Liquid gloving has roots in liquid dance or waving, a dance style that emphasizes smooth, flowing, and continuous movements of the body. Both styles share the goal of replication the look and feel of liquids in motion.

:lock:Popping and Locking

Elements of popping and locking, two foundational hip-hop dance styles. The dance uses isolations points mixed with heavy hits or “Pops” on beat. Using a term coined as Dime Stops which are also used in both gloving and B-boy dance styles.

Glovers With Great liquid

Gloving teams that focus on Liquid






Love this, would love to see other ppl’s versions of this as well

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Thanks for sharing Matt!

I’d love to figure out a way that we can get ‘articles’ and knowledge base like this to be a more ‘official’ part of the site.

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Thanks for helping me learn so much to get through it! This doc is still my favorite one so far.

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I would totally be down to turn these in to articles! That would be so dope :saluting_face:

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