For nearly 75 years, Berezka dancers have wowed audiences with their kinda freaky but super cool skills.
Watching someone dance usually means watching their legs and feet move in creative, graceful or rhythmic ways. Dance steps are called dance steps for a reason, after all.
But for nearly 75 years, Russia's Berezka dancers have delighted audiences with their dance skills without anyone catching so much as a glimpse of their legs or feet. Berezka dancers' dance steps are clearly impressive when you see what they do with them, but no one gets to see the steps themselves.
How can that be?
Berezka dancers' floor-length dresses (called sarafans, the traditional female dress of the Russian peasant class, according to ARTpublika Magazine) hide what their feet are doing as they seem to "float" around on the stage. But make no mistake, they really are moving their feet themselves, without the use of wheels or treadmills or hoverboards or whatever else it might look like they're using.
You'd be forgiven for not believing it, because check out what they look like in unison:
\u201cIn the Russian dance Berezka, women move with short steps, so short that they look like they're floating.\u201d— Historic Vids (@Historic Vids) 1668618792
What the heck kind of sorcery is this?
The original choreographer of the "floating step," Nadezhda Nadezhdina, described the method to The New York Times in 1972. “You have to move in very small steps on the very low half-toe with the body held in a certain corresponding position.” It is apparently very difficult to perfect.
If you prefer to keep the floating dance steps a mystery, stop here, but if you want to see a tutorial showing how these dancers manage to move around the stage without their heads bobbing so much as an inch, this tutorial shows what their feet are doing. (Skip to minute 4:20 to see her doing the steps quickly.)