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What is LED Gloving?
LED Gloving is a style of dance popular amongst people in rave culture that emphasizes dexterity with their hands. It most commonly utilizes LEDs placed to visually enhance this dance performance. Though it is generally free-form, gloving applies a variety of concepts that utilize geometric principles to make it more aesthetic and pleasing to the eye. LED gloving is extremely popular at EDM festivals and nightclub events, and over the last decade has even developed a “competitive gloving” scene within rave culture.
What are Rave Gloves?
Rave Gloves are LED (light up) gloves that are utilized during gloving performances. Rave Gloves typically consist of a fair of white gloves, with a microlight at the tip of each finger. These microlights shine through the white of the gloves, and allow the glover to perform a light show. Rave gloves have gotten extremely popular at raves and EDM festivals over the last few years. Rave Gloves are the natural progression of classic rave accessories like glow sticks.
What is a Light Show?
Because of the minimal amount of space gloving requires, it’s common for glovers to perform a routine in close proximity to an onlookers face. This allows the glover to immerse the onlooker in a fully captivating experience, called a light show. A skilled LED glover is able to convey emotion and tell a story with a light show, especially when it’s being accompanied by music. Because of this, many consider gloving to be an interpretive style of dance. Rave Gloves can produce a mesmerizing performance that is more personal than many other flow arts.
Techniques Used in Light Shows
- Finger Rolls: A finger roll is a continuous motion of rhythmically opening and closing one’s hand, starting on one side of the hand and ending on the other. Similar to the “wave cheer” that crowds create at a stadium, the first outermost finger on your hand extends, followed by the finger next to it, until all the fingers have been extended. You can keep a finger roll going by bending the first finger that was extended back to the closed-hand position followed by the rest in the same rhythmic motion and then repeating this pattern of opening your hand and closing your hands. Glovers typically connect their hands together so that the finger roll starts on one end of one of their hands and finishes on the end of their other hand.
- Liquids: Liquid is a term used to describe a style of dance movement characterized by fluid-like motions that don’t appear to have any shape or form. Glovers apply this to their movement as well and are heavily influenced by this style of dance. The fluidity comes from having each part of the body you liquid – in the case of a glover, it would be their hands and fingers – pass through the same points so that it appears to be flowing as one single entity.
- Whips: A whip is a finger roll that begins in a closed-hand position and then, using the motion of one’s arm and wrist, extends outwards while rotating the wrist so that all of the fingers are passing through the same points. At the end of the finger roll, the hand is brought back in towards the body and returns back to the closed hand position. The desired effect is a result of all of the fingers being on the same trajectory.
- Flails: A flail is done by rotating your wrists while keeping your fingers extended in the open-hand position. At the most fundamental level, this creates a circle of light, but depending on how you move your arms while doing flails, you can create a variety of patterns using this simple motion of your wrists.
- Digits: A digit is a change in the orientation of one’s finger that is done by bending it to a 90 or 180 degree angle. Digits are often combined with other techniques to show finger independence and dexterity.
- Finger Tracing: Finger tracing involves sliding one or more fingers from one of your hands along a finger on your other hand or across the imaginary line that connects the finger to the palm. This can be combined with digits and finger rolls to create cause and effect illusions.
- Dials: A dial is a change in the orientation of one’s finger in such a way that the finger that is dialed is touching the edge of another finger that is wasn’t previously in contact with. A digit can turn into a dial if the finger made the digit comes into contact with the tip of a finger on the other hand.
- Finger tutting: Finger tutting is derived from the tutting concept that involves the geometrical boxes that occur and reoccur from the angles and orientations of one’s fingers. Finger tutters apply their knowledge of the grid to move their hands in such a way that each point they hit creates a different boxed shape. If both of their hands are parallel to each other, then they can create the illusion of boxes without having to actually touch their hands together because of how we perceive shapes and our attraction to straight lines.
LED Gloving is thought to be a very therapeutic activity, as it engages the artistic impulse through movements of expression. The benefits of this can be traced back to the practices of Hindus and Buddhists thousands of years ago, in a ritual called “Mudra.” Mudra is done by performing a series of hand gestures that each affect the flow of energy in your body in a different way. It can be done either in a dance or as a casual exercise to help stabilize the energy system and improve one’s mood. Though there is no way to prove they have a direct connection with each other, Mudra and the art of gloving have both been shown to have profound healing effects on individuals who practice them, which could explain why these bodily forms of expression have continued to thrive in human society.
Today’s gloving technology allows glovers to select the colors of their lights. This is a huge step up from the LED microlights that were used by previous generation glovers that did not feature this option. Microlights now also offer the ability to be programmed, allowing glovers to display a sequence of different colors. Changing batteries in modern microlights is also much easier and less time consuming. The birth of diffusers has also given glovers more customization on how they want the shapes of their trails to look like. Diffusers soften the intensity of a light while also giving the light a much bigger look in rave gloves.
The Evolution of Gloving
In the past few years, gloving has experienced a tremendous growth both in popularity and skill as flow art. What used to simply be a fun hobby to do at raves has turned into a dedicated art pursued by dexterous individuals searching for a creative outlet. The spike in glovers has given rise to the formation of gloving teams around the country so that glovers can congregate and share their passion and ideas with one another. Competitions even exist for glovers who want to test their skill against others through exchanging light shows that are scored by judges.
Why Use GloFX Gloves?
Like all GloFX products, our gloves are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and Lux Glove Sets are backed by a lifetime warranty. Gloving is much more than just a business to us, it is an art form and a way of life. Since 2009, our team has strived to produce the highest quality rave gear, and our gloves are absolutely no exception. In 2016 GloFX launched its Lux Gloves, in an attempt to make the most advanced and comfortable set of gloves for the most demanding and experienced glovers. GloFX is absolutely committed to furthering the art of gloving, and all other aspects of rave culture. LED gloving is growing faster than it ever has before.