If you have ever been to an electronic music event, you have probably seen this common sight: excited attendees performing and receiving light shows with giant smiles on their faces, hitting every beat and bringing a secondary visual experience to complement the music of the DJ onstage. But what exactly is “gloving” and why are so many people interested in it?
Born from a mix of dance styles such as hip-hop, tutting and more traditional flow arts like glow sticking and poi, gloving is a melting pot of different cultures and performance styles. Utilizing highly-advanced microlights on the tips of your fingers hidden under the sheath of white gloves, performers manipulate space and strive to create the illusion of a seamless light show that matches perfectly with the sounds of music.
One of my favorite aspects of gloving is the idea of self-expression meeting technology. In its infancy, glovers would outfit their hands with clunky keychain lights from Target with the only modes being on and off. Over time, the lights in the gloves evolved and the microlight emerged as the main ‘brain’ of what controls the flashing patterns of the lights. Most glovers perform with individual chips on each of their fingers meaning they are holding ten powerful mini-computers in the palm of their hands! Microlights have become so advanced that beginners can easily program their own modes and colors with a pair of eLite ezLites, control their color brightness settings to create their own modes with eLite Chroma24s, and even experiment with accelerometers and motion control with the all new eLite Elements. Of course, you don’t need the best lights on the market to throw a good light show, but you will be amazed at the power and technology that has been programmed into each chip.
Starting as a phenomenon born from rave culture, gloving has exploded across the world and provided glovers with tons of new opportunities to perform and meet like-minded people. Whether it be weekly FNL (Friday Night Lights) events hosted across the country, BOSS and IGC Gloving Competitions , festivals, clubs or even amusement parks, almost anywhere is a home for glovers of all ages and experience levels to meet up and perform. Gloving is special because it is extremely accessible and can be performed virtually anywhere; you can even practice techniques during the day without equipment.
Gloving – along with many other flow arts – is banned at certain events due to a variety of complex rules and regulations. It is up to the promoter throwing the event whether light shows are allowed and unfortunately many view it as a fire (glovers giving shows sitting down) or safety (poi spinners spinning in small areas) hazard that can potentially cause a host of problems. Remember to always check the rules before going to a new venue or show, and if you unknowingly bring them in somewhere they are not allowed, always be courteous to venue staff and security guards if you are asked to put them away.
Gloving is just one of the many ways people choose to dance and express themselves at festivals and raves. To them, there is no better feeling than performing for a small crowd of onlookers at a festival and seeing the joy they bring to them after performing a show. Some dancers use the gloves to stylize certain moves and take their dancing to the next level. Many people – including myself – have two left feet when it comes to traditional dancing and gloving gives them an opportunity to feel the magic of performing and perfecting a craft. At the end of the day the most important thing as it is with any hobby is that you enjoy it and are having FUN.
You might be wondering how to get started, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you can start anytime you want! Try watching beginner tutorials and getting used to the movements before you take the plunge for your first set. When you feel like you’re ready, grab a Classic Set or pair of eLite ezLites and have a blast. You will probably not be very impressed with your skills at first, but the most important thing to remember that gloving – much like life – is a unique journey and everyone starts and learns at their own pace. It may take a bit of time before you’re gloving like the pros, but the experience of picking something new up, progressing and mastering the art is something that will last with you forever.
You Can Learn More About Gloving and Getting Started Here: http://www.emazinglights.com/start-gloving