2-stepping is actually (potentially) the least violent move associated with hardcore dancing. 2-stepping is much like skanking, a dance typically performed at ska shows, except more violent, with slightly changed steps. 2-stepping/two-stepping is executed during a "2-step" part of the song. 2-step parts are typically characterized by "bass, bass, snare" rolling, repititious drum beats and a "rolling" guitar line. One knows when to 2-step because they hear/feel the beat, and know respond with 2-step. To the trained ear, it's instinctual.
The most basic 2-step is performed like so:
Step 1: (Simultaneously) Slight hop onto right foot, bring left leg forward (like a kick), bend over slightly and, bring the left arm back, the right arm left/downward across the body.
Middle-step: Bring the left foot back, hopping onto it and putting your weight on it.
Step 2: Shoot the left arm right/downward/across the body while bringing the right arm back and bringing the right leg forward (like kicking).
It clearly shows influence from, and is just a hardcore variation of, skanking. It's a very repititious, alternating, simple step, but it befits the music perfectly and many motions (violent arm swings) can be incorporated to make it more fun and interesting to perform and/or watch.
In Buffalo, NY, for example, 2-step is done to the tempo of the music, whereas in the Cleveland, Ohio scene there is less concern with 2-stepping to the tempo and more attention is given to just 2-stepping as quickly and ferociously as one can.
There are many different variations of the 2-step including swiveling ones torso almost all the way to either side, throwing the arms or elbows back as part of the step, or 2-stepping very low to the ground.
Adam: "You have a unique 2-step."
Dave: "I love seeing a whole pit of kids 2-stepping. It really tugs on my heartstrings to see that many people having fun as a result of the same thi--"
Brit "Dave, shut up."
For a good example of a 2-step beat, listen between 1:10 and 1:30 in the song "Sun Poison and Skin Cancer" by The Acacia Strain
To see kids 2-stepping in person, just go to a hardcore show!
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