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Dancing "rave style": from beginner to geriatric, you're covered
November 19, 2007 9:50 AM   Subscribe

How to dance at a rave. People dancing to house music. The Detroit Jit vs. Chicago Juke. The history of the Detroit Jit on popular dance show The Scene from the 80's. 80's legends the Funkateers doing their thing to Wordy Rappinghood. Compare them to the New York City Breakers.

But let's take it back, way back... The Nicholas Brothers vs. Benny Benassi. Think they look like they're raving? What about when you throw Kanye West in the mix? Have we always danced with such abandon? In South Africa, we have. More dancing from Ethiopia that looks like a lot of rave dancing to me. Masai tribespeople raving it up. Think raving is for young people? You're wrong. I saw this woman driving her scooter into tents at the DEMF in 2006 and getting up to dance... then found her again on YouTube. Think she was a one-time fluke? Wrong again. Here she is raving it up in 2007. Previously. Now everybody get out there and dance a little!
posted by Unicorn on the cob (69 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
The scooter. Yes.

The racism. Not so much.
posted by DU at 9:58 AM on November 19, 2007


Pretty sad looking festival in the second link - what is that, the dance tent at midday or something? And we're using that for our "white peiople can't dance" jokes now?
posted by Artw at 10:04 AM on November 19, 2007


Ugh, I didn't mean to sound racist... did I sound racist? Or are you referring to the french dude in the video?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:04 AM on November 19, 2007


How to dance gothic.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:04 AM on November 19, 2007


And the second video is from the DEMF as well... I just couldn't find any really good videos of people dancing to house music per se.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:05 AM on November 19, 2007


Scooter Lady is awesome, I've seen her at DEMF a couple times too.

DEMF is also awesome. Night time is a bit more exciting than day time, as seen here.
posted by cloeburner at 10:10 AM on November 19, 2007


It sounded hackneyed at first, but the actual link has like 20 people, maybe 3 of which are white and none of which are really busting any moves. That made it sound racist.
posted by DU at 10:12 AM on November 19, 2007


I apologize in advance and have asked the mods to change the link. That absolutely was not my intention, and I'm sorry if I have offended anyone.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:14 AM on November 19, 2007


W-w-w-w-watch my feet
posted by jcruelty at 10:15 AM on November 19, 2007


Okay, link fixed. Sorry if I offended anyone : ( Thanks mods!!!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:17 AM on November 19, 2007


Pope Guilty, that goth dance link is hilarious! Wish there was video...
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:19 AM on November 19, 2007


Scandinavian men can't dance.
posted by brautigan at 10:20 AM on November 19, 2007


I am both white and completely devoid of dancing ability. I felt not at all offended by this link or anything in it.

Just sayin'.
posted by Pecinpah at 10:22 AM on November 19, 2007


The dancing scooter lady! I love her. Every year I've been to DEMF, she's been there, and it always brings a smile to my face. It's great running into people who blow away your stereotypes, like the cowboy couple I saw rolling at DEMF last year. Boots, hat and all, dancing like mad.
posted by formless at 10:32 AM on November 19, 2007


The comments on The Scene link made me laugh. I remember that roach spray commercial, most prominently during a late-night movie being shown on Channel 62 (the local station that carried The Scene). It was some weird B&W film set in Russia, and apparently someone at the station flipped a wrong switch, because all of a sudden I was still watching the Russian movie, but the soundtrack said, "Girl, I was over to they house the other night and the roaches was everywhere!"
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:34 AM on November 19, 2007


Dang! I came for the racism but it would appear I was too late. :-(
posted by jonson at 10:35 AM on November 19, 2007


Seconding Pencinpah's sentiments.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:36 AM on November 19, 2007


Raving at Nation

This was at Buzz, which was basically my home for about 6 years running.
posted by empath at 10:42 AM on November 19, 2007


The only people who still think raves are worth attending are too young to know the only raves worth attending ceased to exist about fifteen years ago.

Let it go. Seriously.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:43 AM on November 19, 2007


Matt: Young people have been getting fucked up and dancing all night since the dawn of time. It will never go away. They may stop calling it "Rave" like they stopped calling it "Disco", but whatever.
posted by empath at 10:52 AM on November 19, 2007


The only people who still think raves are worth attending are too young to know the only raves worth attending ceased to exist about fifteen years ago.
Fandango_matt, I can't help but agree with you, but the way you said it makes me feel really old.
posted by msali at 10:54 AM on November 19, 2007


Uh, my point was that people have been dancing this way in multiple countries since time began, and that similar dancing was popular from the 30's to the 80's in America BEFORE raves existed.

But, you know, just one word does make a difference to different people. I just thought it was neat to see the rhythm, BPMs and general steps were similar no matter what music was playing or who was dancing... and of course the first link made me laugh hysterically.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:57 AM on November 19, 2007


fandango_matt writes "The only people who still think raves are worth attending are too young to know the only raves worth attending ceased to exist about fifteen years ago."

For all values of X, the only people who think dance parties died X years ago are people who started going to them X minus 5 years ago.
posted by Bugbread at 10:58 AM on November 19, 2007 [6 favorites]


There are just three moves that you need to know to be presentable here:

Big fish, little fish, cardboard box.

Shelleys in Stoke. Man, I loved that club.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:59 AM on November 19, 2007


You can take it all the way back the Tarantalla and the Eleusyian Mysteries, if you want.
posted by empath at 11:01 AM on November 19, 2007


re: Rave dancing...the higher the BPM and the more... let's just say "into it" i am, the more my dancing style turns into flailing my arms around at random and thrashing my torso around with an occasional spin in a circle. also the occasional chin jerk or "Woot" at the DJ if an exceptionally nice drop has been committed.

Also, older naysayers...we know all about the old scene and the origins of rave. We've heard it a thousand times from people like you. I found it fascinating the first couple times, but I get it. Just let me have fun, ok?
posted by mayfly wake at 11:02 AM on November 19, 2007


Great post, by the way.
posted by mayfly wake at 11:03 AM on November 19, 2007


There's a guy on my office now who used to go to Studio 54 and the Paradise Garage in the early 80s, in NYC, and it was amazing how similar the stories were between that and the raves I was going to in the late 90s. Especially in terms of how it felt to be there -- the music and the drugs were different, but the essential thing-- losing yourself to dancing and music is exactly the same.

Whatever comes after 'Rave' will be different in lots of trivial, unimportant ways, but in all the important ways, it will be the same.

We're just in the "Disco Sucks" era of rave right now. But while people will burning disco records on a baseball field in Chicago, House Music was being born in a warehouse across town. Raves aren't 'cool', but there is still an underground, and eventually it will break out again, but it will be called something else.
posted by empath at 11:06 AM on November 19, 2007


Raves aren't 'cool', but there is still an underground, and eventually it will break out again, but it will be called something else.

My money is on the electro scene right now, at least in LA. That or bizarre electronica a la Dan Deacon or even crazy psych-folk like Animal Collective.
posted by mayfly wake at 11:12 AM on November 19, 2007


Unicorn on the cob writes "I just thought it was neat to see the rhythm, BPMs and general steps were similar no matter what music was playing or who was dancing..."

Huh. I found, other than the Jit/jitterbug (which is an intentional resemblance), all the other types of dancing to be both 1) remarkably dissimilar, and 2) unlike anything I've seen at a rave.
posted by Bugbread at 11:15 AM on November 19, 2007


The only people who still think raves are worth attending are too young to know the only raves worth attending ceased to exist about fifteen years ago.

And most of these were in the UK ;)

Let the kids have their fun. Nothing is ever as good as it used to be.
posted by brautigan at 11:21 AM on November 19, 2007




It already has. It's called 'going clubbing'. Approximately 1,000,000 people around the world do this every weekend

posted by dydecker at 11:23 AM on November 19, 2007


For all values of X, the only people who think dance parties died X years ago are people who started going to them X minus 5 years ago.

I had more fun at the parties I went to 10 years ago, but that's because at the time I was 20 years old, carefree, had just discovered techno, and learned to dance. Or, in other words, you're only 20 once. Now lets view an old video with good dancing.
posted by MillMan at 11:23 AM on November 19, 2007


oops. well, that was a response to this:

Raves aren't 'cool', but there is still an underground, and eventually it will break out again, but it will be called something else.
posted by dydecker at 11:25 AM on November 19, 2007


good point, dydecker.

Speaking of clubbing and electro:
Here is my crappy Razr-cam video from an Eric Prydz show I went to on Saturday. It ain't 'rave', but it's close.
posted by empath at 11:31 AM on November 19, 2007


Dancing as social fun is something that just doesn't work in internet or video. People 'busting moves' are the ones that you least want around, even if they're good at it. Turns the whole thing into individual performances -- these individuals may be easier to capture to video, but I feel they miss the point. Dance is about courtesy -- being close and giving room -- us dancing -- not about you or me dancing. Or maybe that's why my scandinavian social democratic world view makes me a bad dancer. You dance wildly to encourage others to loosen a bit and dance wildly, not to show how wild dancer you are. I suspect that ages of disco and raves before my time were like that too, but only thing that seems to travel over time are videos of some overtly technical displays of individual skill. Good thing that christmas party season is coming, lots of bad, but emotionally pure 'hey-we're-dancing'-dancing coming on!
posted by Free word order! at 11:34 AM on November 19, 2007 [6 favorites]


Previously.

(I'm probably the only one who remembers that post.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:39 AM on November 19, 2007


You dance wildly to encourage others to loosen a bit and dance wildly, not to show how wild dancer you are.

I cannot agree more. I want this printed on a t-shirt.




preferably a black t-shirt with day-glo green all-caps in impact font
posted by mayfly wake at 11:42 AM on November 19, 2007


Klangklangston, I linked that in the "previously" link in my original post, but I do love the Jit like crazy!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:42 AM on November 19, 2007


Free word order! writes "You dance wildly to encourage others to loosen a bit and dance wildly, not to show how wild dancer you are."

Huh? You dance wildly because the music makes you move your body wildly. You don't do it in order to do anything.
posted by Bugbread at 11:47 AM on November 19, 2007


that too :)
posted by mayfly wake at 11:53 AM on November 19, 2007


House dancing/disco dancing on rollerskates
posted by Shebear at 12:04 PM on November 19, 2007


Huh? You dance wildly because the music makes you move your body wildly. You don't do it in order to do anything.

If the music alone had that power, we'd be living in an iPod commercial. I think that other people are part of the equation.
posted by Free word order! at 12:10 PM on November 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


You dance wildly to encourage others to loosen a bit and dance wildly, not to show how wild dancer you are.

I cannot agree more. I want this printed on a t-shirt.


And to each a boogie, ever onward, Amen.

Also, older naysayers...we know all about the old scene and the origins of rave. We've heard it a thousand times from people like you. I found it fascinating the first couple times, but I get it. Just let me have fun, ok?


Why, the lip on kids these days! Ah hell we'd dance both sides of your ass off and still have leftovers for Sunday. Now get off my lawn.

No, really. My tent needs to go there. Naptime was an hour ago.

Yes, I know it's directly in front of a speaker. All mine.

posted by loquacious at 12:16 PM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


How to dance at a rave.

Is this something that requires I be on ecstasy to understand?
posted by itchylick at 12:35 PM on November 19, 2007


"Klangklangston, I linked that in the "previously" link in my original post, but I do love the Jit like crazy!"

Dar-de-dar-dar-dar. That's what I get for only reading the front page.
posted by klangklangston at 12:44 PM on November 19, 2007


How to dance at a rave: The Melbourne Shuffle.
posted by elphTeq at 12:59 PM on November 19, 2007


Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth.
posted by empath at 1:03 PM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


If the music alone had that power, we'd be living in an iPod commercial. I think that drugs are part of the equation.

Fixed that for ya.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:13 PM on November 19, 2007


Heh elphTeq, I'm originally from Melbourne, now in London, and I get comments all the time when I pull out the shuffle over here. I've seen that short doco before, I don't think it's a particularly good example of the shuffle (or the music in the Melbourne rave scene either).
posted by Onanist at 1:32 PM on November 19, 2007


Australia's putting out really good dance tracks now.
posted by empath at 1:36 PM on November 19, 2007


Free word order! writes "If the music alone had that power, we'd be living in an iPod commercial. I think that other people are part of the equation."

No, you just need to find the music that moves you. I've danced plenty in my room with no-one around, because the music just wouldn't let me stay seated. No drugs, and no social context, just music that made me really want to move. There's a lot of music I love that doesn't make me want to dance, of course, so don't get the idea that I bop around town like a freaky black silhouette all the time. But there are times when I hear something that really makes me want to move, and if I'm at a party, or alone at home, I do. If I'm on the way to work, I don't. The "other people" part of the equation is more often than not the part that prevents me from dancing. I can't recall ever having an occasion where the other people part of the equation is what made me dance.

YMMV, of course. Different people like different music, and different people like the same music in different ways.
posted by Bugbread at 1:40 PM on November 19, 2007


Very cool post unicorn - but nobody is better than Technoviking! (what Ralph Wiggum is really dreaming about)

starts at about 1 min.
posted by vronsky at 1:51 PM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cab Calloway in the 1930's. He helped set the stage for the rest.
posted by MetaMan at 1:59 PM on November 19, 2007


That lady on the scooter is AWESOME, btw.
posted by empath at 2:02 PM on November 19, 2007


I learned all my best moves from these two guys.
posted by sparkletone at 2:04 PM on November 19, 2007


I think this thread could profit of technoviking.
posted by kolophon at 2:04 PM on November 19, 2007


Technoviking is cool on YouTube, but he's precisely the kind of guy that scares the fuck out of me at actual parties. "Huge", "powerful", "unsmiling", and "clearly on something" are a bad mix.
posted by Bugbread at 2:07 PM on November 19, 2007


Glasgow Rave On.

(Yes, that's a rave in a kebab shop)
posted by brautigan at 2:08 PM on November 19, 2007


damn, vronsky beat me to it!
posted by kolophon at 2:20 PM on November 19, 2007


OMG@Technoviking.

Scared.

Can't stop looking. at. nipples.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:01 PM on November 19, 2007


I heard an interview with Barbara Erenreich on npr last week about her new book Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy but I haven't read it.
posted by vronsky at 3:08 PM on November 19, 2007


Some instructions from Texas Faggott
Lego
The classic Flat Eric
Conan raves
Finns in the snow
Guidos
in Cabo (they should really meet Techno Viking some day)
Old-Timey
More old-timey ... I wish we had developed these skills
Ironic craptastic robotic dancing in the desert.
posted by redteam at 5:51 PM on November 19, 2007


Here is my crappy Razr-cam video from an Eric Prydz show I went to on Saturday.

Yes!
posted by humannaire at 7:15 PM on November 19, 2007


Unicorn, thanks for the post, this was truly wonderful!! much love for the scooter chica.

fandango_matt, not that you care, but I'm 40 and these kids can dance on the lawn all they want, so long as they let me join in. I've been going to raves underground disco/house/techno/electro/trance parties since I was 19. I only managed to make it to 2 so far this year, but now that bike racing season's winding down, that's probably going to change.

Also, (at least in our local scene) one of the things I love about the electro/underground scene is how friendly, non-judgmental and inclusive they are to everyone, of every generation, mode of dress, and (un) coordination factor. They don't give a shit if your hair is fucked up, slicked down, shaved, spiked, mock-hawked, dreadlocked, or combed over. You can wear Docs, Crocs, Chucks, mucklucks, ropers, Gucci loafers, Jesus shoes or Barbarella boots; so long as you enjoy the music, it's all good. Our local DJ co-op runs their sets in a couple privately owned warehouses, and they keep on the up and up with the cops by refusing to serve alcohol (tho certainly there are plenty of individuals who'll supply access to other euphorics, if you roll that way...) I've seen people from early teens to mid 50's at these things, and no one seems to much care, we're just there for the music and the dancing.

I've personally never needed any chemical enhancement to heighten my enjoyment of a screaming, thrashing, squirming techno-fuelled mob of gorgeous freaks; I get a natural endorphin kick just from being in the midst. I simply love the energy - there's something about hitting 3AM and being wide-awake and still dancing, hyper-alert and surfing that bubble of joy. So long as I find it energising and not exhausting, I'll keep on going.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:43 PM on November 19, 2007


I wonder if jit or juke could be misdiagnosed restless leg syndrome?
posted by dasheekeejones at 3:59 AM on November 20, 2007


Redteam: I love the lindy hop video. I was actually looking for that one to link... people had insane skills back then! It's like everybody had no idea what it was going to eventually do to their knees...
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:29 AM on November 20, 2007


Vronsky: That book looks amazing. Definitely on my to-do list.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:40 AM on November 20, 2007


I agree with everything lonefrontranger said. Except I really prefer my dance parties to be outdoors at night, under the stars. I hate warehouses. Cool wind on your cheeks and the stars and the moon in the sky, and dancing for 8 hours straight. That's how to spend an evening.

And yeah, I'm pushing my mid-thirties. The kids at these techno/trance parties don't look at me like I'm any different. They're all friendly. Smiles all around. Some chemically induced, but that's ok.
posted by geekhorde at 11:50 AM on November 21, 2007


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