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What do you do in the middle of a dance circle?
September 3, 2010 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Crisis situation: You're at a dance party, thoroughly enjoying yourself. All of a sudden, a dance circle forms and different people start showing off their stuff. Your friends jump in, and when they're finished, they push you in. What do you do? What's a good go-to move? Links and tutorials much appreciated.

I should mention that these generally happen at typical college parties, so something like skanking would probably not fly over so well.
posted by arkitex to Society & Culture (27 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
I start by not thinking of this as a "crisis situation." Its just dancing. I just dance my ass off.

I also have a "tiny dance" I do, where I take tiny steps and make "tiny" moves, still in beat with the music. But you gotta be good to pull it off.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:45 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's hard to go wrong with the Thriller Dance. There are great, easy to follow lessons on Youtube.
posted by surenoproblem at 10:48 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only thing that matters is that you fully commit. If you *can* dance, do so with aplomb. If you *cannot* dance, do something ridiculous that nobody can possibly take seriously.

also: if you feel like neither of these things are something you can do, then go to the kitchen for a beer whenever a dance circle starts to form
posted by davejay at 10:49 AM on September 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh, and the cartoony russian dance (arms folded, kicking the legs out) is a fun ridiculous thing, if you're athletic and can pull it off.
posted by davejay at 10:50 AM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Two words: Air Humping
posted by smelvis at 10:51 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you can't really dance, any retro dance move that hasn't yet been done in the circle is always entertaining -- running man, cabbage patch, sprinkler, etc. See the evolution of dance and pick your poison.
posted by thorny at 10:52 AM on September 3, 2010


I love the sprinkler. Always gets a laugh.

"put one hand straight out in front of you with a closed fist and rotate to the beat one direction moving your arm up and down. When you reach the other side of your body, pull your arm straight back over to the other side (without any beats)"

(source)
posted by smitt at 10:53 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Easy: The Twist

Advanced: This one is my personal go-to (though I try to avoid getting into these crisis situations). I don't know what it's called, but the one where you put one hand behind your head and grab the opposing foot in your other hand and kind of bob in and out. (That exists, right? I swear I saw someone do it once.) This one works for me because I very, very much can't dance and I'm very, very white, and it's clearly intended to be ridiculous.
posted by phunniemee at 11:01 AM on September 3, 2010


How about some Authentic Jazz steps?

(OK, so it normally belongs to the Lindy Hop/swing scene these days...but I'm a firm believer that it's possible to Lindy to just about any kind of music out there...ymmv.)
posted by SymphonyNumberNine at 11:02 AM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


A move I see sometimes is to grab a friend, link elbows, and spin around while stamping hard on the ground. It usually finishes with a couple of twirls and leanbacks, followed by a giggly stagger to the nearest wall. But maybe you're looking for something more impressive.
posted by rollick at 11:08 AM on September 3, 2010


If you can't dance: The Elaine
They'll laugh with you, not at you.
posted by NoraCharles at 11:09 AM on September 3, 2010


The only thing that matters is that you fully commit. If you *can* dance, do so with aplomb. If you *cannot* dance, do something ridiculous that nobody can possibly take seriously.

Here is an example of the latter. It's hard to really look bad as long as you let loose and have fun.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:13 AM on September 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


The robot, if done even half-well, is a perennial crowd-pleaser.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:27 AM on September 3, 2010


I typically play dead.
posted by sharding at 11:40 AM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I should mention that these generally happen …

I reject your premise. What terrible sitcom do you live in, anyway?
posted by wreckingball at 11:52 AM on September 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


I typically play dead.

Or you could just stand still, strike a pose, stick one hand in the air, John Travolta Saturday Night Fever style. This is particularly effective if you've got a bad back as it's a good stretch.
posted by philip-random at 12:11 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should mention that these generally happen at typical college parties, so something like skanking would probably not fly over so well.

arkitex, does "skanking" now mean something completely different, like "abstaining from drugs and loud music", or "obeying your parents' wishes", or something like that?

Or are you attending Liberty Baptist College?
posted by IAmBroom at 12:34 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You should do the Ally Sheedy dance at the end of the montage from Breakfast Club (starts at about the 1:20 mark)

(I usually just do some sort of go-go dancing. Usually the Swim.)
posted by Lucinda at 12:52 PM on September 3, 2010


You, my friend, need to learn The Fishstick.
posted by ewagoner at 12:59 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


just mosh. throw yourself violently into the crowd. pogo up and down. props if they don't see it coming.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:56 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


just mosh. throw yourself violently into the crowd. pogo up and down. props if they don't see it coming.

even more props if you can organize a Wall Of Death.
posted by philip-random at 3:20 PM on September 3, 2010


Have you actually seen this happen in real life, or are you just concerned that someday, in some unknown future party, populated entirely by people who are unbelievably good dancers, this kind of thing might happen, and you'd have to know how to deal with it?

Because not one of the dozens upon dozens of all-night dance parties I have attended has ever included such an event. Nor have I seen such a thing at any nightclub - not even when I was that guy who was out til 2-4 AM three or four nights a week - nor house party, nor rave in the forest; nor have I ever heard of anyone who has ever reported observing such thing. And my friends include some of the hardest partying partiers that ever partied, in this part of the world anyway.

As far as my experience goes, this kind of thing simply never happens outside a Hollywood teen drama scriptwriter's imagination. People go to dance parties to dance, not to stand back and watch other people dance. All you have to do is move your feet and smile.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:46 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Air guitar, with matching emoting facial expressions, and lack of regard for your skin from the knees down. You have got to communicate to the rest of the circle that you are air guitar's answer to Yngwie Malmsteen and Eddie Van Halen. They can't hear you, so you need to sell it, baby.

This works particularly well when no guitar whatsoever was involved in the creation of the song.

Let me put it like this: I'm not a great singer. You know what got me the reputation of karaoke queen with the cool kids in their early twenties? A Cher impression so laden with cheese that I might as well be wearing a Kraft logo.

on preview: I don't see these things at most parties, even when I've stumbled into a few undergrad shindigs by mistake. But they do happen. I have only seen these occur at weddings, post-open bar, or at end-of-semester parties where 100 graduate-professional students/interns/residents are at least six hours into making their debt-load to brain-cell ratio even higher. And by 'seen,' I mean 'may have been involved in the creation of.' As I said, there's usually several hours of drinking required. So, OP, I invite you to note that the judgment level of everyone around you, in my experience, is about as low as it gets. Fear not.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 4:09 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have never seen a dance circle at a college party. At weddings, however, they abound. I either do the thriller dance, or headbang, or do the Molly-Ringwald-bouncy-thing-from-eighties-movies .

Whatever you choose to do -- you must go all out. Whether you are some incarnation of John Travolta, or MJ, or the-uncoordinated-geeky-kid-who-can't-dance, you must inhabit that character.

And then force the DJ to play thriller so everyone can be zombies.

On preview, I concur with Uniformitarianism Now!
posted by freshwater at 4:43 PM on September 3, 2010


The Roger Rabbit is my go to move if the Running Man has already been used.
posted by jasondigitized at 4:57 PM on September 3, 2010


King Tut
posted by Ideefixe at 5:15 PM on September 3, 2010


As far as my experience goes, this kind of thing simply never happens outside a Hollywood teen drama scriptwriter's imagination.

It's happened to me countless times. It's a festive thing, asking everyone to share a bit of their own dancing. To me it seems to cross boundaries: I've seen it happen at parties where my old, embarassing parents were doing it, definitely at multiple birthday parties of young women, once at a Sri Lankan hip-hop concert.
posted by surenoproblem at 9:07 AM on September 5, 2010


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