Im looking for videos of how to dance at a club; failing that, videos of people dancing at clubs
January 17, 2006 8:48 PM   Subscribe

Im looking for online videos of how to dance at a club; failing that, videos of people dancing at clubs

Written explanations wont do it. Oh and anyone know the going rate for a private dance lesson? And I would watch people dance at clubs but I just think people in north american clubs are bad dancers. Ive never wanted to dance because i felt stupid, but if i learned how to do it well, i wouldnt feel so stupid. Ideal dancing? Prince, baby :)
posted by GleepGlop to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total)
If you're worried about looking or feeling stupid, you won't enjoy dancing. The important thing to remember is: nobody cares - they're too wrapped up in themselves, and besides, they're, as you said, bad dancers too.
posted by aubilenon at 8:54 PM on January 17, 2006

I can't answer your question directly. For that, I apologize.

Go in your living room, get some club music going on the old HiFi, and make a complete fool of yourself to yourself. Keep doing that until you feel comfortable. Now go out to a club, and find a sexy lady you would like to get with and mix your foolishness with your sexual vibe in a poetic gesture to horrible house music.

Drinks help too.

I think if you do that, you will accomplish what you are seeking. I'm being completely serious, and trying to help.
posted by nickerbocker at 8:56 PM on January 17, 2006

here's a classic
posted by seawallrunner at 9:03 PM on January 17, 2006

...all joking aside, community centres and dance centres offer dancing courses for couples and for singles. you might want to try hip-hop if you want to dance like Prince
posted by seawallrunner at 9:06 PM on January 17, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah dancing like zefrank is what i already do. Spastic novelty dancing isnt practical for everyday use though :)
posted by GleepGlop at 9:10 PM on January 17, 2006

Yeah, get intoxicated and groove out in private until you've overcome that initial barrier of "wow, this is colossally stupid" vibes. Dancing is the exact opposite of what is normally acceptable behavior, so you are fighting a lot of ingrained habits.
posted by phrontist at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2006

Response by poster: Im a white guy with no natural sense of rhythm, hence the spastic dancing... I cant just start playing around on my own. Using my body like that is foreign to me.
posted by GleepGlop at 9:21 PM on January 17, 2006

Using my body like that is foreign to me.

Ok, but that is the first thing you need to resolve. Once you get more comfortable with dancing then you can work on improving your technique.

Dance lessons do help, especially because they lock you into a commitment of sorts.

But I honestly believe if you work out the initial gitters before you even go to a dance class you'll be better prepared and will learn more. Shoot...Video tape yourself dancing and watch it. You should be able to judge what is good and what is not. Get over feeling foolish about it.
posted by nickerbocker at 10:07 PM on January 17, 2006

Response by poster: Hey the videotaping isnt a bad idea, thanks!
posted by GleepGlop at 10:11 PM on January 17, 2006

If you have no natural sense of rhythm you are NOT going to be able to teach yourself. In my opinion, rhythm is probably the most important thing to have if you want to know how to dance. If you are really serious about learning how to dance, then pony up for a professional lesson. But if you really can't afford it, then watch people. Go to clubs, pick out people who seem like they know what they are doing, and study them like the Torah. Watch, and imitate when you're alone. Listen to dance music and try to find the beat. Keep time in your head and maybe even tap the rhythm on your knee. If you have a friend that you trust, then ask them to watch you dance and maybe point out what you're doing wrong. People may tell you that "no one cares" or "no one is watching" but let me tell you, that's dead wrong (and I'm speaking from experience). My girlfriends and I would often go to clubs and point/laugh at all the bad dancers, even going so far as to stand behind them and imitate them for laughs (Not something I'm proud of, but I was young and no one has ever accused me of being a nice person). Good luck dude. Learning how to dance without any natural ability is really hard to do. But if you have confidence, people will notice it. Just keep working at it until you feel somewhat comfortable and get really boozed up to help lower your inhibitions. Hopefully the rest will come naturally. :)
posted by super_not at 10:22 PM on January 17, 2006

This type of thing makes me wish i was born in an era that prized dances that had 'steps', so you could just do the steps instead of just trying to move your body in random ways that might perhaps maybe not look totally ridiculous.

If you do take dance lessons, take swing. Most women can follow if you know what you're doing, and girls love the guy who grabs their hand and swings and twirls and dips them around the dance floor. Its fun! Even if you don't dance to anything else or in any other way all night, the chicks'll still think of you as a good dancer. (I'm a chick, i should know !)
posted by Kololo at 10:46 PM on January 17, 2006

There used to be this show on MushMusic called "Electric Circus". They had some really good club dancers on it. It has since shut down. Does anyone have videos of this?
posted by lpctstr; at 11:29 PM on January 17, 2006

Dance like no one is watching. (Even though, as mentioned above, at clubs people are watching. Fuck 'em. Just dance.)

Dance at home. Dance walking down the street with headphones on. The key here, is to just shut up and dance.

Move how it feels good. Free your mind, and your ass will follow. Free your ass, and your mind will follow.

And remember, Prince dances like Prince, 'cause, well, he's the Artist Formerly Known As Prince. You might be able to train yourself to dance like Prince, but you won't be dancing like you.

If none of this works, you're going to the wrong clubs and/or indulging in the wrong inebrients.

If it's some mainstream hoochie club, the dancing there probably sucks, anyway, as would the music. Bad music gets you bad dancing.

Find your local rave/underground/afterhours email list or forum and find out where the good shit is. (You might even get to hear some old school Prince!) People at good clubs and parties don't give a flying swut how you look while dancing - as long as you dance. You don't have to get high. No one's gonna dose you unawares.

And like taking strong psychoactive chemicals, set and setting is everything for good dancing. If the club sucks, so will your dancing experiences.

Dance is worship, man. It's not moves or steps or fashion. It's worship, active meditation, self-expression and self-discovery. The highest I've ever been is simply off the endorphin rushes of dancing for hours on end - otherwise stone cold sober. Higher than biking 100 miles, higher than bagging mountain peaks, higher than bungee jumping or rollercoasters, higher than candy-flipping the most primo esctasy and acid.

Just dancing.

Indicators of a good club would include: People of all ages dancing - young, old and inbetween. Big hairy fat old Unix hackers shuffling around amongst glamorous club kids, totally straight, stuffy looking people rocking out right next to incredibly flamboyant out-and-out queers. Rivetheads and candy kids. Fire or glow sticks. Fratboys and skaters. Hessiers, Deadheads, Phishheads, acid-housers, ravers, psytrancers, jungleists. Black, white, yellow, damn near purple, plaid, all-in-one! Low-tech, less polished, more ghetto, more soul, more heart and love, less money and booze, more dancing and music.

And something to keep in mind is that at these clubs that I would call "good", there tends to be a whole lot less "partner" dancing. I only rarely see bump and grind or people freaking on each other, or even just dancing as a pair. It's just not conducive to it. Only the most mind-meshed, intimate couple could freeform trance-dance with a partner with the flow and anarchy of an individual person. People don't generally go to these clubs or parties to hook up, get wasted drunk or watch girls or boys. People go to these clubs to - seriously now - practice a sort of revived, modern shamanistic experience. The tribal dance. Esctatic energy sharing and release. Communal bonding.

Another thing that I've also noticed as a nearly life long trance/house/freeform dancer is that there is really an unspoken language to this kind of stuff. Rhythms, textures, sounds, patterns all influence the dance - and it's really common that it'll effect different people in almost the same way or similar ways. Squishy sounds get people making squishy shapes in the air with their hands like they're playing with clay. Scintillating synth washes get swooping motions. Staccato drum rolls and snares get glitchy, sharp twitches. And so on.

Roll with it. Let the music mold your form and move your body, let it pulse and flow through you - and in turn pulse and flow right back, forming the music.

Just dance. It's just one of those things. If you dance, you're dancing, and the more you dance, the more you like it and the "better" you are. And it's only "practice" in the sense that ritual is practice, that doing yoga is practice, that meditation is practice.

But if you don't simply get up and dance, you'll never dance.
posted by loquacious at 12:17 AM on January 18, 2006 [3 favorites]

Jesus, loquacious is sure living up to the name. Good advice there though.

My best nugget of wisdom is this: if you are able to throw your inhibitions to the wind and have fun, then you will be a good dancer. It's all in the head.
posted by charmston at 1:21 AM on January 18, 2006

Watch Footloose.
posted by godawful at 2:30 AM on January 18, 2006

Here's what Scott "dilbert" Adams had to say about the secret of dance.
posted by oh pollo! at 5:31 AM on January 18, 2006

Disco dancing lesson 40 meg mpg
posted by insomnus at 5:42 AM on January 18, 2006

Uhm. Is it just me, or is the obvious answer 'go take latin ballroom dancing lessons, group classes are ridiculously cheap'?

Knowing the basics of dancing with style, leading and following, etc. can only improve your freestyle dancing; the practice and confidence definitely won't worsen it!
posted by Firas at 7:38 AM on January 18, 2006

I never thought Scott Adams would give good dance advice, but he's absolutely correct- dancing is in the hips (and, to a lesser extent, the back). People for some reason tend to think that the secret to dancing is in the arms, which leads to a lot of awkward flailing. If you look at any "bad dancer" videos, they're almost always waving their arms in some awful distraction.

Please don't do this. If you're not a great dancer, the secret is to not move very much, because you don't need to.

Pick a position and stand in it. Figure out where you what position you want to wind up in, and just lead your hips there. The rest of your body will follow. Learn to do it in-time. Once you get the gist of this "slink", everything else is chrome.
posted by mkultra at 7:43 AM on January 18, 2006

I am a pretty good dancer, and someone asked me this summer how to be a better dancer. I told them to reenact daily activities you would find throught the day. And do it to the rhythm. Seriously. Try 'Knocking on the door with your closed fist', and then just exaggerate the movement. Or 'Opening the door', or 'Playing tug-of-war', or 'Marching in the army'. I am not kidding on this one. From these basic moves, you add improvisation, and move with rhythm in between the 4 bars of the beat.

Start by tapping your foot to the rhythm. Seriously. If you cannot do this, then you may be at a serious disadvantage. Rhythm is everything when is comes to good dancing. If you can tap your foot to the rhythm, then try bobbing your head to the rhythm. This is the 'Agreeing with my boss' move. Once you've got the head bobbing thing down, try bobbing your head to the left, and then the right. This is the 'Agreeing with 2 people in a meeting' move. Next bob to the left twice, then bob to the right twice. Now mix up the transition of your bobs. Make it jerky. Make it slide. May it wobble. Apply this to different body parts. Now move body parts to the beat, or on the sixteenth, quarter, or half note. Rinse, repeat.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:44 AM on January 18, 2006

Take dance lessons. Vidoes won't do it. First, people who learn to dance from movies or videos (especially exercise videos) are terrible dancers. They're stiff, repetitive, and they reek of trying to hard. Second, your problem is confidence not skill. Dance lessons, particularly group lessons, will give you the confidence you need. You just need to hear some encouragement from the right people.

Generally, there are two types of bad dancers: those who lack confidence and those who lack coordination. It's the people with no confidence that suck. They're stiff, nervous, and terribly uninspiring. Don't be that guy or girl. As for people who lack coordination, they're awesome. Their willingness to dance--to let's say, to move--in spite of their lack of skills gives off some very good vibes. These people have loads of fun. The awful truth is that the overwhelming majority of people are terrible dancers. So what. This doesn't prevent them from having loads of fun.

Also, stop romanticize dancing so much. It's not a space shuttle launch, it won't be the defining moment of your life and it's not about some deep, essential human need. Stop worrying so much about yourself and whether you're doing it right. Instead focus on the people around you and the music. Try to forget yourself and just enjoy moving to the music.

Your goal shouldn't be to "learn to dance" but to gain the confidence to dance. There are a lot of "hip-hop" dance lessons available at various churches, community centers, and studios. Sign up and just do it.
posted by nixerman at 9:22 AM on January 18, 2006

the whitey hop :D
posted by suni at 11:52 AM on January 18, 2006

The price of dance instruction, like any labour, is tied to local cost of living, of which I am not familiar for your region.

Where I am (Washington state) it's about $70/hour for private instruction, and $12 for 1-hour classes, at a for-profit studio that isn't screwing you over. More at studio that is screwing you, less at one that is giving a good deal. Community places or school organisations can be cheaper still, sometimes greatly so.

I would imagine that prices are cheaper across the board in your region however.

And as others have said, yes, using your body like that is alien to you, I know firsthand, but if, in the privacy of your bedroom, you can find some of you favourite music that just rocks you to the core, crank it up and just go nuts - the entire point of this exercise is the learn about your body, how it moves, what feels weird, what feels right, etc.

And go to some classes as well.

As to videos of club dancing, I'd forget about how people actually dance at clubs and find what works for you, because that IS what people dance at clubs - whatever works for them. I suggest watching a ton of music videos, looking for the ones with club scenes, or just good dancing. You'll see dance styles that don't appeal, you'll see some that do. Having an idea of what style of dancing YOU like the look of is a big help. ANd by style I don't really even mean "swing or hip-hop", I think "attitude" would be a better word - would you prefer powerful, or slinky, or precise, or what? Also watch stuff on TV like "So you think you can dance", Cirque du solei, anything and everything, because finding cool stuff that makes you think "that so rocks - I want to be like that" can come from anywhere. And once you have a destination, you can find a path that leads in that general direction.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:33 PM on January 18, 2006

I forgot you already have Prince as the goal. Ignore that last bit :)
posted by -harlequin- at 1:27 PM on January 18, 2006

Club dancing varies country to country (and frequently club to club). In the US people often seem to favour dancing in clusters of varying sizes, arranged asymmetrically and facing each other with only a slight tendency to face the DJ. In many (but not all) European clubs, you often find people aligned in strict row formation, front to back, facing the DJ (or occasionally a killer attraction). Thus the predominant direction of gaze, and interaction, varies, and dancing posture thus varies significantly.

My advice is to find a backbeat or stretch beat and groove to it rhythmically - don't try to keep up with the main percussion.
posted by meehawl at 7:22 AM on January 19, 2006

« Older jon stewart and body parts.   |   Fricken' Laser Beams Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.