Concert Foul No. 72: The Concert Dancer

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The Interpretive Dancer
It seems that it's nearly impossible to show up at a performance of one's favorite musical act these days and not run into this most uninhibited concert goer. Granted, according to popular behavior, indie-rock shows are best watched while frozen in the upright position. But concert dancers have never heard of such a preposterous rule.

Instead, they are highly distracting, and they generally have no concept of personal space.

And, to top it off, this breaker of unwritten concert law is equipped with some sort of homing device that enables them to find me in a crowd of thousands. They walk right up to me and treat my personal space as prime real estate to bust a move.

The concert dancer's behavior is like that of my one-year-old son. The second he hears "Old McDonald," he goes apeshit, standing in place, bending his knees repeatedly until the music ends.

Similarly, the concert dancer will show up at a show (they can usually be spotted in loose, flowing, breathable clothing), and as soon as the music starts, everyone within five feet (one or or feet in my case) will be subjected to the person's complete lack of self-awareness. But, unlike my son, these people have a little more variety in their repertoire.

Breaking Update 9:54 a.m.: After sleeping on it and re-reading this, you guys are right. I'm an asshole. You just keep dancing, and I'll be the guy frozen in place.

What follows is a list of the different kinds of concert dancers.

The Interpretive Dancer
This most notorious type of concert dancer ebbs and flows around the room, ruining those rare transcendental concert moments for any fan that catches said dancer in their periphery.

The Clubber
The Clubber's biggest disconnect with normal concert goers is their belief that music is only meant to be danced to. They pump their fist on the fast songs, and grind on an unsuspecting neighbor on the slow ones.

The Couple
The Couple only shows up during the slow songs, and they usually use that small strip of space in between the stage and the audience. It's kind of sweet in that why-are-you-dancing-in-front-of-me-there's-plenty-of-room-in-the-back kind of way.

The Pressure Cooker
This is the only self-aware concert dancer. They stand there trying to keep their hesitant bounce hidden, but when that great moment in the song comes, they completely blow their cover.

But maybe I'm being too harsh here, but there's got to be a way for the dancer and non-dancer to coexist at shows. Should the concert dancer be more respectful of other people's space, or should we non-dancers be more respectful of the notion that some people just need to dance?

I think it's the first one.


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22 comments
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Atticus Miller
Atticus Miller

This article is somewhat funny but the comments really finish it off.  

Darnell
Darnell

Sucky post. You suck. Ima keep grindin up on ya Daniel Hopkins. You watch out.

Laura
Laura

you forgot the "Total Dork For Whatever Music Is Playing".  This person not only dances and jumps up and down (usually awkwardly) and sings along, they also feel the need to tell everyone around them, at loud volumes, all about the history of the band, which song is playing next (and why it's in that position on the setlist), etc, in spite of confused looks from people around them who are simply trying to listen.  If you are sitting down, they will invariably bump your seat several times.  This person is me at Alice Cooper shows.

oh, and there's the Lone Mosher, the one sweaty drunk redneck at metal shows who stomps around in a circle swinging his arms, trying desperately to start a mosh pit when it's obvious no one else is into it.

wayneadam
wayneadam

Seriously. I go to a show to enjoy myself and because I love the band. Not to be a statue. I do try to be considerate with space, but a polite, "Sorry" or "My bad" if you bump into someone will never hurt you. I will not be considerate to the douche who just wants to stand there and be upset, then that gets mad im within a foot of him/her. I swear, do hipsters have any joy in their life? Fuck

Drewski
Drewski

It depends on the band you're going to see. Britney Spears=Dance all you want. The Pixies=Stand still and enjoy the music (head bobbing is permitted). I do find concert dancers annoying, but I think a bigger problem is the "Concert Singer." The person who insists on singing loudly to every song and defines the term "Tone deaf." 

Chelsea Upton
Chelsea Upton

I do not relegate my dancing to concerts, but that is where I dance the most! 

me
me

me-thinks dan can't dance ...

Velouria6
Velouria6

Jesus. What a typical Dallas attitude on Concertgoing, or even just general existence. God forbid someone goes to a concert and actually expresses themself moving to the music. I was shocked when I moved to Dallas that no one, EVER, dared dance at all the shows I went too. I discovered that it was for fear of being written about by jerks like you in the newspaper. Get over yourself.

BadGuyZero
BadGuyZero

OUTING ALERT: Daniel Hopkins is really Sophia Dembling.

me
me

ha ha ha ha ha ha

AP
AP

bad post, bad form.  This kind of pretentious hipster crap is what gives dallas a bad name in the music scene.  Bands like it when people dance and if you go to a concert, be prepared for dancers. Dancing happens at concerts (thank God). Deal with it.

Steve
Steve

DATELINE:  Foxboro Stadium.  Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour.  I'd just rolled 18 joints in the car on the way to the stadium, passing 'em out like lollies.   A Kevin Smith/Chewbacca hybrid jostled alone as Lenny Kravitz played alone in the setting sun.

After his set, a greasy line cook looking motherfucker start doing the Hands Dance, wherein he stands behind his girl, hands interlocked, and they groove to whatever, feet firmly planted, shoulders all willy-nilly, hands all free-form.   The Hands Dance.

We mocked him until security axed him for his ticket stub, and he countered with a loud "Is this your FUCKIN' SECTION??"

And so the Hands Dance entered my vernacular.

TLS
TLS

The security axed him?  It's like Altamont all over again.

Dave
Dave

Mom, Dad....I don't want to be an architect. I just want to DANCE.

MattL1
MattL1

I don't know.  It really depends on the show, your location, and the crowd.  If there's room and you want to dance, then dance.  If it's a crowded show, you probably shouldn't jump around like an idiot.  A lot of bands encourage dancing, and it IS a music show.  This isn't a hard-and-fast rule like some of the others.

That being said, I hardly ever dance at shows.  I'm too damn self-conscious (and self-aware).  

crw
crw

Only complaint ive ever had of dancing at a show was a couple up front bumpin and grindin to O'Death at The Labb. Other than that aren't they supposed to move?

TLS
TLS

I'll admit it, I sometimes am a concert dancer.  But I do hate the couple dancers.  They pick the worst overplayed songs to do their high school sway.  No respect for you!

A tip for you if you are particularly annoyed by a concert dancer, especially if they only have one move; mimic them behind their back.  You'll feel better AND you'll be dancing.

ben
ben

fuck this post

Srgregor
Srgregor

Yea, this post is pretty terrible.  You might have a point depending on the style of the performance, but for the vast majority of shows a lively, moving audience is a must.

laracarroll
laracarroll

maybe this is why dallas gets a bad rap for live shows sometimes. dude. people dance. i'm pretty sure the artists encourage it. its typically a good sign if your music inspires movement from an audience. if you don't want to be bothered by dancers, stand at the back of the room.

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