Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Land of a Thousand Dances

I love going to concerts. They’re a literal breeding ground of unique individual expression; somewhere where a people-watching aficionado like myself can become completely absorbed in the surreal surroundings and have more subtle private guffaws at the expense of others than you would at any cross-dressing ‘Trekkie’ convention.

C’mon, everybody does it!

Since man has learned to express himself through dance, others have gathered around to silently mock and revel in their flippant motions. And nowhere is there a better place to do such prime people watching than at a good ‘ol fashioned stripped down “Flower Power” hippie festival or live concert where all the show participants tend to get lost in their own outward expressions of rapture - either that, or it’s that everybody suddenly becomes possessed by the spirit of Mikhail Baryshnikov after one too many Vodka Mule's.

Personally, I don’t dance. My hands stay in my pockets, and my eyes are instead well fixed on the goings on around me with all the astute attention of a seasoned ‘Trading Places’ decorator.

Below, I have compiled a people-watching beginner’s guide to the “Ten Most Common Dances” seen at live concerts nowadays, as well as on the grounds at any popular music festival.

1) “The Bobbing for Apples”

Primarily a white man’s dance, this dance is the most common among concertgoers. The dance itself is a simple steady bodily movement involving the continuous bobbing of the head at the neck while maintaining a hunched over posture. This dance makes the dancer remotely look like they’re a gigantic chicken pecking for seed in midair.

2) “The Bladder Shuffle”

This dance is a simple one for beginners. The dancer only needs to delicately shift his/her weight from one side to the other on the balls of their feet so that it gives the impression that the dancer is doing that uncomfortable shuffle that one does when ones bladder is about to explode.

3) “The Bobbing for Apples Bladder Shuffle”

A combination of the first two listed dances, only at a rapidly accelerated pace that could only be employed by someone who really has to piss yet loves their bobbing for apples at the same time so that they can’t bare to tear themselves away.

4) “The Vibrator”

This dance is not for the unathletic or the cardiac challenged. It involves a bouncing and vibrating of the body at such a steady fixed rate that it seems as if it would be possible to pass their atomic particles through solid objects. Staring directly at these dancers in progress for prolonged periods of time could trigger seizures.

5) “The Twirler”

There is the classic “Flower Power” pirouette that is most commonly recognized and active among hippie dancers. Stereotypically, it’s the girls (usually clad in long flowing patchy skirts) spinning endlessly and fluidly as if they were trying to open a small vortex on the spot to travel through time. Whether it’s by design or by naturally occurring phenomena, twirlers tend to gravitate towards one another in close proximity. This can give the impression of numerous individual twirling tie-dyed twisters tornados working their way through the crowd.

6) “The Stumble”

The verdict is still out on whether the Stumble can truly be considered an accepted style of dance, or just someone whose equilibrium is so disturbed with alcoholic and herbal excesses, that they are just stumblefucking ass over teakettle in an effort to keep upright. But irregardless, there’s significantly enough of these pathetic, sloppy, gravity challenged schleps lurching around like the seventh inning at the Alzheimer’s annual slow-pitch tournament, so I’ve included it here as a legitimate dance type. Basically, just picture Charlie Sheen trying to make it back to his hotel room after an open bar after party at the porno ‘Hot d’Ors’ Awards. Personally, as entertaining as they are to watch in action, I still like to keep my distance just in case one of these stumbler’s should actually lurch forward to hurl on me.

7) “Putting Away the Dishes”

This is one is one of my favorite dance styles to watch. This dance requires that the dancers hands cut the air in front of them at odd angles and intervals giving the impression that they are putting away imaginary dishes in the cupboard after washing them. There is a lesser variation of this dance style for the more reserved dancer known as “Sorting the Silverware” which requires less hand movements at closer proximity to the body.

8) “Walking on Hot Coals”

This fast-paced jig literally gives the impression that the dancer is stepping on hot coals and trying to prevent their feet from getting burned. This dance technique incorporates one part Michael Flatley, one part Maoli tribesman, and one part John Travolta a la ‘Saturday Night Fever’.

9) “The Funky Sasquatch”

This is another popular people-watchers favorite. The dancer poses themselves in the posture of a fleeting Bigfoot from one of those ‘Unexplained Mysteries’ picture books, and then proceeds to shake their arms and legs in a rhythmic manner not unlike that of a dancing bear on a Moroccan street corner. At first glance, it may appear that the Funky Sasquatch dancer is merely trying to scare off small animals, yet the blissful smile and glazed eyes immediately suggest that the only thing actually intimidating about them is the body funk emanating from under their armpits.

10) “The Check Please!”

This obscure and seldom noticed dance is so slight in it’s delivery that is often overlooked as a random spontaneous gesture as opposed to any actual dance style in itself. In this particular dance, the person merely raises their one hand over their head and makes a simple hand sign in the air as if they were trying to get their waiter’s attention to bring the check to their table. It’s the same universally recognized ‘signing your signature’ motion, known by waiters and waitresses the world over - except that it’s dragged on for more lengthy periods and with less urgency.


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