Throughout my years as a self-proclaimed live music connoisseur, I’ve seen just about every type of crowd imaginable. One aspect about these crowds that has always fascinated me is the presence of a core cast of stock characters that manage to appear at virtually every show. Though they’re very rarely played by the same individuals, I can’t help but notice that I continually observe the same behaviors at most concerts. One of the most recurring trends is the different dancing styles of the many concert-goers.
We’ve decided to profile some of the most prominent dancing habits at concerts. Check out the following list to see what dancing style YOU fit under…
Which Kind of Concert Dancer Are You?
“The Subtle Head Nodder”
This is like the “polite laugh” of the music world. The “Subtle Head Nodder” aims to let both the band and the crowd know they’re in fact paying attention to the music by respectfully nodding their head along to the music.
“The Hippy Dippy Dancers”
Who needs rhythm and coordination when you’ve got love in your heart, man? These dancers haven’t a care in the world; swaying elegantly and/or spastically to the music. You can usually find these culprits towards the back of a crowd where they have enough room to really express their inner Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man.
“The Overzealous Dad”
My personal favorite of all the dancers; “The Overzealous Dad” is what every young man should aspire to be when they get old. Dad Dancers can best be characterized as drunk, middle-aged men performing a series of awkward, jerking body movements. These Dad Dancers are also usually surrounded by a pack of mean-spirited teenagers, documenting their every move with their cameras. But fret not, Dad Dancers, your enthusiasm goes unrivaled in the concert world and for this, I salute you. You can catch these guys in their natural habitat—a Wilco show, or just about any main stage headliner at a music festival like Lollapalooza or ACL.
“The One Toke Over the Line”
You are freaking out, man. At some point before the concert, this crowd member took one hit too many and is now the poster child of every anti-drug ad ever made. Though they may only seem marginally strange towards the beginning of the show, these little quirks become more bizarre and increasingly uncomfortable for everyone around them as the concert goes on. I bet, at whatever planet they’re on, what they’re doing with their body is considered dancing, but here on Earth it’s called a “red flag.” This culprit can be spotted at pretty much any Tame Impala show.
“The Inappropriate Mosher”
Now, I personally love to mosh; it’s fun, it’s a great workout, and it lets you slam into total strangers with zero consequences whatsoever. However, there is a time and a place to mosh, and these dancers got both wrong. Their heart is usually in the right place, but their enthusiasm is overlooked by all the other concert-goers they carelessly assault. Let’s keep it at the Less Than Jake concert, buddy.
These cats are just too cool for school. They aren’t just non-dancers, they go out of their way to actively condemn those around them for dancing with condescending looks and blatant eye rolls. Lighten up a little and dance!
“The Stevie Wonder”
I’ve find myself guilty of this dance many-a-time. It’s that dance you do when you’re so captivated by the music that you can’t help but to just close your eyes and sway. Don’t knock it till you try it.
“The Spiritual Awakeners”
This is an advanced form of “The Stevie Wonder,” where a fan seems to have some sort of spiritual, out-of-body experience. “The Spiritual Awakeners” usually have their arms ascended to the heavens, reaching out to the rock gods for some guidance (or maybe just some new dance moves).
“The Self Conscious Dancer”
These timid folk have little-to-no confidence in their dancing abilities. They usually stand still for a while and slowly progress into some sort of dance before abruptly stopping and looking around to make sure nobody saw them. I assure you, nobody is watching… probably.
“The Hip Shaker”
Pretty self-explanatory. One of the most common dancers out there; these rump-movers shake their God-given hind parts to varying degrees. Hip Shakers are proud of what they’re flaunting so who are we to judge that?
The visionary is probably the most complex of all the dancers. These trailblazers astound everyone around them by creating some of the most unique, and sometimes comical, dance moves known to man. Pay close attention to these rug-cutters, as you may want to pick up a move or two to use in the future. Most likely not, but you never know.
“The DUI” (or Dancer Under the Influence) walks that thin line between hilarious and irritating. It’s funny watching these drunken fools dancing around until they bump into you, causing you to drop your phone, or even worse than that, your drink. There is usually a chorus of cheers when these buzzed buzzkills are escorted off the premises by security for pissing off too many innocent bystanders.
“The Air Naked Ladies”
There’s always one. A concert-goer who thinks he or she is a part of the action on-stage and mimics one of the instruments with their hands. Whether it is guitar, bass, or drums, these dancers really know how to make it look like they’ve never touched a musical instrument in their entire lives. Don’t quit your day job.
“The Angry Dragon”
This isn’t so much of a dance as it is a person that just looks like the concert is the last place on Earth they want to be. In most cases, “The Angry Dragon” is either an uninterested significant other or the unlucky friend who got stuck DDing for a pack of wild DUIs. Cheer up.
“The Poser” carefully examines the crowd for the one audience member doing the coolest dance and then tries to mimic them to mixed results. They usually take on a variety of dance styles described in this post. Words of advice: just be yourself.
“The Time Traveler”
Wait, what year is it? “The Time Traveler” apparently is unaware of the concept of “fads” and dances using only outdated moves. These timeless prancers can be seen performing moves like “raising the roof” and “the robot.” They want us to think they’re just being ironic, but deep down inside, we know it’s not.
“The Backup Singer”
We get it, you know every word to the more popular songs and about 75% of the words for the rest of them. However, we all paid to hear the band sing so please take a cue from the “Air Naked Ladies” and lip-synch the rest of the show.
These vomit-inducing couples do everything in their power to let everybody know they’re in love. This dancing style crosses into “simulated sex” territory, and has those around them leaving the concert feeling nauseated and pregnant. Get a room.
“The Creeper” is one of the most uncomfortable people to watch at a concert. They scan the crowd for girls who are dancing by themselves and swiftly engage their unsuspecting prey with an impromptu and most likely unwanted dance session. It usually takes a verse or two for the victim to realize she’s gained a new friend. At this point she ends the blooming relationship and finds a safer spot to dance in peace further into the crowd. Nice try, Romeo.
Fist pump. High five. Repeat.
If you don’t consider yourself a member of any of the aforementioned categories, you probably fall under this one. And while I’m not here to knock you for not dancing at a concert, I challenge you to get out there and try one of these categories out! Anything except for “The Creeper,” though. Nobody likes “The Creeper.”
Article by Trevor Ziegler