How To: 10 Simple Steps to Dance Like Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands

Future Islands are blowing up. They’re playing major festivals and national television on the strength of their infectious album Singles. I know what you’re thinking—infectious might just be the most overused descriptor by all of us music journalist types, but this time it means something. Future Islands are infectious like the Black Plague, except good. Is it the raw energy of their music? Partially. The replayability of their record? Perhaps. Is it Samuel T. Herring’s dancing? …Yes.

How To: Dance Like Future Islands

When it comes to of-the-moment music, let’s face it, figuring out how to dance to it can be admittedly challenging. For example, have you ever been to a Radiohead concert? It’s like watching a bunch of people have muscle spasms. What about Haim? Girls just bang their heads back and forth exchanging constipation bass faces.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see someone like Herring finally gain a share of the spotlight. The lead singer of Future Islands doesn’t subscribe to the who can head-nod more subtly to look like they care least mantra of many concert-goers and musicians. He just goes for it. Now I don’t use the word ‘groovy’ very often, but there is simply no other way to describe his dancing.

Fear not ye rhythmically challenged, we’ve broken down his technique with in-depth analysis for your dancing pleasure. In 10 simple steps, you can look like a possessed person at an ‘80s nightclub, and incidentally, the coolest respective dude / chick in the room.

**Disclaimer: I have no formal dance training, but I get the feeling Herring doesn’t either.

Step 1: Clear out some space (you’re going to need it). And yes, this is really happening right now.

Step 2: Play some Future Islands. Either of these tracks will do:

“Seasons (Waiting On You)”


Step 3: Begin with the core aspect of the dance: the smooth head bob two-step. When in doubt, go with this one. You’re going to need to master it.

future islands gif dance

Step 4: Next, it’s time to feel the emotion: bang on your chest a few times and then act like you just ripped your heart out between two fingers. Hold it up in the air in a symbolic gesture.

future islands

Rip out heart. Rinse. Repeat.



Step 5: Boom. Shit got real. The chorus arrived. Proclaim it with a serious fist pump or something rambunctious.

future islands dance

Step 6: Bring that two-step back, but this time you’re mad. This time you’re going to dance like the floor slapped your mother and didn’t even apologize.

future islands dance

Step 7: There’s no turning back now. You’re becoming a werewolf. Let out a primal scream you animal, you.

future islands dancing

Step 8: We’re moving now, baby. Anything goes.

future islands dance

Step 9: Congratulations. The song is fading out. You revel in the glory of dance, no longer bound by the restraints of hipsterdom.

Step 10: Want to be a black belt of Samuel T. Herring dance moves? Watch (or re-watch) the performance below and achieve enlightenment.

Future Islands famed Letterman performance:

Future Islands play Webster Hall tonight. Go. See them on tour before your mother starts listening to them.

Article by Nicolas White

Add a Comment