Electronic music is one of the most popular genres of music to dance to. Most of the subgenres of electronic music are made specifically for raves and DJ sets where crowds (large or small) tend to get together and dance. So, if you’re a newbie to electronic music in general, it’s possible that you’re wondering about the dance skills you might need to attend one of these events.
The first thing you should know about the electronic music genre is that nowadays, artists and fans alike come from a diverse range of backgrounds and musical tastes. That is to say, while there are common dances and movements within these scenes, it’s up to you to figure out what you’re comfortable doing.
This article will give you some tips and tricks for dancing to electronic music, but don’t be afraid to put your own personal style into it.
Intro to Electronic Music
If you’re reading this article, you’re likely already familiar with the electronic music you like, but it’s important to know a few technical things about the genre before we dive into dancing. The genre got its origins in Germany during the 1980s. From there, it spread to other European countries and a few cities in the United States like Detroit, Chicago, and New York City.
The creation of electronic music sparked a rich culture of raving and clubbing in cities across the globe. Eventually, electronic music made its way to the forefront of popular culture. Now you can see influences from the genre in many other music categories, and too many subgenres have spawned from the electronic music genre to count. It also isn’t uncommon to find rave and club scenes in many cities across the world today.
With such a robust history, electronic music might seem a little intimidating to dip your toes into at first. Listening to the music and finding out what sounds you like the most is your first step into the rave, club, festival, or DJ scene. After that, all you have to do is find an artist you like and go to one of their shows. But it can be difficult to put yourself out there enough to dance along.
How To Find The Right Dance Electronic Music
If you’ve seen people dance to electronic music, you’re probably thinking that it takes some sort of experience or talent to pull off. However, that’s not totally accurate. The beauty of the electronic music genre is that it’s completely accessible. You don’t need any prior experience to begin dancing.
There are plenty of subgenres within electronic music, but here are some of the most popular ones:
- Drum and Bass
- IDM (intelligent dance music)
When you think of “electronic music” you might think of the type of music that charts like David Guetta, Zedd, or Calvin Harris. This is only the surface of the genre, as electronic music is simply any music produced with primarily electronic musical instruments.
To really figure out what you want to dance to, you need to find out which subgenre (or subgenres) you like. It seems simple enough, but there are so many options, it can be difficult to know where to get started. Here’s an overview of the two biggest subgenres.
House music was the first form of electronic music to emerge. Today, the genre still thrives and is often played at concerts and festivals. Some of the characteristics of the genre is that it’s played from tempos between 118 and 135 bpm (beats per minute), repetitive 4/4 beats, synthesized baselines, and off beat hi-hats. Popular house artists include Larry Heard, Frankie Knuckles, and Green Velvet.
Techno, like all other forms of electronic music, was influenced by the emergence of house music. While both house and techno incorporate many similar elements, techno is characterized by tempos between 130 and 150 bpm. Techno was based on a darker futuristic version of the world. Examples of classic techno artists include Jeff Mills, Juan Atkins, and Kevin Saunderson.
With music apps like Spotify and Apple Music, listening to these genres and artists will help ease you into the subgenres and sounds that you enjoy.
Tips For Dancing To Electronic Music
So now that you know what kind of music you want to dance to, here are some tips for going to an event and dancing.
Familiarize Yourself With The Artist
You should familiarize yourself with the DJ or artist that you’re going to see. Perhaps watch a few live clips online to get an idea of what the vibe is at their shows. If the artist is known for their more hardcore songs, it might be appropriate to actually thrash around at the event. But if your DJ likes to play more laid-back or trance-like music, you might just want to let the music move you.
Club Moves And Dances To Incorporate
Through all of this, remember that attending a club or a rave is supposed to be fun. If you feel like stepping out of your comfort zone, go for it, but if you don’t, sticking to the basics is okay too.
First, start small. When you’re beginning, keep to swaying, basic shuffles, two-step dances, and getting your body’s handle on the rhythm. Some common dance moves you’ll see people do at these events are:
- Bouncing to the beat
- Rolling shoulders
- Rolling or grinding hips
- Basic two step
- Jumping up and down
- Fist pumping
- Miami step
- Melbourne shuffle
- Exaggerated shuffle steps
- The step clap
- The step behind
- Step drops
- Circle turns
Also, keep an eye on what those around you are doing. Not only will this help you feel connected to the crowd, making a better club experience, but it will help you learn too. Try to keep in mind that everyone there is there to let loose. If you feel insecure about your moves, you can always revert back to a basic sway or bop.
Additionally, an artist might shout instructions to the crowd for specific movements, like “put your hands up!” Be prepared for these improvisational moments and use them to add to your dance.
Look Into Rave Fashion
While this is completely optional, many ravers and clubbers also choose to express themselves not only through dancing but through their attire as well. In the early days, the typical wardrobe of rave clothing might have consisted of cyberpunk styles, fetish styles, DIY clothes, retro sportswear, war/science fiction themed outfits, and outfits made to show off your body.
Today, how you dress is still a form of self-expression utilized by the community, but the styles (like the different subgenres) have expanded. Some events, festivals, or clubs might have strict themes like dark or minimalistic attire, so do some research on the event first.
Best Electronic Music
If you’re interested in electronic music artists, consider checking out DJ Lady Tazz. Tazz is an up-and-coming techno artist with Canadian and Bangladeshi backgrounds. Her music is characterized by dark, hypnotic synths with symbols of sexuality and empowerment. Her latest EP features the songs “Beautiful But Evil” and “Dark Places.” Check her out and catch her live on to be announced tour dates.