How to Dance at a Rave

Three Methods:Preparing for a RaveDancing at a RaveRespecting Your Fellow Ravers

Raves are dance parties that are known for their fast, upbeat music, eclectic dancing styles and crazy, colorful clothes. How you dance at a rave is a pretty individual form of self-expression, but a few these steps on how to dance at a rave will help you look good and fit in.

Method 1
Preparing for a Rave

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    Loosen up. One of the most important things to remember when dancing at a rave is to keep your body loose. Rave dancers tend to wave their arms and hands and use their whole bodies when they dance, so do the same. Shake out your stress and warm up your whole body so you're relaxed and at ease like the rest of the dancers.
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    Dress appropriately. You can wear whatever you want to a rave, but it’s often considered appropriate to wear some more exciting clothing too. You can wear shirts with LED lights, or tutus, or giant furry costumes with wings, or just jeans and a t-shirt. [1]
    • Loose, casual attire was what was originally worn when raving started. It’s the easiest to dance in.
    • Kandi clothing that fluoresces under ultraviolet light has become very popular too.
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    Wear comfortable shoes. Regardless of what kind of clothing you decide to wear to your rave, you absolutely must wear comfortable shoes. First of all, there are going to be tons of people dancing around you. There’s a good chance someone will stomp on your feet if you are wearing sandals. Secondly, you’ll be dancing yourself the whole night. You want to be comfortable. [2]

Method 2
Dancing at a Rave

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    Follow along with the music. You can take dancing inspiration from yourself and others. Raves are supposed to allow for spontaneous outburst of energy. Dance the way the music tells you, not the way others think you should.
    • Some rave music is fast and encourages quick, fast-paced moves, while other rave music is more trance-like and is good for swaying more slowly. Let the beat of the music at the rave inspire how you dance and follow the basic beats of the music to stay in time.
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    Enjoy being in the crowd. Try to be one with the crowd. Dance in a similar rhythm and style to the rest of the crowd.The more you worry about the way you look the less fun you will have. You don’t need to copy what everyone else is doing but it’s good to stay in rhythm with the crowd. [3]
    • Many ravers use a drug called MDMA. MDMA (short for 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) is a powerful stimulant drug that produces intense feelings of euphoria and bliss. Legality of MDMA use differs depending on where you live, but it's generally an illegal drug. You will find that the desire to move around and dance comes naturally while under the influence of this drug, but remember to stay hydrated as it does increase your body temperature and encourage you to exert yourself more than you may be used to. Amphetamines are a powerful drug and could send you driving off across Nebraska if you aren’t careful.
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    Learn a few break dance moves. Lots of dance moves popular with ravers are based on break dancing moves, so learn a few basic break dance moves to dance at a rave like a veteran. Raves tend to be crowded, so don't plan on performing any moves that require you to be on the ground or on your hands. Focus on getting a few hand and head movements down and learning a few basic steps.
    • For example, one popular move is the toprock. Starting walking in place. Now with the beat, start walking in place while rocking back and forth between your toes and your heels. Once you've done this, start crossing your legs in front of each other as your walking. Think of it as an exaggerated walk.
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    Use your whole body. [4] Unlike other styles of dance that use only the lower body and require the upper body to stay still, rave dancing incorporates your arms, legs and whole body. Put all of yourself into your dancing and don't be afraid to move your whole body to the beat.
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    Follow the other dancers. [5] Rave dancers often imitate one another and cause a dance craze that encompasses the whole rave, so look to the other dancers around you for inspiration. If there is a specific arm movement that the other dancers are doing to a particular song, give it a try. You might like it, and at the very least you'll look like you know what you're doing.
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    Learn a basic rave move to fall back on. The whole point of a rave is that it is unscripted street dance. For that reason, it’s sort of silly to describe certain moves to use. However, you might feel comfortable knowing one dance move that you can always do if you feel lost. The Melbourne Shuffle is a popular move that involves a fast heel to toe movement as you shuffle side to side. Watch a video of the dance and imitate! [6]
    • The Melbourne Shuffle is easy enough. Start by doing the running man, which is just an exaggerated walk where you do a quick back leg lunge on each step. Now, instead of doing a back leg lunge, take your planted leg and hop back. As you hop back, tap the toe of your lifted foot to the ground. Those are the basics of the Melbourne Shuffle.

Method 3
Respecting Your Fellow Ravers

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    Try to remain in the liminal space. Everyone should have their own dance experience. Enjoy the moment without interfering with others ability to enjoy it too. Don’t try to rub up against someone or dance so wildly that you run into others. [7]
    • Rave dance floors tend to be packed and other dancers could dance enthusiastically, so respect their space as you'd like them to respect yours. [8] Bumping into other dancers is unavoidable, but try to keep your arm and hand movements in a proximity that still allows dancers around you to move freely.
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    Respect your fellow dancers. You have to respect peoples personalities as well as their space. Don’t make fun of anyone or pass judgment on a fellow raver. You’re all in this together.
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    Don’t take your shirt off. You wouldn’t want to accidently rub against anyone else’s sweaty body, so don’t subject a stranger to that. Keep your shirt on.
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    Never get physical. Even if you feel like someone is violating your space, just walk away. Don’t push someone or initiate violence. In such a small crowded space that can lead to a lot of people getting hurt, not just you and your opponent. [9]


  • Hydrate. You're going to be losing a lot of water by dancing. You don't want to give yourself a headache from dehydration while you're trying to have a good time.
  • Go with friends. It's always more fun to go with people you know, and you'll probably feel safer and more comfortable.
  • Leave tense or dangerous situations. If something seems strange at the rave, get out of a dangerous position. It's always worth following your gut in these types of situations.
  • Be wary accepting any drugs or drinks from people at raves. Even if you want to do some drugs, you never know exactly what they are giving you. It could be laced with something. Be careful.

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Categories: Theme Parties