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Dancing

There is no other dancing like Phish dancing. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to hold a class that teaches young and emerging Phish fans how to dance like the tribes, flinging their arms and kicking legs into the air as they circle around each other. Some hold glow sticks, others beer, and at some point during the night, most of them have a joint between their fingers.

Only stoned and drunk people can Phish dance. I’ve seen sober people try, and with awkward, disastrous results – like watching a plank of wood attempt dancing Swan Lake.

No matter how outlandish Phish fans look jerking their body in all directions, there is also an element of joy that flows through their movements. Eyes closed, content grins, and exuberant smiles as the music rushes from the stage to kiss their ears. The boy in dreadlocks and a faded tie-dyed shirt lifts his arms to the heavens, moved by the notes which pour love, peace, and a moment’s happiness into the air. Thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow don’t live with him – or the thousands of others dancing and swaying and singing along to “Down with Disease.” The girls in the handmade sundress she stitched herself doesn’t pause to consider what others might be whispering about her simple clothes and bare feet. She throws her heart and soul into the sway of her hips, the light steps side to side. This experience is hers.

As the night passes overhead, the  crowd becomes one body, led harmoniously by the music of the band. In the lulls of a jam, they drift from left to right; then the quickened tempo of a new song thrusts their limbs to the air once again, and they soar together in the haze, kicking legs forwards and backwards, swinging hands in big loops, open mouths belting they hymns they know by heart, open minds embracing the euphoria that flows between people intertwined by pure love and joy.

– Written on August 19, 2012

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About 365 Things to Write About

I'm inspired by almost anything and everything creative - nature, architecture, art, words, music...I like to roam along streets, through foreign countries, and within my mind where the world is full of endless possibilities. I dream of being an idealist, but I've experienced too many harsh realities for that wish to ever be true. Therefore, I look for the hope and the good in small nuances, and I express my thoughts and feelings about the world around me on pages and canvases whenever I can.

2 responses »

  1. I’m reminded of an episode of the Simpsons when Homer states: “Let your freak flag fly!” The phish community that I’ve known would be embracing and sharing in this type of improvisational behavior. The man is obviously getting deep into the music. How can we judge him. So what if he is acting outside the “normal range” of behavior. The beauty is in the raw creativity. I love seeing all kinds of weird, intuitive, ritualistic, hoe-down dancing and the phish crowd usually brings it. Don’t judge it people, just let the music in and see what happens.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your remarks. I agree it is important to let everyone embrace the flow of creativity in the ways they most enjoy. That is what makes the dancing at Phish shows so beautiful. We are so bound by rules and expectations in our normal, everyday lives that it is refreshing to see those who willingly abandon them as soon as the music starts to play.

      Reply

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