Throw a Shape

Five dances you’ll see at Superbalist ITC and RTD

Words: Melly Neil | Illustrations: Kobie Nieuwoudt

People in white lab coats have figured out that moving in rhythm with other people is one of the first ways that early humans bonded and communicated with one another. And why not? When people start moving in shared experiences, a current of excitement begins to flow, and it’s this very force that takes believers to higher plains and puts them in contact with extraordinary energy and is expressed by Buddhist chanting, Christian prayer rituals and Muslim prostrations. But what for the secular expression of emotional excitement and delirium? That's why we dance. Partying is a manageable level of intensity that releases exercise-induced endocannabinoids, enhances a sense of togetherness and frees us from our everyday routines. By dancing, we’re literally connecting with the people around us. So don’t just stand there – throw a shape.


First things first: hip-hop is fun, so don’t be a fake thug and act aggressive, keep it real. The main thing is to relax, and you can get away with simply nodding your head in appreciation of the MC’s flow, throwing a hand up with the punch lines or mouthing whatever word is at the end of the bar. If you want to incorporate moves that shout, “Watch me!” you’re spoilt for choice whether you whip or prefer to nae nae. Put your hands out in front of you and crank your wrists like you’re flossing an imaginary Rolex, or do that thing where you’re a taxi driver reversing into a parking space – as long as your dabs have more swag than the ANC’s version you’ll be fine. And then there’s the slew of rappers’ signature dance moves, like Jay Z dusting his shoulders off, A$AP Rocky’s bounce, hopping on your leg like Kendrick Lamar does, dad dancing like Drake or doing Bobby Shmurda’s Shmoney Dance. What’s also fun is to reenact whatever the MC is rapping about. Like when AKA says ‘composure composure’ you stand there looking your most unflustered, or Riky Rick says, ‘everything I wanna do they wanna do’ you cup your hands around your mouth and yell ‘ahoyhoy’ back at him, or when Nasty C says “I need to fall like the fees did” you break your legs, where you put your feet together and bend your knees together and then drop.

Rave cave

There are so many different forms of electronic music, from dubstep to glitch to electro to trap to breakbeat to HI-NRG to techno to Nu-Rave to more houses than Sammy Seeff has. However, there’s only one way to dance to these tunes, and it’s not even so much how you dance, but how you pace yourself, because unlike, say, the folk stage - where you stand up and jam to your favourite tune and then sit back down again to take in the rest of the set on the grassy verge - this one’s a marathon. Start by stepping to the beat, while grabbing at the lasers in front of you, and pulling the type of face you would make after licking a tyre. Remember to hydrate and rave safe. We’ll see you in about five or six hours. Sure, there are subtle little flourishes you can then do throughout all of this that will separate you from an entry-level raver and our mate Dave, who is the undisputed rave champ, and if there’s one thing that we’ve learned from our mate Dave it’s that the most embarrassing thing you can do is miss-time the drop. This is when the dubstep DJ comes on, so wait patiently for your part, perhaps looking down at your kicks while shuffling your feet, maybe even nodding your head about, and then when you’re sure the bass-bomb is about to get dropped, jump up in the air and come down with the explosion and move around like you’ve just lost your skeleton going jelly-fish, jelly-fish, jelly-fish...

Beach party

The Braam Beach Party has beach sand and palm trees and is the most tropical place this side of the Nelson Mandela Bridge. And sure the Beach Bar at Rocking The Daisies is just a dam on a farm, but by slipping into your bikini or board shorts and shaking what the good Lord gave you you’re sure to make some waves. If you have it, flaunt it, and what better place to do just that than when there’s a dress code as lax as a beach party. If you’ve been following fitspirational Instagram accounts, which post things like “Summer bodies are built in winter” and have made saying “no thank you” to carbs part of your personality, then you already know that you’re going to be standing on a speaker stack, water in hand, and doing the type of dance that allows you to skip three cardio sessions. Then there are the funsters who couldn’t care less about their Vitality points and squeeze their spludge into their brightest board shorts and jiggle their dad-bods in the sun in the name of fun. Once everyone is significantly sweaty, sunburned and soaked, things like body politics fall away and the fun really starts. Take your shirt off and dive in, the water’s lovely.

Main stage

Find your friends, form a group and then move towards the middle of that bigger group that’s standing patiently in front of the stage. Put your left foot in, and squeeze into as small a space as possible, then put your right hand out, holding your cellphone camera up at the stage and pressing record, the rest of the hokey-pokey is up to you. You can spend your night trying to make your way to the front of the stage, having your toes stood on by the people in front of you, stepping on the toes of those people behind you, spilling your drink on yourself, having someone else’s drink spill on you, staring into the Tall Guy’s back, starting a moshpit, throwing up the horns and shouting “Play Free Bird!”… but in our opinion the best way to move is in as small increments going with the flow of those around you.

The impromptu party starter

While everyone is sitting on the grass and waiting for the next act to come on this guy takes the festival to the next level by doing a one-man flash mob where he starts drifting like a piece of flotsam caught in an ocean current, subtle smile on his face, eyes tightly shut, before reaching for the sky in ecstasy and clawing at it with both hands, dragging his right foot along the ground and attempting to scrape something off the bottom of his sole, after which he does the same with the other, now he’s doing Michael Jackson’s crotch gran, then Sia’s choreographed moves, and then someone jumps up and joins the fun, and then another, and then another, and then when the 10am folk band walk on stage mumbling how they should’ve been asked to headline they look out in complete amazement at the scene in front of them where a crowd of 1000 people are losing themselves and it’s beautiful.