The Gothic Toybox School of Dance

Gothic Hamster Style

Stand with legs apart wider than shoulder width, arms in front of you and bent at the elbows and wrists, hands bent in half like paws (imagine that you are a prairie dog who is surveying the landscape). In time to the beat. Lurch backwards and to the right (bending at the waist), then shift to the back and left, then to the front and left, then front and right. Repeat ad nauseum through an entire song, especially if the DJ plays any nu-metal or heavier music.

Fighting the invisible men

This dance allows for your own interpretation, but with the basic premise that you are fighting invisible men who WILL NOT leave you alone and insist on harrassing you from every side. This one is especially useful during any Front Line Assembly song, as the technique fits in well with Leeb's overfiltered vocals singing about evil gods of destruction and exterminated body parts. Imagine you are standing in a circle of unseen enemies who are making fun of the way you dance, but don't worry- you'll show them. Maintain a vicious stare, sometimes changing your focus between each invisible man. Feel free to let loose a few spinning kicks, or kick in every direction to keep them at bay. In between kicks, claw your hands across their faces and give them invisible gashes, or give them a couple elbow jabs in the head or side. Invisible men hate that. If they still seek to torment you, a few well placed hammer kicks, flailing arms and forward punches to catch them off guard. The idea is to become a tornado of fists and feet, so that your invisible enemies will take you seriously and think twice about confronting you on the dancefloor again.

Picking up dead rose petals

You are walking, gracefully through a dark forest and oh my, look...the entire ground is covered with rose petals. How fragrant. Bend at the knees so that your body goes down gracefully like an elevator to the floor, just far enough so that your hand can touch the rose petals. Now sweep your hand from behind you forward to touch them. Sweep several times, alternating sides if you like. Occasionally rise up again, gracefully, and saunter to another part of the forest floor to sweep up more rose petals. During a slower part of the song, you may slowly sink to your knees, or to the floor and lift up the rose petals to see them glisten in the moonlight. Pick them up daintily, hold them before your face with an awed expression. Drop them and watch them flutter to the floor. Oh, behold, the moon goddess could use some offerings!. On your knees, scoop up handfuls of them and raise them high above you head, swaying and looking upward into the heavens. This dance is best for Dead Can Dance or other very slow goth songs.

The Creep

Here's something to do during those Skinny Puppy songs with an indistinct beat, and also during slower Velvet Acid Christ tracks. Open your eyes widely and feign insanity. (it's easier than you think kids!) Alternate this facial expression with narrowed eyes and a snarly face TM. Now, put that together with the foot movements. Imagine you are a spider treading on a delicate web. Put one foot in front of the other, touching down the toe before the heel. You can also step out in this manner to the side and back. Creep about in time to the music, but make sure you aren't really headed anywhere. Either clasp your hands behind your back, or hold them in front of you much in the same pose as is illustrated in the Gothic Hamster Style instructions. Your hands should appear more claw like and dangerous for this dance however, so imagine you are a raptor circling its prey.

Self Moshing

Are you in a dance club and want to mosh, but no one will join you? Have no fear, you can mosh with yourself! Great for those Ministry songs with an awkward dance beat, or rob zombie tunes. This dance works best if you have long or unruly hair. There's not really that much to the technique, but you do need balance or else you'll find yourself landing in some rivethead's lap - and trust me that's not a pretty place to be unless you're a chick with a vinyl mini on. So, don't attempt to drink and do this move. Simply throw yourself in a direction and see where gravity takes you, but make sure to stop yourself before you actually slam into anything. When you are about to collide with a post or another dancer or the bar, fling yourself in another random direction, acting as if you have just bounced off the wall. Feel free to occasionally fall on the floor in an unbecoming manner.

My Hands are butterflies

For those of you who feel that moving your feet while dancing takes too much effort should find this one useful. Your arms and more specifically your hands will do most of the work. First extend your fingers out lightly and delicately, pretending that they are lovely tree branches. Now, swivel your hands at your wrists, doing a sort of intoxicated version of the "beauty queen wave" TM. Overlap your hands every so often, staring mystified at them like you have no idea what on earth these strange appendages growing out your arms are. You can add some variation by moving your arms up and down and in various directions. Use your hands to symbolize the migration patterns of hyperactive birds. Pretend your hand are fluttering leaves that fall to the ground. Practice decoupage and knitting in mid air. You get the idea.

I'm in PAIN

This dance is easy to do, especially when one is drunk and can't manage the coordination to walk straight. Hunch over at the waist and stagger forward and back. Hold your arms either crossed in front of you, or hold your head as if you just got clomped in the head with a lead beer stein. Rake at your hair and claw at your face. Pretend to almost fall, the pain is so horrible. Clutch at your heart and remember a lost love who still hasn't given you back those CDs you let them borrow. Every so often, look up at the sky with a tormented expression, teeth gritted as if to say "WHY GOD, WHY MUST YOU POUR LEMON JUICE INTO THE PAPERCUTS OF LIFE!!!!" For and extra melodramatic effect, complete the dance by collapsing dead on the floor and having several disgruntled friends bear you away.

Pacing the Waiting Room

Look bored. I mean severely bored. Roll your eyes. Pace back and forth in a determined yet anxious manner, hands held clasped behind your back. Stop every so often in a dramatically exasperated pose, looking like you'd rather be stabbed in the head than read one more stupid copy of popular mechanics (as that's all they have in your waiting room). Make strangely graceful gestures that express your severe annoyance. Continue to pace and repeat process.

Rockettes on Speed

This dance combines kicking and spinning, so when drunkeness is involved, people nearby go home with large purple bruises. The basic premise is lots of disjointed violent movements...kick as high as you can on every beat that you can match. Kick out, up back, out to the side, etc. Now combine this with spinning. Pretend that you are a food processor and the dancers around you are unruly carrots that need to be shredded. You will probably want to balance your spinning and kicking with lots of vicious arm flailing and obscure gesturing. While doing this dance, you can also go into "hurricane mode" and reverse your spin and direction. When you approach another dancer, spin wildly near them but then suddenly change your direction and go off to ravage another coastline. The idea is to keep moving, and when you finally do stop, be prepared to land somewhere soft because you will have no idea where you are or what the hell just happened to you.

Don't Step on the fairies

This is an easy, no stress dance that's good for goth songs and some synthpop. Focus your attention on the ground. Oh look! fairies! Aren't they cute. Dance with them, but don't step on them. Walk daintily back and forth, touching your toe down before your heel...but be careful. Those fairies aren't so smart and get under your feet before you can put them down, so swing your leg either around or back to avoid getting fairy guts on your boots.

I am the wind -

Wave your arms around like so much seaweed on a Jacques Cousteau special. Feel as the unseen wind tips you back and forth so that you are forced to sway. Don't let your arms go lower than your chest, cuz those breezes are strong and you have to keep yourself from blowing off the dancefloor. Let yourself be tossed and spun by the wind. Do cute fluttery finger-things to represent soft breezes. Occasionally try to reach out slowly against the oncoming wind to grasp a branch, or deflect some pigeon poop that is headed your way.

Lord of the Dance

You don't have to actually know any real dance steps for this, you just have to look like some putz who thinks they do. The key is to smash together as many different kinds of unrelated dance moves as possible. First, start out by doing a faux irish step dance routine and skip around with your hand above your hand. Feed your inner pansy and pretend you are Michael Flatley in a puffy shirt. Now, from skipping around like an idiot, change to spinning like a whirling dervish. Spin Spin Spin, rinse, spin repeat. Stop in a dramatic pose and move your hands slowly in an almost meaningful way while you are waiting for the bar to come back into focus. Continue the slow hand movement and sway your hips like a bellydancer. Position your hands into gestures that seem impossible and feel uncomfortable. Move your arms more quickly and pretend like you are tying yourself up. From here you can slide into raver mode. From here, you can take on as many other forms of dance as you like. Just be sure to slide erratically between each one, like you can't really decide how you want to dance and you're hyped up on too many donuts.

The drink spiller

The motive of this move is to make the floor shake, and if you can achieve it, to make jurassic park ripples on the surface of everyone's drinks. Essentially good for hard, fast industrial songs, or those with a distinct beat. You can combine any amount of kicks, leaps and spins, but whenever your feet leave the ground (especially when bouncing) you must bring them down as if gravity had increased by an astronomical rate. If you can't hear yourself dancing, and plaster isn't coming loose from the ceiling then you aren't doing it right.

Hey! Careful with that thing!