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The Dancing Misanthrope

Wednesday 09 November 2011
Words Spindle


Several months ago I spotted a guy regularly coming to a lot of clubs that I am involved with, however this was no ordinary club goer. This guy has a very unique but very inspiring dancing style and is commonly known as “Dancing Misanthrope”.

Usually arriving as the doors open and the music starts, he heads straight to the dance floor and starts doing his thing. As the night progresses you really start to see just how much stamina this man has when he starts brushing people off like flies and barely taking a few seconds break when he sips on a Red Bull. Night after night for hours on end this guy is always dancing, you can really see his passion for music in every move. He is a true inspiration to modern society and gives me a lot more hope that there are still people out there not caught up in our modern worlds politics and lives every moment possible doing exactly what he loves. As his dancing style is truly to unique to explain I suggest you get down and witness this magical man for yourselves.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheDancingMisanthrope


Q1. Who inspires you to dance the way you do?

The cheesy but truthful answer? Probably Michael Jackson! Forgetting about all the other bullshit, his music videos were amazing to watch when growing up, that’s the stuff to get me dancing in my living room when no one was about, which in a way also extended to Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga as the years go by… But otherwise, seriously, I don’t really have an inspiration. The music inspires me to move and I dance to the beat however it goes, but I often also try to keep facing one direction when I dance and it’s usually towards the DJ booth, so u could say the DJ inspires me and I dance for the DJ – whomever he/she may be!


Q2. How long have you been dancing in London clubs?

If u mean as in dancing regularly in London clubs the way I do now ‘with or without people’, actually only since the start of 2010! Prior to that the clubbing scene London or elsewhere was actually pretty alien to me (or at least I have virtually no good memories of clubbing before that in the old student days – which just goes to show it’s never too late to discover what u really love!)


Q3. Who would Dj at your ultimate club night?

Daft Punk! I have a strong bias/love/loyalty pour les Fran├žais so I’d also want Justice there along with the rest of the Ed Banger collective banging out the beats from dusk til dawn!


Q4.Where do you find the stamina to keep you on the dance floor for so many hours?

To be honest, I’m not really sure myself! I’d like to say Red Bull but my current personal record of non-stop dancing was about 10 hours at this year’s Global Gathering and I had practically nothing to eat or drink apart from the occasional drop of water the nice stewards at the front passed me! I don’t know what it is but I can feel knackered, ill or physically aching (one weekend I managed to get a cramp in one foot and whack one of my kneecaps on the dancefloor but carried on despite the pain) but if the music’s great, nothing stops the dance. If I wasn’t at a club to dance I wouldn’t be there at all!


Q5. What are your favorite club nights in London?

My favourite club nite and the one that really brought the Dancing Misanthrope to life is Buttoned Down Disco! Its parties are held monthly at KOKO and they play the best fun and eclectic mix of electro, indie, pop, rock, hip-hop, dance, funk, punk and other random surprises new and old – since I discovered it back in Xmas 2009 I haven’t missed a single one! The only other club nite I have a loyalty to dance at as often as I can is Bite @ The Den (which was actually recommended to me by BDD’s DJ/founder Christian Laing), right when I’ve pretty much turned my back on the indie disco, Bite is fantastic for being very genuinely alternative and underground, playing the kind of stuff I wouldn’t hear anywhere else. There’s a couple other weekly club nites I’ve been to like Lemonade (The Nest) and Your Mum’s House (Punk) but I don’t go regularly, I spend more time researching, and discovering nites run by certain promoters with certain DJs. The venue and ‘scene’ doesn’t matter to me, though it may just be coincidence that the venue I’ve kept going back to for all kinds of clubnites this year has been XOYO!


Q6. What do you think other people think when they first see you dancing??

I’m sure most people find it hilarious and it’s almost always the case someone will approach me to either ask what I’ve taken or do I know someone who can sell them some drugs (the short answer to that is NO – I’ve never taken any pills, never want to, never need to – Music’s all the drug I need!) Some people probably think I’m gay (I’m not, I’m just comfortable with my sexuality, and would be more comfortable dancing with Soho queens than Shoreditch twats), some people want to join in and dance with me, some just think it’s a joke and want to take the piss and getting in my face and invading my space (they be your indie twats), I’d go as far as to say some are haters who can’t believe someone can enjoy dancing on a night out so much without the need to get drunk, get high or go on the pull. but in the end it doesn’t matter, as long as I get my space to dance I don’t care who’s watching, what they think, they can love me or hate me, after all, I didn’t come here for u, I came for the music and to dance! In a way that’s why I like dancing with my shades on – it gives me some degree of annonymity and helps me take less notice of the faces around me


Q7. You always come out to dance alone, why is that?

The short answer: because I’m a misanthrope! But seriously, I’m just fine doing things on my own, if that’s what it takes to do the things I want. I’ve always been happy to do things solo, whether that was playing video games, going to the cinema, theatre, gigs and then also clubs. I guess I’m just not a very sociable person, at least not in the sense that other people are when they go out to socialise. Of course, it’s a very human and good thing to do, socialising and all, otherwise we’d have gone extinct a long time ago, but nothing pisses me off more than seeing groups of people going out to the movies or a gig who don’t even seem to know why they’re there, they’d much rather just text on their phones or talk over it (honestly, fuck off!) But that doesn’t really answer the question. I’ve been through different circles of friends and crowds but I’m not particularly close to anyone and if it’s not a difference in tastes, it’s that I always want more than what’s been dealt to me. I wasn’t the most sociable or popular person in my teens and student years, so on the odd occasion I was doing something or going out with friends, it’d be me going with people, not me deciding or having a like-minded enough set of people to go somewhere, so in my time I’ve had to endure some real shit cheese nights or watch shit I had no interest in. Even when it came to times we got to go out to some cool places there might be the odd chance to have a dance but the rest of the time people would rather do shots, chat shit that I can never follow anyway or the other guys would go on the prowl, and the rare times I was having a ball on the dancefloor, everyone would want to go home already, and of course, you’d have to follow, right? Well, I went to the my first BDD with a mate and though I was loving it, we left just before 2am. The month after that a lot of people managed to come out because it was my birthday (and seriously, if the only times to go out and dance like nuts is when it’s someone’s birthday, at a club that plays music I don’t know whether it’ll be decent or rubbish, that’s just not good enough for me!) and I swear from midnight to 2am, people were dropping off like flies but I decided I was having none of it and just kept on dancing – by the time it was over at half 3, it was just me on the dancefloor with people I didn’t know. I left the club and waited for the nitebus by myself but it didn’t matter because I had the best birthday ever and it didn’t matter that no one stayed! So after that I just didn’t bother trying to ask people to come out to the next club nite and just went solo. Never looked back! Obviously, since I’ve fully embraced the clubbing world I’ve bumped into familiar faces I can call friends but now I’m at that world-weary point where I’d want to maintain my independence from any circle or group. Of course, it’s cool to be around friends/family yadda-yadda but the motto I made for myself is “Je danse avec ou sans vous”. If you show up, that’s cool, if you don’t, it doesn’t matter, because I just can’t be depending on other people to have a good nite – I’ve had too much of trying to organise something, booking things in advance only for people to say they’re skint, can’t make it, change their minds, blah blah blah, or going out to something dull and mediocre, but hey it’s fine because as long as we’re altogether that’s alright, right? Nah, half-arsed disappointments disguised as irony just don’t cut it for me anymore and I’m not prepared to miss a film, gig or club nite just because other people can’t make it. That does all probably sound really harsh and selfish of me, but hey, I’m a misanthrope, I did warn u! (yes, that did sort of turn into a proper rant…)


Q8. Are any of your dance moves rehearsed and if so do they have names?

Not really, I’m not even sure exactly what I’m doing half the time! (I’m slightly conscious that people at clubs and festivals have probably filmed me when I’m dancing so for all I know there’s probably quite a few random clips of me in action on youtube!…) though I guess some of my moves have become routine for some favourites like Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ (I was actually very inspired by the video posted on youtube who called herself ‘Groovy Dancing Girl’ dancing to this track – check it out if it’s still up!) I did fancy referring to a move I made during my bit of dubstep heaven at Bestival as “dropping the bomb”, which sort of goes like punching down towards the ground with one arm followed by a jump, but no, if a dance has a name, chances are I can’t do it! I just dance instinctively to the beat and interpret the movement as I go, which may come out looking cool or just plain daft, but try to get me to learn an actual dance like salsa or breakdancing or lindy-hop or other stuff that actually requires coordination, practice, a partner or actual skill, and I wouldn’t survive! – guess that’s one of the Dancing Misanthrope’s weaknesses!


Q9.What do you do for work when your not out dancing?

Oh, nothing exciting at all, not at all related to music, dancing, or artsy in the slightest. By day I’m just an public sector office cog in a mundane but absurdly Kafkaesque existence, by night I’m burning the dancefloor to justify calling London the Big Smoke (what they hey, I guess I’m the modern-day Tony Manero!) Anyway, the job pays the bills and all those gig and club tickets, which is all you need to know. I have people coming up to me at clubs asking me what I do and it’s really my least favourite question and I never understand why they want to know, unless it’s for purposes of professionals networking, which there is a time and place for, but to quote Robyn, “I came to dance, not to socialise!” That said, one guy did once ask if I was a professional dancer – ha, I wish! But for future reference, if anyone asks who I am or what I do, I shall answer, “I am the Dancing Misanthrope and I dance like no one’s watching!”