Finding a Good Dance

When I look for dance animations I type “dances” into the Second Life search under the places and classifieds tabs. If a location specializes in dance animations I go there.


Here’s some things I’ve learned over the years about dance shopping.

Wear an outfit that is typical of what you’d wear when you dance. If you regularly go to a certain club and dress up, wear those clothes instead of your jeans. Dances seem different depending on clothes, and some work better with certain outfits.

Turn off the store music. Unless it sounds like the music you usually dance to, turn it off. Play your own tunes while testing the dances instead.

Get one or two chilled out dances. You will need these for slow tunes or if you find yourself in a small space.

Try to get dances your friends do not already use. Certain animations can get associated with individuals. I have passed over cool dances because they were closely linked to another person. I just looked weird doing them!

There are exceptions, such as a dance everyone does if a certain song or style comes on, but you usually don’t need to buy these because people pass them around.

Less can be more. Unless you’re performing for a crowd, really big dance-across-the-floor routines are so 2007. In some settings they look silly or can come off annoying.

As for where to get dances, I’ll hold off naming stores for now. If anyone would like to suggest some places feel free though!

Photo Credit: Simon Seurat.

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  1. a sod took a vid of me dancing rl a black cloud appeared above my head and stayed for days, such is life

    in sl you can dance well almost any style and yet I chose a dance similar to my rl efforts and why not

    1 it was me
    2 you seen how much dances are!!
    3 see 1 and 2

    1. Haha Dugi. You’re a good example of someone with a particular dance associated with them. If anyone else does the dance you usually do, it’s funny. Slate uses it sometimes too but when he does it just seems like he’s doing an impression of you. I think of it as the “dugi dance.”

  2. As I was thinking of an appropriately flippant and jocular remark to make in response, it struck me that there’s actually something rather interesting about dance animations and how we relate to them in SL. In a world where self-expression is everything, yet we’re denied that most essential of forms of communication – body language – dancing takes on a whole new dimension. Many of us will agonise for ages over which particular dance to add to our repertoire and, as you’ve mentioned, will take care to match the use of those dances to match our mood and the occasion.

    Much as the expression ‘dad dancing at a wedding’ evokes a very specific characterisation in our mind’s eye, I’d suggest that those dances we tend to favour inworld are often very much an outward expression of our own character; they, in a way, become our body language – specifically chosen to convey our feelings and the type of person we are. Almost everyone I spend time with in SL has their own unique personal dance or dances, and to me they are as representative of the individual as a speech inflection, quirk or habitual trait – they really do serve to build a more comprehensive picture in my mind, (and no doubt in their own mind), of that person’s character.

    This is probably why I don’t particularly like ‘chims’ or dance balls – they’re not representative of the person.

    As regards dancing itself – as you know, to get me onto the dancefloor in RL is nothing short of a miracle, yet in SL I’m more than happy to strut my stuff. The reasons, I suspect are complex, but there’s certainly an element of what I’ve mentioned above involved. There’s also the ever-recurring mantra that SL allows us to be our ‘true’ selves – if I’m self-conscious in RL, that doesn’t necessarily hold true inworld because the risks are lower and the anonymity greater.

    Interesting considerations, for what on the surface may seem to be a simple premise!

    As for my favourites… If my HUD is anything to go by, Abranimations is in pole position, although this may be something to do with the very good hunts they run! If money was no object, I could have a field day at 4DStudio – definitely my favourite.

    s. x

    1. Excellent, post Seren! I agree that the dances we choose, as well as our animation overriders, do reflect our inner selves and personality. Also, I’m like you. I don’t want to get on a chim or dance ball for that very reason. Thanks for the great comment.

  3. After reading this article I was inspired to login and go and visit this Studio 4D to see what all the fuss was about. I tried about a hundred or so dances and all were rubbish -in my opinion. NO ONE dances like that in RL in a club. Maybe on a stage in a show yes !!! Everytime I tried one and was starting to think “this one aint too bad” my avatar would suddenly start kicking out his legs or waving his arms as if he was in some kind of distress. I am now off to Abranimations to see if they have anything more classic that would suit my kind of music.

    1. “My style is bad white-boy dancing. I can do swing a little bit, but nothing beyond that. My solo dancing is sad. I use my arms, badly.” Robin Williams

      Dunno why this quote springs to mind!

      s. x

  4. Well every dance in Abranimations made me look stupid as well, so in the end I bought some that would make me look the silliest just for giggles. I shall unveil them to you all later 🙂

  5. I don’t have any dances and completely rely on the scraps from 2007 available in danceballs. I choose the one that is neither thrashing about like the strobe lights got the better of me, nor where it’s so understated I look like I’m trying to work off a foot cramp. That’s about all the choice I will make, dance really isn’t important to me. In RL I dance like a twat.

  6. After my involvement with Fusion Dance Crew, I now find I have hundreds of dances that were either bought in order to suit the various routines I designed and choreographed (both for the group and duets/solo’s etc) or simply because they were cheap and may “come in handy” at a later date…

    I now find that I have a few different huds with various dances in them, but rarely use any but one, which has what I call my most “general” dances…

    I agree with you all in that there are very few dances that you would actually use in a club environment, and this leaves SL sadly lacking in this field… As has been commented on by you all, most dances start of quite sensible and “normal” and then you break into a full on sideshow of manic movement, high kicks, spins and somersaults!

    Weirdly I have yet to go to a club where people actually dance like that – even the breakdance days when the lino was out and the breaks were spinning didn’t inspire such moves! Back in the day of the New Romantics when my friends and I were all dressing up as various historical types, the 30’s and 40’s were very popular as in uniforms and the fashions of the war years… Some of the clubs I went to specialised in wartime music – Glenn Miller and the Big Band sounds of the day – and there were a group of people who danced “Swing” which I think is the most exhilarating and awe-inspiring I have seen in RL! It was fast and florid, bodies flying through the air, being tossed over shoulders and through legs at mach speed, feet moving so fast they were a blur to the naked eye, skirts flouncing and knickers bared, at a pace that took your breath away just watching! But that was about as flamboyant as club dancing every got lol… Of course then there was Northern Soul which had “elements” of the jive and swing moves but much more subdued by comparison…

    So I guess what I am saying is, Second Life Animators – GET YOUR BLOODY FINGERS OUT AND CREATE SOME DECENT DANCES THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO IN CLUBS WITHOUT LOOKING TOTALLY RETARDED! Also, why do dances have to be so expensive in SL? Surely they must easily get their money back to cover costs etc., within a few days at the prices they charge? I know the motion capture stuff is pricey, but even so, it cannot be so expensive as to continue charging those amounts on an ongoing basis!

    Sadly I don’t know any SL Dane Animators in person or I would have a word in their shell-likes on this matter…

    I shall continue to be ever vigilant on my ongoing search for new and suitable dances – if I find any I shall let you know! In the meantime, back to the jiggy-on-the-spot dance that I see to veer back to all the time lol

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