Dance, motherflippers, dance

Last updated 12:27 27/06/2012

Car dancing really is an undervalued artform. It does, however, have its pitfalls, as I was to find out last night after attending Flight of the Conchords' Christchurch gig.

We were in good spirits when we walked out of the Arena last night after a show that made my face hurt with the immoderate amount of smiling and laughing it elicited. The Silver Fox and I had songs of racist dragons, epileptic dogs and beauteous male genitals dancing riotously in our heads. That sounds uncomfortable, but much like the face-hurtiness it was actually quite enjoyable.

But then there was the carpark. Pretty much no one was going anywhere quickly so, in much the same way that the Silver Fox never joins the queue for an aeroplane until there basically isn't one, so that we're the last people to board*, we just waited until the bumper-to-bumper sardine arrangement worked itself out.

But in the meantime, why not some car-dancing?

Much of my life I have been without the means to car-dance as I grew up in a carless family. Since the SF came into my life with a vehicle, there have been far more opportunities to get my passenger seat groove on. And when the SF's iPod flicked on to Intergalactic by The Beastie Boys, car-dancing became compulsory.

The SF and I have very different tastes in music with the tiniest sliver of an overlap that is filled almost entirely by The Beastie Boys' back catalogue. Here, let me explain with a venn diagram.

The more I look at this diagram the less it makes sense

Why our musical preferences should overlap in such a way is a mystery to me but given that we once shamed ourselves with a dance floor routine** to Intergalactic at my cousin's wedding, it has now become our move-busting track of choice.

My personal feeling is that when it comes to car-dancing, the bulk of the emotive strength comes from the shoulders. I'm very big on shoulder-bouncing and also throwing up random hip-hop hand movements. And that move where you lead your entire upper body with your neck. Yes, like Carlton

Which was great and I was having a wonderful time and the SF didn't even seem that embarrassed to be seen in the same motor vehicle as me even though I was being completely over the top.

It was a cold night and the car-dancing kept me warm, as even though the air-con was cranked all the way up, it wasn't really doing the business.

And eventually after about 20 minutes the car park emptied out a bit and we were able to leave. Except that when the SF tried to turn the car over it turned over and said "not tonight, I have a headache".

Whoopsy. Apparently cranking up both the heating and the stereo for as long as we did had a detrimental effect on our ability to get home.

There's nothing like being in an effectively dead car at 11.30pm on a Tuesday in a desolate car park to dampen your car-dancing mood.

Eventually we consulted with one of the parking attendants, who had a nifty car jump starter thingo (it was a yellow box with jumper leads on it - I can't give you any more technical information than that) and away we went. This time with less car-dancing and more oh-god-I-just-want-to-go-home-and-get-into-bed-now.

So I guess my advice would be that location is important with regards to car-dancing and that if you happen to be stuck in a car park for half an hour on a freezing night, instead of running the A/C, set fire to something and dance around that to stay warm. Perhaps your seat covers? If you have Playboy bunny ones, or Winnie the Pooh, you should definitely set them alight. Just as a matter of course.

Have you ever experienced this downside to car-dancing? Do you have specific car-dance moves that you like to break out? Ever been caught out by a flat battery in less than ideal circumstances?

* This bothers me a lot and even though I know his is a perfectly rational strategy that optimises our sitting down time while limiting our time in a queue. I have an irrational need to GET ON THE PLANE.

** There may have been interpretive "robot" dancing. And no one else on the dance floor.

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Cupcake   #1   12:56 pm Jun 27 2012

My Mum introduced me to car dancing, she's been rocking out in traffic since before I was born.

My favourite move is when she breaks coming up to a red light in time to the beat of the song. Bonus points for toots from other cars who assume she's having an epileptic fit.

Bouncing is also fun. Totally nonchalant expressions, just bouncing up and down to the beat. Again highly entertaining at traffic lights.

PollyA   #2   01:25 pm Jun 27 2012

I am not a car dancer but I am a loud and proud car singer (to my children's mortification). And I am totally with you on needing to be in that plane-boarding queue a.s.a.p. despite the time wasted. I agree, not logical, but necessary to keep travel angst to a minimum.

Mike L   #3   01:29 pm Jun 27 2012

@ Moata, I'm sure you will get plenty of advice regarding your flat battery but it sounds like you could have avoided it by actually starting the car. It would have made the A/C more effective too! On car dancing, my wife and I were driving through Auckland in seperate cars and having fun pulling faces at each other etc when we stopped at the lights. At one set of lights I was getting particularly lively with my 'car dancing' and I looked over to see my wife laughing at me. When we got home she asked if I had seen the people in the car on the other side of me who were most amused/bemused/confused at my antics. Apprently there was about 4 little old ladies all watching me intently, all with different facial expressions, some laughing, some staring in horror.

CG   #4   01:38 pm Jun 27 2012

I have had this same car dancing experience! Only mine was waiting in line for the ferry in Wellington... It turns out it happens a lot as the man directing traffic was more amused by my obvious embarrassment at having to admit it than the fact that I had done it.

PB   #5   01:46 pm Jun 27 2012

I LOVE car dancing, I have my own wee moves, which are exaggertaed turning the wheel, tooting the horn and waving at people dance moves. I also sing very loudly :)

JessL   #6   01:47 pm Jun 27 2012

Moata - Don't use the aircon without the car on!! That is why it wasn't keeping you warm.

On topic, I tend to sing (shriek) the lyrics to whatever song happens to be playing on the radio. Once, at the traffic lights some "cool" kids had Livin on a Prair blasting, so I turned off my music completely and shrieked to their music lol.

No one ever wants to go on road trips with me... :/

D   #7   01:47 pm Jun 27 2012

LOL... actually! Thank you for the link to Carlton dancing :D

Geoff   #8   01:57 pm Jun 27 2012

Are there *any* ideal circumstances to have a flat battery?

And as per previous comments, aircon needs car to be running, as does heating. Otherwise all you get is a battery draining fan.

Leon   #9   01:58 pm Jun 27 2012

Sorry car nerd attack, couldn't keep it in any longer. Air con keeps you cold. Heater keeps you hot. Without an engine running to drive the air con pump (cold) or the water around the engine (hot), basically you had a fan running circulating air that is the same temperature as the outside temp.

Thus you were no warmer. If you want warm, start the car, run the car, run the heater ...

Yeah, I know, this is completely not what the story was about [goes back to man cave].

weka   #10   02:00 pm Jun 27 2012

I sing loudly and often, and have often had bemused looks from other cars. My six year old told me in the weekend "You should be a singer, you are a good singer". I think this was based more on my actually knowing the lyrics than any ability to carry a tune. My brother once told me "you sing so well you should be on the radio.... then I could turn you off". Needless to say 6 year old is current child de jour. Must make sure he gets a bigger cut in the will.

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