"Best $2k I Ever Spent!" A Field Study Of Dance Floor Sign Language

by Alex Gilman · December 13, 2010

According to a UCLA study, "93% of all communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues." This percentage must increase on the dance floor, making the subtleties of body language, and gesture all the more important. Let's use photos from Dance Right at La Cita to perform some field research.


The two fingers extended on each hand indicate that he needs four beers. The slight extension of the little finger on the left hand indicates that he's drunk enough to pay full price for the shittiest beer they have. Therefore, this guy is ordering four Heinekens.

The wild energy of the dance floor is a religious experience for many people, including this citizen of the world. He points to the sky with index and middle fingers extended, expressing gratitude to God for the sickness of the beats, for his general health and happiness, and for his blissful unawareness that he has just shown his pit stains to everyone who reads this.

Putting up one finger on your hand is a great way to tell people, "I think you're number one!" Therefore, this guy is telling us twice: he thinks we're great.

If you were familiar with Swedish Sign Language, you would know that this is a married couple from Sweden (it's a very progressive country) having an in-depth sign language conversation about Tolstoy's use of symbolism in Anna Karenina. The guy in the green jacket is angrily insisting that the death of Vronsky's horse represents his inability to control himself, while his husband (who didn't even want to go out tonight) is maintaining that the horse represents Anna's powerlessness in high-society Russia in the late 1800s. Fellows, there's no need to argue: you're both right!