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If you’ve ever been to a Tragically Hip concert, then I don’t need to tell you about the dancing prowess of the Kingston band’s frontman, Gord Downie. The singer commands the stage with such aplomb that his improvised antics are a major part of the show, completely transfixing the audience.

So, in celebration of the man and all his dance-like-no-one-is-watching epicness, we present our guide on how to dance like Gord Downie. To see individual moves from our guide, click through the gallery above, or to get it all in one handy sheet, click on the graphic below, illustrated by CBC Music’s Markus Wreland.

If you’re curious, a majority of the moves in our illustrated guide come from the video below, which is compiled from just one 2009 performance in Kitchener, Ont. One performance and yet it yields, easily, 100 or more separate dance moves; such is the spontaneous genius of one of the most captivating frontmen in Canadian music.

 

Who else could turn dropping a microphone on the ground into a full-on spear-fishing charade, complete with a wriggling microphone/fish (you can see that at around the 1:10 mark on this video from an Edmonton show, also in 2009)?

The only criticism you could even possibly come up with is that the awesomeness of Downie’s dance moves threatens to overshadow the rest of the show, because you know nobody is even hearing music anymore when Downie starts dancing the Kingston Jig, seamlessly transitioning to a handkerchief prance, then spinning around the mic stand like an eight-year-old girl in her bedroom dancing to Britney Spears for the first time ever (See embedded video above, around the 1:30 mark). Not that we're complaining.

Feel free to print off our guide, share it with your friends, study the moves and get practising in time for Canada Day. The Hip, who usually play a Canada Day concert somewhere in the country, may be celebrating in London, England, this year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the coolest moves at the cottage party for whenever “Bobcaygeon” comes on.

Enjoy, and let us know in the comments below what you think some of these illustrated moves should be named.  

Follow Jesse Kinos-Goodin on Twitter: @JesseKG.

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How to dance like Gord Downie

If you’ve ever been to a Tragically Hip concert, then I don’t need to tell you about the dancing prow…

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No Longer Lurking
#1 posted by
No Longer Lurking
on Jun 20, 2013

Looking forward to see the Hip for the first time when they headline at Canada Day in London (UK not ON).  If any R3ers are heading there let me know and I'll seek you out.

thecompletist
#2 posted by
thecompletist
on Jun 20, 2013

Great idea for a post and infographic - although you left our some of his most famous yet hard to pick up on moves inspired by animals and water. The hardcore fans will understand which ones these are:

- "The Gorillia" - into the "The Lice Picker"

- "The Peacock" 

- "Walk the Plank"

- "The Shotgun"

- "The 3-Pointer"

- "The Lawn Chair"

- "The Surrender - Don't Shoot"

To name a few...

Jesse Kinos-Goodin
#3 posted by
Jesse Kinos-Goodin
on Jun 20, 2013

@thecompletist Video examples would be greatly appreciated :)

HipFanatic
#4 posted by
HipFanatic
on Jun 21, 2013

Love this article! But NOBODY can dance like Gord Downie!

Jackieonfire
#5 posted by
Jackieonfire
on Jun 21, 2013

Anyone who has witnessed Gord live knows that the man truly is an artistic genuis. Whether poet, dancer,  musician, or all around entertainer, there are few who compare.

While the TTH have largely gone unnoticed outside of Canada, it would seem that even inside Canada they and Gord don't get the accolades they/he deserves. No Hip album released since the Polaris Music Prize came into being, nor Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles' 2010 release The Grand Bounce have ever made the Long List! What's up with that, seriously!?

I dig the PMP, I think it's an exceptional institution which has turned me on to some outstanding acts, however, it would seem to me that these glaring omissions show an elitism that refuses to acknowledge the artistic merit of Downie's projects because of what, the fact that jocks listen to them? Because, as so many people mistakenly profess, "they haven't put out a decent album since Day for Night!?" What? Why?

I know "it's not the band you hate, it's the fans." Wake up call to any PMP judges, you aren't too cool for the Hip. If anything, you just don't get it because your hipsterism won't permit it.

It's a crying shame because Gord and TTH have done a ton for indie music in this country. I had no clue who Eric's Trip was until Gord mentioned them years and years ago. I didn't know who Julie Doiron was until she began playing with Gord. I could go on and on but the fact of the matter, in my humble opinion, is that many of these "judges" may have heard TTH and GDATCOM but clearly they've never listened. Ask some of this country's indie musicians and I'm certain they'd say the same.

BTW, despite many peoples' mistaken belief, the PMP isn't only for indie bands, read the eligibilibty and rules.

Sorry for the rant but this is getting ridiculous.

 

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