Mixing Marijuana With Dancing

Generalist

Active Member
#1
For decades musicians have extolled marijuana’s benefits. From Louis Armstrong to Snoop Dogg musicians claim it enhances their creativity. I have a few musician friends that smoke dope every time they do a gig and they say their music is the better for it.

It seems logical that if pot is good for making music it should be beneficial for dancing. To find out I got a sample of legal medical marijuana. It’s easy to obtain in the state of Arizona. So, nothing I describe in the following is illegal.

I took a small dosage of edibles but easily enough to feel high (est 7 mg). I then went to the studio to take a group lesson and then dancing afterwards.

The pot hindered my learning of the lesson and I forgot things much quicker. As for the dancing – none of the ladies I danced with said I was dancing better than usual but none of them complained either. While I definitely related to the music differently, and probably responded differently in my dance, it was not at all obvious that pot made be a better or worse dancer.

I tried two more times with equally mediocre results. It seemed to me that higher doses produced worse dancing. My performance in ballroom seemed to be worse than swing. Once I went freestyling in a bar and it did seem that the ladies responded very good – but of course that is probably just because I was less inhibited.

In conclusion I felt that marijuana had more negatives than positives when it comes to dancing.

I’m curious what others have experienced while mixing marijuana with dancing.



Thread Disclaimer: Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Dance Forums does not condone the illegal possession or use of marijuana. All content in this thread is for entertainment purposes only.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#3
It's a psychoactive recreational drug, nausea reducer, and pain reliever, not a wonder drug. I'm curious if if you have any research that actually suggested this would help your dancing. :confused:
Piggybacking on that, why on earth would you go to a class high and expect anything but the results you got? It's not a stimulant like caffeine or nicotine, so it's not in a class of drugs which would support alertness and attention.

I think a couple things are at play that you didn't account for:
-Musicians who claim to be (and maybe are) helped by dope are masters of their instrument, honing skill through thousands of hours of practice over a decade or more; most dancers are lucky to have a tenth of that
-Dance is part athletics, part art; it requires immense coordination between multiple body parts and, in the case of ballroom, quick and efficient kinesthetic communication with a partner. Marijuana (or any drug for that matter) is going to alter how your neurons fire to control your muscles, which is likely to throw off your ability to meet the athletic demands.
-The ladies you dance with likely need a high level of difference in your dancing vs normal to notice it. Since everyone has "off" days and "on" days, your dance performance on a given day falls somewhere along a distribution (let's assume it's normal, ie bell-curved). If the shift caused by drug consumption is small relative to the standard deviation, odds are good that your performance at any one point (say, one dance with a lady) will be within your normal range. And of course that lady also is naturally inconsistent within some range as a dancer, which further confounds her ability to measure your dance ability. So I'd trust your introspection on the effects of drug use on dancing (I.e. They don't help)
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
#4
Having known dancers who were often not alcohol or drug free, I can also attest to the fact that it probably won't help your competition result either.

Now if you want to talk about choreographing... I could see how certain drugs might free one up to experiment with all sorts of movements that we have trained out of ourselves...to become uninhibited, inspired, and creative enough. You probably just need to be fore-thoughtful enough to put on the video camera and just let it roll, because I seriously doubt you will remember any of it the next day.

I myself have never danced under the influence of anything. Don't ever expect to either. With the small exception of my wedding night, sufficiently snockered after drinking in our hotel room with a boat load of friends in the middle of the night. I tried to do a bolero with Jeremy Gatlin. And although it was extremely funny (at least I think it was because we are laughing hysterically in the video) it certainly did not produce stellar results and in the end it broke a lamp.

Thread Disclaimer: Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Dance Forums does not condone the illegal possession or use of marijuana. All content in this thread is for entertainment purposes only.
 
Last edited:

Generalist

Active Member
#5
It's a psychoactive recreational drug, nausea reducer, and pain reliever, not a wonder drug. I'm curious if if you have any research that actually suggested this would help your dancing. :confused:
I have scoured the internet and have yet to find anything about marijuana and dancing. That's the reason I started this thread.
 

Generalist

Active Member
#6
Now if you want to talk about choreographing... I could see how certain drugs might free one up to experiment with all sorts of movements that we have trained out of ourselves...to become uninhibited, inspired, and creative enough. Y
The medicinal effects of pot are very real. It has helped me with my eyes and there are multitudes of people such as cancer patients who have benefited from it. But, aspirin has medicinal benefits also but it doesn't enhance dancing except perhaps to reduce pain.

I suspect that choreographed dances would suffer the most if pot was in the equation. Choreography requires discipline and sequential thinking -- all of which pot breaks down.
 
Last edited:

DL

Well-Known Member
#7
So, nothing I describe in the following is illegal.
In the USA, distribution and possession of marijuana remain illegal according to federal law, AFAICT after looking it up at law.cornell.edu. Moreover, I'm not saying it's directly relevant to conversation here so far, but I noticed there a specific prohibition on the use of the internet to connect buyers/consumers with sellers/distributors.

Well, I'm not a lawyer, but this seems like dangerous territory to me.
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
#9
I suspect that choreographed dances would suffer the most if pot was in the equation. Choreography requires discipline and sequential thinking -- all of which pot breaks down.
I doubt it. Because that is exactly what I am saying... getting rid of the thought that those barriers exist, discipline and sequential thinking, actually would be a good thing. Allowing your body to simply move through to the next available position instead of analyzing the sequence, or freeing up the images in your mind without stressing over how to achieve them.... I would assume that is a liberating thing.


-Musicians who claim to be (and maybe are) helped by dope are masters of their instrument, honing skill through thousands of hours of practice over a decade or more; most dancers are lucky to have a tenth of that
Right, and that is where most playing with an experiment like this would fail. I have ALL SORTS of images in my head for choreography, all the time. Kinda annoying because on some level it never stops.

And the opportunity to express those movements is directly limited to the partner one has (or if dancing solo your own ability). Seeing and then expressing infinitely hard movements isn't going to work for someone that can't get out of their own way. Yet take a master of movement - Rick Valenzuela was said to be this way - and he will take the image and even though turning left from that position would make a lesser dancer cry Rick could see beauty in it AND achieve it through a skill level so far above anyone else. Most people wouldn't even IMAGINE to turn left from that position, and any who did would immediately discount it as "technically bad or impossible". As he wasn't limited by those thoughts he could achieve more beauty and artistry than anyone. (NOT implying Rick was into drugs... simply remarking on his ability to NOT be held back by conventional thoughts of "you can't do that here")

The low end or even average dancer is just going to be frustrated by the inability to make the images in their head a reality. Partly because they probably can't even conceive of the movements, if they do they would immediately dismiss them as incorrect, bad, impossible, or they simply lack the skill set required to pull it off.



Thread Disclaimer: Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Dance Forums does not condone the illegal possession or use of marijuana. All content in this thread is for entertainment purposes only.
 
Last edited:
#10
If you already know how to dance well, I would expect you would mostly be able to dance similarly as well while under the influence of cannabis. However, there have been studies where error rates of linear movements increased. A scenario where someone got injured is possible, so probably good to be thoughtful of that. It would probably be considerate to wait until after you are done dancing, or make sure that any dancing you are doing would involve more basic steps so nobody gets hurt.



Thread Disclaimer: Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Dance Forums does not condone the illegal possession or use of marijuana. All content in this thread is for entertainment purposes only.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Interesting topic since purchasing and using are legal in 3 states now; including the two that I frequent (or will be in Oregon). Obviously I'm not too interested in using though, since I don't even know where the nearest shop is. I'm headed to downtown Vancouver to the library for lunch, maybe I should... I did when I was in Amsterdam a few years ago, but mostly because a couple I met while trying to buy a train ticket invited me to join them at the Grasshopper where I sampled a brownie with predictable results.

Someone (somewhere?) very recently expressed the opinion that the trend towards legalization will continue because there are big money entities making plans to enter the market. We'll see. Personally, I'm not too worried about being arrested by federal agents. But then why would I be if I don't even know where to go here in town to buy the stuff?

My social AT and swing are fairly improvisational, and if your goal is to be less restricted by the patterns, etc that you have learned, but have decent technique, can feel momentum and axis in your partner, and are really connected to the music, etc; there may be some benefits. Just as when we dream, you may make connections that you didn't realize were there before. Of course as with dreams much of it might not make any sense in the real world.

Alcohol and dancing have always gone together for me (except for the in small number of performances I've been in), but then, I'm a social dancer.

One predictable effect about being high that I can think of is that I would probably be paranoid about how well I danced regardless of how well I did, and might end up ordering nachos if I was at the CW place.


Thread Disclaimer: Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Dance Forums does not condone the illegal possession or use of marijuana. All content in this thread is for entertainment purposes only.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#12
Immediately went to the posted link and... the results of that experiment are a bit more interesting...

Abstract
In this research were analyzed the effects of marijuana on human reaction time and on performance for motor responses involving both linear and rotary serial arm movements aimed at a target. A total of six experienced marijuana users served as subjects and three drug conditions (dose levels) were used, i.e., 0, 6.5, and 19.5-26.0 mg delta9-THC. The results showed that (a) (simple and complex) reaction time was not significantly affected by marijuana or by the interaction between drug conditions and the amount of information transmitted during the task, (b) linear movement time was significantly reduced after smoking marijuana, while rotary movement time was not significantly affected, (c) interaction between drug conditions and task complexity was insignificant in the case of both linear and rotary movements, and (d) error rates for the two types of motor movements increased significantly and especially for linear movements as the dose level increased.


Thread Disclaimer: Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Dance Forums does not condone the illegal possession or use of marijuana. All content in this thread is for entertainment purposes only.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

IndyLady

Well-Known Member
#13
Having known dancers who were often not alcohol or drug free, I can also attest to the fact that it probably won't help your competition result either.
I can assure you that no instance of mentioning suppliers is going to happen.
Larinda, you are cracking me up in this thread. If I spit out any more coffee laughing, I won't have any left to drink.

Alcohol and dancing have always gone together for me (except for the in small number of performances I've been in), but then, I'm a social dancer.
Opposite for me. I remember my first Medal Ball, instructor (who was not even 21 yet) told me not to drink anything until after my honor dance. I thought, what does he know, and I had half a glass of wine. Went out for the honor dance (1 minute or so of social dance demo, no choreo) and I was literally a half beat behind the whole time - I could not get my body to keep up and do what I wanted it to do and it clearly impacted my motor skills. So now I (almost) never drink and dance. I had nothing but Coke and water at my wedding.
 

Generalist

Active Member
#14
Piggybacking on that, why on earth would you go to a class high and expect anything but the results you got? It's not a stimulant like caffeine or nicotine, so it's not in a class of drugs which would support alertness and attention.
I disagree with you about alertness because pot supports alertness and focuses attention.

I really didn't know what to expect attending a class, which is why I tried it. Now I'm convinced that if marijuana has value in dancing it's not during dance class.

I think a couple things are at play that you didn't account for:
-Musicians who claim to be (and maybe are) helped by dope are masters of their instrument, honing skill through thousands of hours of practice over a decade or more; most dancers are lucky to have a tenth of that.
You make some very good points here. The musicians I know are professional and have devoted most of their life to playing their instruments. They are far more proficient in music than I am dancing. I'm not sure how or why that would be relevant for the question in my OP, but it might be.

-Dance is part athletics, part art; it requires immense coordination between multiple body parts and, in the case of ballroom, quick and efficient kinesthetic communication with a partner. Marijuana (or any drug for that matter) is going to alter how your neurons fire to control your muscles, which is likely to throw off your ability to meet the athletic demands.
Music requires immense coordination between multiple body parts, just like dancing. As examples, an organ player with both feet on pedals and each hand on a separate keyboard. Or a drummer. There is also a significant athletic factor -- especially for the front crew like vocalists and guitarists.

The communication methods are different for a musical band vs a pair of dancers but either way there has to have similar levels of real time communication. It could be argued that a music band needs a higher bandwidth of communication because there are usually 4 or 5 members who are playing at the same time.

So, I don't think these factors would make pot good for one and not for the other.

-The ladies you dance with likely need a high level of difference in your dancing vs normal to notice it. Since everyone has "off" days and "on" days, your dance performance on a given day falls somewhere along a distribution (let's assume it's normal, ie bell-curved). If the shift caused by drug consumption is small relative to the standard deviation, odds are good that your performance at any one point (say, one dance with a lady) will be within your normal range. And of course that lady also is naturally inconsistent within some range as a dancer, which further confounds her ability to measure your dance ability. So I'd trust your introspection on the effects of drug use on dancing (I.e. They don't help)
I was looking for a high level of difference between dancing high vs straight. If marijuana didn't allow me to dance MUCH better I would consider it to be of marginal value.
 

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
#16
Larinda, you are cracking me up in this thread. If I spit out any more coffee laughing, I won't have any left to drink.
...just doing my job ma'am... lol


Thread Disclaimer: Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Dance Forums does not condone the illegal possession or use of marijuana. All content in this thread is for entertainment purposes only.
 
Last edited:

danceronice

Well-Known Member
#17
Opposite for me. I remember my first Medal Ball, instructor (who was not even 21 yet) told me not to drink anything until after my honor dance. I thought, what does he know, and I had half a glass of wine. Went out for the honor dance (1 minute or so of social dance demo, no choreo) and I was literally a half beat behind the whole time - I could not get my body to keep up and do what I wanted it to do and it clearly impacted my motor skills. So now I (almost) never drink and dance. I had nothing but Coke and water at my wedding.
Which would track with my being encouraged to drink (though I think given quantity-to-body-weight ratios involved any effect was psychosomatic) before dancing, as at comps and showcases adrenaline always gets the better of me and I wind up constantly ahead and almost unable to listen to beat or wait for my lead. I suppose Benadryl might also work, but alcohol has a mild relaxant effect on me while Benadryl is more nothing-nothing-nothing-passing out.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#20
Washington Pot Sales Hit $3.8M in First Month
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/washington-pot-sales-hit-3-8m-first-month-n176441

September 11, 2014
Latest Rec Sales Data: $7M in Washington, $30M in Colorado
http://mmjbusinessdaily.com/tax-revenues-in-wa-co-indicate-strengthening-rec-markets/

Marijuana Tax Revenue May Top $3 Billion A Year With Legalization
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/22/legal-marijuana-taxes_n_5863860.html



Thread Disclaimer: Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Dance Forums does not condone the illegal possession or use of marijuana. All content in this thread is for entertainment purposes only.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Dance Ads