An overview of the unique experience of the nightclub dance floor hints at Durkheim’s idea of collective effervescence:
“I feel one with the crowd of energy and lose my sense of self. I don’t feel myself as expressing anything in particular on the dance floor, I’m doing the opposite—I’m just being present in the moment, dancing, being a part of the greater whole of the night. I’m able to do this because I become engulfed in the intense sensations from the music, lights, and the energies that reverberate from the rest of those dancing,” said Jason Friedlander, another dance floor patron from Manila, Philippines.
For Friedlander, dance floors are a place where differences dissipate, conflict seizes, and equality reigns.
“On the dance floor socio-economic hierarchies are leveled and each becomes equally subject to the wonders of melody and rhythm. Unlike other communities fostered through sports teams or most organized religions, the cult of music is neither founded on conflict nor opposition, but on harmony.”
Get caught up in the music, the crowd, and dancing and the group on the dance floor is melded together through the common activity and energy.
Is such an experience available to anyone who joins the dance floor? How much do the conditions of the club/venue and the particular participants shape the collective effervescence?