A form of dancing often seen at hardcore shows (hence the name "hardcore dancing.")
It features rather violent, frenetic moves emphasizng punching, kicking, and spinning.
Originating in the Boston scene of the mid-1990s, hardcore dancing is an evolution of the punk/ska dance called skanking. After a while, hardcore kids decided that two-stepping around in a circle was stupid, especially if the person in front of you was going really slow. Thus, they began to form a pit around a few individual dancers, who would proceed with said acrobatics for 30 seconds or so, before rejoining the crowd (hardcore dancing is only possible in short bursts, if it's done right).
Hardcore dancers often form crews that frequent shows together. Crew dancers are often fiercely competitive and rather elitist.
In scenes such as New York, the dancing is very style-based and exclusive, and the kids look after each other (i.e. when somebody falls or gets hit). In scenes like Philly and Jersey, the dancing is also very exclusive, but the dancing is extremely violent, and injuries and fights are more common. On the West Coast, the dancing is style-based as in NYC, but not nearly as exclusionary.
Hardcore dancing is often looked down upon by certain punks and hardcore purists, who think its silly, and favor more communal dancing. However, they are full of shit and should be spin-kicked in the face, just so they know how silly it is. It takes more skill, anyway.
Two-step: One foot swings around in front of the other and replaces it. The other foot swings around and replaces the first foot, and so on and so forth. Done stylishly with arm swings.

Windmill: Arms swing all the way around, opposite each other.

Floor punching: Punch straight at the (you guessed it!) floor, alternating hands and bringing up elbows all the way, and stomping the opposite foot.

Spin kick- Spin a full turn extending the inside foot in the middle of the rotation, ninja-style.

Throw: Reach elbow straight back, then throw kinda sidearm-style, while crouched and stomping like hell on the floor. Usually only done with one hand.

Arm swing: One arm goes from side-to-side in front of you very rapidly, while the other hand is behind your back, over your face, grabbing your belt buckle, etc. Done while stomping on floor.
by This Mute Print Lies. July 19, 2005
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a grouping of several codified dances often seen performed at hardcore shows.
the moves will vary with specific subgenre of hardcore, the politics of the scene involved, and individual choces of those dancing.
two-step: a fairly nonviolent, unthreatening move similar to punk skanking. emphasis is on style and variations of arm movements.

windmill: many variations, but generally includes flailing arms in wide circles, often spinning the entire body in the process. often leads to spin kick or jumping spin kick.

spin kick: a spinning back-kick. if you were to hit anyone it would be with the heel of your foot.

jumping spin kick: jump, spin in midair, and kick forward with your back foot.

floorpunch/ picking up change: bend over, pretend to grab or punch the ground, alternating hands. bring your hand back to your back pocket area (as if putting change in pocket) if you want to not hurt anyone, or flail the arm away from your body violently. while grabbing/ punching with the right hand, stomp with the left foot. and vice versa. can be performed while stationary or while moving sideways or forwards. this can be a violent dance if the kid decides to use his/ her arms (esp. elbows) as weapons.

kids may also be seen running back and forth in front of the band, sometimes jumping a whole damn lot, raising their fists (often with an outstretched index finger) and singing along. kids also pile onto one another and scramble to grab the microphone and sing a line or two if the mic is proferred by the singer of the band.

some of these dances are not considered acceptable at certain shows. kids generally do not spin kick at posi, youthcrew-type shows. it's just not very posi. and there will often be no two-stepping at more metal-influenced shows. some hardcore scenes are more influenced by diy punk ethics, some more by kids wanting to just beat the shit out of each other and wear fancy clothes. this will affect the dancing present at a show in fairly obvious ways.

the other definitions of hardcore dancing present here seem to be more from younger kids who listen to new-school metal-influenced hardcore. they would claim no tie to the punk community or the ethics associated with it. this is obvious from their blatant homophobia and general meathead attitude. they will sell out hardcore pretty qhickly, and if any are straightedge, they won't be for long.
V: to go into a circle of kids wearing tight black hoodies and fight invisable ninjas. This may look dangerous, however the ninjas are invasable and also non-realistic, therefor you rarely get hit and if you do it's takin' one for the team, so get up and do some kartwheels and a spin kick. All the hardasses on the outside of the pit who claim you're a fag for being in, are fags for being out.

The shit
"All the hardcore kids huddled up and did a break and the pit exploded into a ton of kids hardcore dancing! It was nutso!"
by IfFireCouldSpeak December 23, 2004
Hardcore dancing is performed at hardcore shows, to hardcore music. Or if so inclinded, just to hardcore music in your backyard.
It was first made in the early 80s when the genre of hardcore-punk developed from traditional punk. The hardcore punk scene started out with a lot of straigh-edge kids, who dedicated themselves to human rights. Those who who hardcore danced had no intention of injuring people or causing shit in the pit. They were merely expressing the deep respect they had for the band they were listening too, and showing their emotions through dancing. Most of these most involve what looks like flailing, it is more so a fighting. All of the moves have a meaning, and the fight moves represent fighting facists and those who supress the scene (such as people who have defined this word ignorantly, and negatively).
Others may perform moves to represent their humble attitude.

True hardcore kids can have a good time anytime, if a kid falls they will pick him up, if someone wants to start shit with them, they'll make a good effort to calm them down.

It is very unfortunate to see something degrade into such a steriotypically hated ignorance.
arm mills - swinging arms around, whether side to side, in circles, etc

picking up change - jumping back and forth with the intention of picking up the change of careless rich people

two-step - similar to skanking with skilled leg swinging motions.

spin kick - a simple "cresent" spining kick
by TwiTzT April 11, 2005
Moshing for pussies.
Guy 1: Did you see me hardcore dancing in that pit over there?

Guy 2: Yeah, you looked like such a whimp. Hardcore dancing is fuckin' lame.

Guy 3: Mhm, you should grow some balls and maybe you can learn to mosh.
by Sooka May 15, 2008
The practice of "hardcore dancing", more commonly referred to simply as "dancing" by those that can actually do it well, is performed at many hardcore/metalcore shows. There is no "flailing" at all in dancing, there's always control in it. Dancing is performed during the breakdown of a song (you better damn well know what a breakdown is). Two-stepping is performed during two-step parts in songs, these arent too hard to find, but two-step is a bitch to learn simply because you have to find the rythm and synchronize it with the movements (two-step works in opposition; ie: right arm/left leg, left arm/right leg, got it? good).
If you still dont understand what dancing is, go to a show and watch kids that know how to dance, then you'll know it's not fighting 'invisible ninjas' or any of that shit.
If I ever hear a kid say "hardcore dancing" at show, I will kick your ass because it's not fucking 'hardcore dancing'.
by nickXXX June 30, 2005
A bunch of puny little bitches (who like their pants so tight their balls squeeze out of the side pockets) flailing their arms around in a mockery of a mosh pit. I hate how these kids think theyre tough, they look anorexic and could be snapped in half with ease. Most of them have never even been in a real fight, and the ones that have either lost, or were fighting even more of a pussy then them.
Hardcore dancing looks like a special ed class on crack.
by PackofWood March 30, 2005
A lesser known form of expression/dancing is hardly considered by most to be a form of dancing at all. However, this is irrelevant considering it IS a form of dancing, just to a heavier form of music. Hardcore dancing (AKA "Throwing Down") is most commonly seen at Hardcore shows which shows appreciation or approval for the bands playing. It is basically a mix of the crowd punching and kicking the air. (with the exception of 2 steps.) Although it make look like random, uncontrolled flailing, it is anything but. Hardcore dancers (or just "dancers" as known at shows) often have different styles of which they prefer to perform. Examples of hardcore dancings moves would be "Spin-kicks", "Windmills", "Two Step", among others. Other types of "hardcore appreciation/expression" at shows consist of sing alongs, pile ons (like sing alongs except on a massive level, hence: pile on) and crowd punching(a less approved form of dancing where the dancer accidently or intentional dances into the crowd hitting bystanders, this is where much of the disapproval of hardcore dancing spawns. AKA: Bottlecapping)Often associated with crews, Hardcore dancing isn't for everyone. As you can see on this website, many people approve of it and many disapprove of it. I, myself, am an avid supporter of hardcore dancing and do it at every show. (though I do not crowd punch, people have the right to just watch the band if they want to, they don't have to get hit.)
Hardcore Dancing: Here Comes A Breakdown. Give It Your All!
by Dustin Z. January 04, 2006
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