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Trance: Beyond the trip

Mika Schoeman

The typical stereotypes around trance parties, of hippies, and of an over-indulgent drug culture are not necessarily true. There’s more than the meets the psychedelic eye when it comes to the trance scene, and it’s not all about drugs and muddy dance-floors.

Yes, there are those that conform to the technicoloured, baggy pants, chanting “Free love, man” and needing the assistance of psilocybin mushrooms or acid to have a ‘spiritual journey’ at a trance party. However true this stereotype may be, there are many people who challenge it, and don’t fall under those preconceptions.

On Friday, 15 April 2016, progressive beats from floating grooves filled the air, entrancing all the fellow stompers to move to the rhythm of tribal-inspired psytrance. I Psy with my Middle Eye was a small gathering of unique yet like-minded individuals, sharing their love for trance in the intimate space of local Slipstream Sportsbar.

Activate met up with David, who wanted his real name to remain anonymous, but who describes his experience of trance as drug-free and madly addictive. He explained how trance grants him freedom of expression in the form of dance, and how the rhythm of progressive trance allows for fluidity and interpretation, like an unspoken language that everyone shares. As a law student, he said that trance isn’t only for so-called hippies, but for the average person and student as well. “I don’t need drugs to enjoy its beauty,” David explains. “It feels like freedom and tells a story on its own.”

In a discussion with Ruth White, another trance-lover, she stated that “there are definitely people who stay true to the stigma of trance.” However, if you look past this idea one can will find what White calls the most beautiful, open-minded people in all shapes and sizes. “That’s trance for me,” White says, “the immense variety of extraordinary people who don’t care who or what you are; they’ll accept you anyway.”

White also described how she is able to dance to the early hours of the morning, and as the hitch speeds up so does she, feeding off not only the energy of the music, but off the energy of the crowd as well. “When making eye contact on the dance floor with a complete stranger, they smile at you and dance even harder, sharing your enthusiasm in unison.”

Friday night’s event was one to be remembered. What one might stereotypically call trancers, hippies, alternatives, commercials, and even nerds, all meshed together in one appreciation for everything that is trance. Nobody gave a second glance to how you were dressed, or who you were, because they were there for the music, the humanism, and the genuine love for unity and compassion.

So, give trance a go. Put aside what you think it is, and let yourself be welcomed into the community of trance-goers alike. Have an open-mind, speak to people, respect them as a human being, and however you choose to experience it is your own decision. That is something everyone you meet will respect. Guaranteed.


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