The Guide to IAGSDC Convention Chapter 23

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What's a "Moonshine" tip?

Moonshine bolo

A moonshine tip is a square dance tip danced in the nude.

(Yes, really.)

Both the caller(s) and dancers are nude.

(No, we're not kidding.)

Most conventions (and some fly-ins) have moonshine tips. These are occasionally referred to as "Moonlight Dances," "Moonlight Promenades," or "Midnight tips", especially when speaking in the presence of non-dancers (or hotel staff).

Moonshine tips are nude but non-sexual. They’re slippery, encourage much laughter, and can be both fun and addictive.

There are some basic community rules about moonshine tips:

  • No pointing and laughing (that's just plain rude).
  • No cameras. (No kidding.)
  • Once the doors are closed and sealed (to prevent outsiders from peeking in), everyone takes off all of their clothes.
  • You can keep your socks on, go barefoot, or wear shoes. If you wear shoes, it's polite to use soft-soled footwear in case you step on someone else's feet by mistake.
  • We'll say it again, to make sure it's understood: everyone takes off all of their clothes. Everyone. Period.
  • Some years, everyone is required to dance. Some years, it's OK for people (who are also nude) to sit and watch. Ask the organizers of each year's tip what the current rule is.
  • Especially for the first tip ... it's generally considered rude to just sit and watch from the sideline unless you have an injury that prevents you from dancing (or calling).
  • No sexual touching or sexplay. That's what you have a room for. This is about dancing.
  • The doors will only be reopened once everyone has clothing back on.
  • Don't discuss moonshine tips with hotel or catering staff members; most hotels are strongly squeamish about nudity, and will cancel the tip if they find out about it.

Daniel Howell suggests finding a partner and squaring up immediately once your clothes are off, to reduce or eliminate feelings of awkwardness on everyone's part. If you're a bit shy or nervous, we also suggest making arrangements in advance to attend the moonshine tip with a friend.

Andy Chong points out that light clothing is best for a moonshine tip. T-shirts, shorts, skirts, and wide-legged pants are types of clothes which are quickly and easily removed and replaced.

After your first moonshine tip, if you decide you'd like to do it again, someone usually has order forms for lightweight "bolo tie" name badges and event/year dangles. (I've also seen some moonshiners use water-based markers to draw "name badges" on each others' chests.)

Jim from Finest City Squares hosted a web page on moonshine tips, which is no longer available.

Warning: The above web page contains some (non-sexual) male nudity.

(Back to the Guide To IAGSDC Convention Table of Contents.) (Back to Guide Chapter 22.) (Forward to Guide Chapter 24.)