In Erfworld, Dance-Fighting is a SpecialLIAB Prologue 26 used in combat to add a multiplier bonus to a Unit or a Stack.Erf-b1-p125 Often, the Units dance-fighting will adopt a style of dress, but this is not necessary to receive the bonus.
- Transylvito - The vampire gangs of Transylvito are led by Caesar Borgata during their dance-fight. Their particular dance style is done to a spoof of the lyrics of Jet Song West Side Story.Erf-b1-p111
- Knights In Stanley's Service - The Knights in Stanley's Service, populated by elite Hobgobwins, are led by Lord Stanley The Tool himself. They adopt black leather 'armor' and warpaint, wield axes, and generally have a Heavy Metal Appearance, and specifically in the form of the band KISS, which is also the acronym for the same knights. .Erf-b1-p076 Technically, with the Arkenhammer, Stanley's knights rock, which he claims is more powerful than dance-fighting.
- Wanda Firebaugh at the Courtyard Breach - This dance-fight was planned by 'Lord Hamster' after learning that the Royal Crown Coalition had few troops that could dance-fightErf-b1-p128), while Gobwin Knob had a Master-Class Croakamancer that could lead uncroaked in dance-fighting (as well as providing a significant Leadership bonus), despite that uncroaked normally could not dance-fight. Wanda led an army of several thousand Uncroaked in a dance against Ansom's attacking forces, which resembled Michel Jackson's Thriller .Erf-b1-p127 Erf-b1-p129 Wanda was then instructed to choreograph a Safety Dance, a dance that presumably increases the defensive capabilities of the participating units. Erf-b1-p133
- Ansom's forces at the Courtyard Breach - Though not dance-fightersErf-b1-p127, a Spell from Charlescomm's Archons allowed Ansom's forces to Dance-fightErf-b1-p128. He started choreography with an iconic disco pose.
- Jillian - When Jillian leaves Ansom on her mission to intercept Stanley, she explains her choice of Raiment by saying that she thinks there may be dance-fighting.
- Prince Sammy of Haggar believes that "There's only one way to Rock". Every member of his force can, at least, headbang. This is possibly the lowest level of either dance-fighting or rocking out, or perhaps an analog. (from LIAB Text 7)
The exact mechanics of dance-fighting have yet to be explained in the comic. Most often, Dance-fighting occurs before combat rather than during, and very frequently includes chanting or singing. The units that are to receive the dance-fight bonus usually dance in formation with one another, instead of using Real World modern free-style dances. One performer typically leads the dance, which others can use to keep in sync and rhythm (which may improve the bonus, but may not even be necessary). Once combat is engaged, the combatants cease dancing, but unengaged Units continue, suggesting that the dance needs to continue right up to the moment of combat, or that dancers can maintain the bonus on combatants.
It is unknown if striking in rhythm of the song provides some kind of bonus. It is possible that a free-flowing kind of dance could make dodging easier or confuse an opponent and cause them to make in error in the fight (similarly to "drunken" boxing).
Real World References
TVTropes lists various other works of art that have dance fighting, and states that various real world dancing styles originate from fighting techniques.
Jillian dresses like Sandy from the musical Grease and when talking to AnsomErf-b1-p093 quotes "You're the one that I want" (a song sung by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in the film version). Vinny is seen wearing a letterman jacket and black clothing similar to the one worn by Travolta's character in the final dance number of that movie, the same one in which Newton-John wears the all-black outfit on Which Jillian's costume seems to be based. The original plan for Transylvito and Charlescomm to ambush and kill Stanley, as described by Vinny to Don KingErf-b1-p099, likewise shows the dance-fighting styled after Grease (rather than the Transylvito-only West Side Story dance that actually takes placeErf-b1-p111).
Lord Stanley's dance-fight style is inspired by the American Rock Band, Kiss. The 'Knights In Stanley's Service' (K.I.S.S.) are based on a) the Kiss Army, Kiss's massive fan-club, and b) an accusation that the band name KISS once stood for 'Knights in Satan's Service'. Stanley wears the face-paint of Kiss band-member Paul 'The Starchild' Stanley, as their names draw an obvious parallel. Stanley also quotes two Kiss songs as rallying cries against the Transylvito forcesErf-b1-p123: "Stand up! You don't have to be afraid!" with his Knights answering "I love it... Loud!" from the 1982 I Love It Loud; and "Your lightning's all I need" from the 1977 Shock Me. The quotations seem directed to the Arkenhammer itself, referring to its powers of thunder, lightning, and electric guitar.
Wanda's dance-fight at the Garrison WallsErf-b1-p140 is an obvious reference to Michael Jackson and his music video Thriller. The 'Safety Dance' is a reference to a song of the same name by band Men Without Hats.