Thursday, September 22, 2005

Burning Man: The Deep End

The Deep End was by far my favorite camp at Burning Man. We were a large theme camp, located on the corner of 9:00 and Delirium...they shared the adjacent corner. We didn't understand what they were setting up the first couple days we were there...only that there were very cool white structures on top of frames (the dance platforms...which by the way, held up better than any of our structures in the dust storm).

And then it started...boom boom thump boom. They were a daytime dance club. While we pounded rebar and erected domes, we had constant entertainment...the throbbing music coming from the DJs across the street.

At one point, P and I couldn't take it anymore. We held hands and ran toward freedom (the techno music) across the street. After a dance break, we'd hold hands and run back across. The camp is HUGE, they have to have hundreds of people in it...and from the website, they probably have 12 or so DJs...each rotating in a shift.

Fabulous costumes, beautiful people, and lots of dancing.

At first, I'd have my work clothes on...but the costumes started getting pulled out so I could look fabulous too...and P was no exception...I started tying the back of his shiny pants to make it into a thong-like creation. There was something about this dance floor that instilled confidence, unity, and a connection with people I'd never talked to. I felt like I'd never danced that well in my life! What is it about that place that stripped away inhibitions and social anxiety?

Certain songs reminded us of upcoming choreographed dances that had been planned by the camp. I will never forget the Banana Phone dance with boys in yellow vinyl...bananas to their ears...enthusiastically lip-synching and dancing in unison in the desert heat.

We felt we were getting so much from this camp, so we started giving gifts We put the ice in bowls and prowled the crowd, asking if they'd like some. Each exhausted dancer scooped a piece out and put it in their mouth, down their shirt, on their head...whatever. At the end, I had only ice cold water...which was always poured over someone's head. In exchange, I received a gorgeous bindi, and some spray-downs with lavender water (as well as offers of "special brownies"...I could have been high off my ass...all for some ice!).

When we returned to St. Louis, I felt something was missing. Gone was the thumpa thumpa of the turntables and walls of speakers...from 11 am - 8 pm...all is now silent.

(See pictures below)


Blogger cdgalindo said...

Wow, Carolyn. Thanks for your comments! Your posting was just forwarded on to many of the Deep End members. We're so happy the experience we provided made such an impact on you and your friends this part year. And words like yours validate what we try to accomplish each year for ourselves and all of Burning Man.

See you on the playa in August!!

(One of The Deep End organizers)

12:58 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...


I'm really glad you let me know you saw my blog. Your camp really did have an impact on me and our entire camp. Even now, in January, when people ask my favorite part of Burning Man, I still say The Deep End.

See you next year!

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah...I ran into this blog and let Christian know about it and we forwarded it to the entire camp.........luvin ya right back....let me know where to send you something special via UPS would ya?

(deep ender)

12:33 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...


Thanks for your comment. I think I posted more pictures in September or October of me and my friend running across to the Deep End with ice. You can send something to my work address:

Saint Louis Effort For AIDS
Attn: Carolyn
1027 S. Vandeventer, Ste. 700
St. Louis, MO 63110

8:21 AM  

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