The Nude Nature Dance is a dance done in the nude in open fields or a forest clearing to show characters share a bond with nature. It is frequently used for fanservice, but may be played for squick, if, for example, the participants include Hippie Parents. The dance will generally be used to show that the characters are innocent, blithe, free spirits, or that they have a deep spiritual or religious connection with Mother Nature. It may simply be celebratory, with the connection to nature signified by the fact that the characters are au naturel. It may also be a sign of a primitive, animistic religion, and can be a prelude to a Green Aesop, or, at the other extreme, to blood sacrifice. Note that most straight versions of this trope leave out the brambles, thorns, small rocks, stinging insects, mosquitoes, ticks, and various other annoyances to be found in Real Life natural settings that make doing this not as good an idea as it may sound. Participants may be Granola Girls, New Age Retro Hippies, Hot Witches, young children or Magical Forest Dwellers and literal tree-hugging may be involved.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In a filler episode of the Naruto anime, Hinata combined this with a Shower Scene, by dancing in a waterfall.
- The pagan worshippers from the Retribution Arc in Berserk. Yeah, they could be considered care-free pagans as far as being hedonistic, baby-sacrificing (and eating), disgusting and perverted, psychedelic orgy participants who are actually worshiping an idol of evil goes.
- This is the subject of a famous painting◊ by Henri Matisse. The subjects are women dancing outdoors in a circle, naked.
- Leetah and Nightfall's forest dance in ElfQuest: Siege at Blue Mountain probably qualifies, aside from its obvious sexual implications. (It's actually foreshadowed by a mention, in one of the novelizations, of couples doing that sort of thing.) The novel twist here is that — in an unusual variation on Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen — Moonshade, the tribe's seamstress, sneaks in and switches their clothes with new outfits and the pair are delighted she did with compliments on the new apparel.
- In Grendel, psychopathic, foul-mouthed Bounty Hunter Hitchcock Blue is shown to do this when alone in the desert, as a comic Pet the Dog moment.
Films — Live-Action
- The underwater ballet scene in Piranha 3D.
- In The Crucible, at least one of the girls at the beginning dances naked in the woods.
- Played with in At Play in the Fields of the Lord, though the film version is definitely not fanservice, since it's Kathy Bates. And her character's basically gone nuts.
- Towards the middle of The Wicker Man (1973), Howie sees a group of pregnant, young women dancing around a fire in the nude.
Howie: But they are... are naked!
Summerisle: Why, naturally. It is far too dangerous to jump through the fire with your clothes on!
- In the French classic film Manon of the Spring, the title character bathes in a spring and then dances around it nude while playing on her harmonica. Outdoor Bath Peeping also included, which becomes a major plot point.
- In The Big Lebowski The Dude is part of the sparse audience watching his landlord ineptly perform one of these on stage, thankfully in a flesh-colored body stocking tactfully embellished with ivy instead of actually naked. Presumably The Dude being there is why the landlord is lenient about collecting the rent.
- Subverted and parodied more than once in the novels starring either the three witches or Tiffany Aching. Most of the witches find the idea of dancing around naked at night ridiculous, especially the prudish Granny Weatherwax, who although "aware that somewhere under her complicated strata of vests and petticoats there was some skin, that didn't mean to say she approved of it". Nanny Ogg would probably be game if it weren't for impracticalities like thistles, hedgehogs, and the weather being too cool to go nude on all but the warmest summer nights.
- Played straight in Lords and Ladies with a group of wannabe witches who dance nude around an ancient stone circle, inviting The Fair Folk into Lancre.
- Referenced and subverted in Good Omens when Anathema Device is doing her work at night while practicably clothed, it's dryly commented that most books on witches state that they do their work outside naked and that most people that write these books are men.
- Happens briefly in The Lord of the Rings after the Hobbits have been extricated from the Barrows. Tom Bombadil removes the clothing the Wights had placed on them and invites them to "run naked in the grass" while he retrieves their ponies (with their baggage containing replacement clothing).
- In The Native Star by M.K. Hobson, Animancy can involve dancing naked. There's even a derogatory term for its practitioners derived from this: Skycladdische — literally "clad [only] in sky"
- In I Capture the Castle, Cassandra's artsy stepmother, Topaz, loves doing this kind of thing to "commune" with nature.
- Lampshaded in Dies the Fire when the Wiccans debate whether to do a ceremony naked, and speculate that their founder was just a Dirty Old Man who wanted an excuse to see nude women in Victorian times.
- Ivy Carson does a lot of In Harmony with Nature dancing (including dancing on tree branches) in The Changeling by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. She doesn't disrobe completely, but takes her shoes off and tucks her skirt into the legs of her underpants.
- Alluded to in Children of the Night: Diana tells another Wiccan to bring his robe to the Samhain ritual, "I don't do skyclad". It's for practical reasons; Diana is originally from Connecticut and currently living in New York City, and it's too cold both places for outdoor nude rituals in late October. (In fact, it's snowing when she makes that comment. The other Wiccan is from the South, so is used to temperatures warm enough that skyclad isn't a health risk.)
- In Friends. When Phoebe suggests a relationship cleansing ritual, it turns out you can either go the burnt offering route or the "dance naked with sticks" route. Rachel and Monica opt for the first.
- In one episode of Dharma and Greg Dharma dances naked on TV to celebrate springtime.
- In an episode of Bones, when a self-proclaimed witch is found dead, Brennan and Booth decide to check out a local group of Wiccans. They show up at a ceremony in the woods just as the (all-female) group begins to disrobe and start dancing.
- The Charmed episode "Witch Trial" sees Piper and Phoebe celebrating the equinox with a group of more mundane witches, only to discover that the group plans to perform the rite naked.
Piper: What have we got to lose, OK?
(Piper and Phoebe turn to see the others disrobing)
Phoebe: Well, apparently we've got our clothes to lose.
- JAG: Mac goes undercover in the episode "The Witches of Gulfport" as a Chief Petty Officer infiltrating a group of Wiccas on a base in Texas and participates in the rituals.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the Season 2 opener, Ms. Calendar, walking with Giles, recounts going to Burning Man during summer break. She surmises he would have hated it, but her mention of naked mud dancing piques his interest.
- Xera's music video for the song "Natura" features a bit of this.
- Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring is based on pagan nature dances, and occasionally (though not always) is staged with some nudity. Unfortunately for the Chosen One, this ends in Human Sacrifice.
- Frank Zappa's "Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance" from Lumpy Gravy and We're Only in It for the Money.
- Dungeons & Dragons, Forgotten Realms campaign setting. The Good-aligned female Drow worshipers of Eilistraee dance nude outdoors in the moonlight. (She's big on dancing in general, actually. Her worshippers are fond of Prestige Classes that involve the Magic Dance and Dance Battler Tropes.) The nude moonlight dance (which is generally performed alone: the drow finds a moonlit glade, then asks Eilistraee to smile upon them, then disrobes and starts dancing) is for all followers. However, there are some more passionate collective rituals are reseved to her female worshippers — it's an obligation for her clerics, but her rare male priests have to spend the dance as a female (this is mostly due to the nature of Eilistraee, and to the fact that one can truly feel the Divine Dance of Eilistraee only as a female. They do not have to provide the gender-bending themselves, however). This has changed as of the 1490s DR, since genderbending is no longer required, and male clerics can normally join even the more passionate and intense dances.
- In Mage: The Ascension, the Verbena would often perform their rites "skyclad".
- In Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, enemies of the Gaian faction might accuse Lady Deirdre of dancing naked in the trees.
- Strongly implied in Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic. Several characters run into some satyrs and nymphs in the woods, and get caught up dancing with them. When Gren decides to take a break, she is surprised to find that she's naked.
- In one Nodwick story, Artax receives an invitation to a ceremony held by the Sisters of Sylvanity, an all-female cult of nature-themed spellcasters who do this for ritual magic. (The invitation is fake, sent by three seers to get him to leave the house so they can talk to Piffany. He doesn't say what happened when he showed up, and it's probably best left to the imagination.)
- Gardnerian wiccans perform many ceremonies "skyclad" (nude), and sometimes dance outdoors during such ceremonies.
- Dancing was an important part of the education of ancient Spartan youths for both boys and girls. In the warmer months they practiced outdoors and the girls and women supposedly largely did so in the buff. (Boys always did; all male athletic exercise in Ancient Greece was done naked.) Physical fitness and time outdoors were thought to be good for personal character.
- English TV presenter Kate Humble has said a few times that she enjoys doing this. Sometimes it just feels like the right thing to do.
- In her interview with the WTF Podcast, Alison Brie said she did this on a trip to Lake Tahoe. She said she took off all her clothes and ran around acting like "a little wood nymph".
- Drew Barrymore was once quoted as saying, "I'll drive in Ireland and park my car and run out into the field and rip all my clothes off and just run in the wheat fields naked. That's for no one to see. That's to have that freedom of feeling at one with nature. So I am completely unguarded, still."