When did the dancing stop . Yesterday i watched previously unseen footage of the final night at the Legendary Paradise Garage , what struck me was the fact the film directors focus was not on the Dj booth and the DJ but the dance floor and its wonderful array of characters , dancers and freaks who were the focus of the night . When you realise the DJ concerned was Larry Levan it really does show just how important the crowd were to club culture . While we used to leave parties with our clothes ringing wet with sweat now we leave with a IPhone full of pics of some DJ at best putting on a few CDS or playing off a laptop at worse acting like a circus seal spending more time on egging crowd reactions that working the music .
When did we stop dancing , when did the DJ become more important than the crowd ? . In London’s fledging clubbing scenes of the 70s and early 80s the crowd went to the clubs and parties where the best dancers and In crowd went the DJ was almost a after thought – as long as he ( there really wasn’t’ a ‘she ‘ back then in DJ terms )played what the dancers demanded .
When did we start watching a DJ instead of dancing with our mates , why do we put up with idiotic people taking up the floor who are filming the DJ ,why is the best dance floors now being cut to ribbons to provide extra table space for naff VIP’s ( Pacha in Ibiza hang your head in shame ) ,people with more money than taste and who in some extreme situations in the US have had DJs thrown off the decks because they did not like the music .
Dancing is now reduced to a crowd reacting to a big breakdown or a simple shuffle with a raised hand every now n then – When did we all stop dancing ?
There is a simple solution to this cheese fest of crowds standing face on to the booth as if its a concert not a party that they are supposed to be a equal partner in the madness not a onlooker and that is to stick the DJ booth on the floor . Panorama Bar does it as do many of the cooler London House music parties such as Secretsundaze . You still get the whoppers with Iphones and back pack’s surrounding the decks but by and large as if by magic the rest of the crowd suddenly start dancing , yes dancing as opposed to raising a hand during a breakdown or pointing back at the seal / DJ .
What people have to realise is THEY are the stars , the heroes of club culture not the DJ . Its that magical moment when you look around and everyones smiling and locked into the groove that makes a great House party , where you make life long friends and get a passion for a music that can last decades .
Start dancing again , turn your back on the DJ and dance with your crew .. the good DJ’s will honestly take it as the ultimate compliment .