• Trevor Greenway

Dance floors are helping us find our way back

There’s a magical moment for DJs when they have an entire crowd in the palm of their hand.


No requests, no drop in the beat, no tempo change. Just pure trust in the selector. And if it’s a good DJ, they will feed off that energy and continue to push the vibe.


But for this to happen, there needs to be a perfect storm: a good DJ, bumpin’ tracks that mix well, and a solid venue. But, most importantly, you need a crowd willing to go down the rabbit hole with you.


The Hills are always good for this – and if local dance floors are any indication – the Hills is getting its mojo back.


Those attending the Chelsea Motel’s inaugural party for local Natasha Stobert’s 50th birthday bash in early June know exactly what I’m talking about.


This writer – known as DJ BeatScience after dark – was behind the decks during that party, and the former La Vallee restaurant in Chelsea has never looked or felt better. It truly was the perfect storm.


The music was there – all the classic tracks revellers born in the 70s and 80s would want to hear – A Tribe Called Quest and TLC, Beastie Boys and a ton of funk. The beautifully-renovated venue boasted room to dance near the bar, space to talk and catch up with friends and vibe lighting that set the mood.


But what pushed this party to the moon and back were the people — about 100 or so ready to get rinsed on the dance floor. This kind of energy always makes a DJ's life easier.


At the party’s peak, I didn’t even have to think about what to play next — and the crowd didn’t care. Those classic tracks played earlier in the night established a trust between DJ and dancer, and I could now take them down the rabbit hole with me.


And, man, did they follow.


I was playing all my favourite obscure dance tracks, and although the partiers didn’t know the words or the artists, they couldn’t break the 124 beats-per-minute spell they were under.


This is the moment for DJs. It’s why we do what we do. It’s hard to explain the feeling of having control of an entire dance floor — the feeling of dropping a beat so hard that it collectively moves an entire crowd like a wave.


Parties like this fill a DJ’s soul just as much as it does for those sweating it out on the floor.


Since pandemic rules were lifted this spring, dance floors seem to be a way for the Hills to find its identity again.


Wakefielder Kevin Harper threw a dance party at his home in late April and it exploded into a club-like atmosphere that lasted into the wee hours of the morning.


Shaughn McArthur threw what could have been considered an outdoor rave for his 50th birthday in late May with Wakefielders dancing to tribal techno on Fox Run. And just this weekend, a score of Hills residents were packed into a backyard in Hull dancing to vinyl DJs for another 50th birthday.


See you on the dance floor on June 25 for David Irvine’s Bad High School Dance at Kaffe 1870. Let’s dance our way back to the world we used to know.