Soundtrack in my head: Corinne Bailey Rae, “Put Your Records On”
I’m finally doing it: I am starting a new dance event called Dance As You Are, with its first event on February 16th.The website describes the event as follows: “Dance As You Are is an innovative concept in dance club environments. Less pretense, less artificial divisions between music genres, and less of a “meat-market” atmosphere, Dance As You Are intends to make the dance floor more accessible and more fun for a wider array of people.”
This will be my first DJ gig since the last Madtown Barefoot Boogie event, which shut down due to lack of attendance last September. I was going to write about the decline of this event, but was reluctant to, because we hadn’t really decided whether this was a temporary pause or the end of a phase in the development of a substance-free open dance community. The Madtown Barefoot Boogie had lasted for seven years, but had been dependent on the incredible efforts of two people, who decided to bow out towards the end of 2011. A group of us tried to hold it together, but really couldn’t muster the volunteer resources and common vision to keep it going.
While I’m a big believer in grassroots collectives and democratic decision-making, I don’t necessarily think it’s the best way to run every organization. As a former volunteer coordinator, I’m well aware that volunteers are often no substitute for a dedicated staff, which the two founders of the Barefoot Boogie effectively served as, unpaid, for six years. So I’m going to try to fly the craft solo and see where it takes us.
This is a blog about community, yet with all the talk about community living, it’s also not gone unnoticed by me that one of the strongest communities that has emerged in my life evolved around the Barefoot Boogie. Many people from the event often ending up at the house potluck and social events, and with one even becoming a house member for a spell. This shouldn’t be surprising as much community can be built around music and dance and good times. It’s like the quote widely attributed to Emma Goldman that said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.”