“I think it is better to dance than march through life” ~ Yoko Ono
I love to dance. Doesn’t everyone deep down inside? When the right beat hits you, your body awakens, your feet start to move, and your arms sway. Dancing is a gift that is deeply embedded in our species. Whether you’re dancing alone in your room, following a specific form of dance like a waltz or samba, or you are clubbing, dancing frees the mind and eases the soul. The tribal beat releases the tensions of the day and transports you to a special place.
I still vividly recall my first time at a dance club. I was 14 and it was a friend’s birthday. Her older sister brought a bunch of us to a club in Bristol. The music thumped, the lights twirled and swirled, and the dance floor was packed. I was hooked.
From then on and throughout my college years, I often danced at clubs and traveled all over to experience new scenes. My favorite club, however, was Beverly’s, right here on Bantam Lake. Perhaps some blog readers will remember Beverly’s. Other staff agree that the atmosphere, people, and music there were absolutely the best. I was fortunate to have a dad who kindly drove us from my hometown of Canton to Beverly’s most weekends for their “Under 18” Night, dropping us off and then coming back for us! I have many great memories of those dancing days and having so much wholesome (and safe) fun with my friends.
If the blues are getting you, dance! Here are some of my favorites that always get me dancing…
As faithful blog readers know, my favorite dance/house group is the ever deee-lovely Deee-lite. Lady Kier, Super DJ Dmitry, and DJ Towa Tei brought The Beat to a higher level of consciousness and their work should not be missed by anyone who loves the house sound. Deee-lite is firmly connected in my mind with my college dance (and radio) days. Check out The Very Best of Deee-lite which includes the two tracks that enjoyed some commercial success: “Groove is in the Heart” and “What is Love”. The album includes other great tracks like “E.S.P.” and “Mind Melt”. And don’t miss their final CD, Dewdrops in the Garden, one that I consider a masterpiece of dance sound. It delivers with the first beat until the final note. Be sure to hear “River of Freedom”, “Music Selector is the Soul Reflector”, and “Bring Me Your Love”.
My favorite Madonna album is her first entitled “Madonna” and it clearly is one of the best pop-dance albums ever produced. Every track kicks it and brings me back to all those days at Beverly’s. The Madonna CD includes classics that anyone who danced at clubs in the 80s will rejoice in hearing, like “Lucky Star”, “Burning Up”, “Holiday”, “Borderline”, “Everybody Everybody”, “Physical Attraction”, “Think of Me”… it’s hard to stop! This whole CD is pure dance joy.
The Best of The SOS Band. My husband credits The SOS Band as the spark that ignited his dance music fire back in 1983, when he stumbled across DJ Lady B spinning The SOS Band on WRTC at Trinity College. A self-proclaimed “prisoner of the beat”, he has never looked back and listens to little else but dance music … for almost 30 years. Some favorites are “Weekend Girl”, “Take Your Time Do It Right”, and “High Hopes”.
This is me…then~ Jennifer Lopez. This is my favorite J-Lo album. She’ll help you chill out with slower, sultry beats on songs like “Again”, “Loving You”, and her excellent remix of Carly Simon’s “You Belong to Me”.
If Lopez helps you catch your breath, Blackbox Hits and Mixes will get the heart pumping again with “Everybody Everybody” and “Strike It Up”. Featuring fast BPMs (beats per minute), the dance tracks of these pioneers of Italian house were club favorites for many years.
I’ll admit that I can’t resist disco although my “musical elitist” husband resists it. Disco is fun because of its fast beats and upbeat themes. So ladies, put on the blue eyeshadow and glitter up your cheeks, and let everything else melt away as we feverishly dance to the fast BPMs and synthetic strings of disco. Some of my favorites include:
Pure Disco Volume 1 and Pure Disco Volume 2. Dance to all the disco classics like “Knock on Wood”, “The Hustle”, “We Are Family”, “Play that Funky Music”, “Ring My Bell”, “Celebration”, “Knock on Wood”, “I Love the Nightlife”, “Funkytown”, and so much more. Can’t you just see that disco ball calling you to the dance floor?
Abba’s Gold features all of the best of Abba. “Dancing Queen” gets me every time and is probably one of my favorite all-time disco songs, but other great Abba classics like “Take a Chance on Me”, “Fernando”, and “Knowing Me, Knowing You” can also be found on this excellent compilation CD.
Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track features the Bee Gees and cemented their popular cultural connection to disco. “Staying Alive”, “Jive Talking” and “You Should Be Dancing” will get any disco party moving and grooving including the prerequisite arm pointing to the top!
Donna Summer became the “Queen of Disco” and will definitely get your feet jumping and cutting up the rug! Hear those fast rhythms on some of her classic favorites such as “Love to Love You Baby”, “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”, and “On the Radio”.
“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance” ~ Japanese Proverb.
Ann Marie is the Library Director at OWL and believes that you can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart.