In the words of the wise DJ Lance Rock of the award-winning Nick Jr show, Yo Gabba Gabba! (whose concert series will be passing through Chicago this weekend), “Listening and dancing to music is AWESOME!” It is not very often that I get to use the word AWESOME in a write-up, so this week’s event choice, following the creed of DJ Lance Rock, is also – JUST PLAIN AWESOME!
Do you remember the days of scrunchies, cassette tapes and legwarmers? Do you remember turning up the boom-box and having enough energy to dance your way through the entire Footloose soundtrack? Well, it seems the duo behind the Chicago chapter of the female-only cult phenomenon known as Dance Dance Party Party have never forgotten that feeling, and – “Are you ready? Oh, yeah! Break it down!” – are dedicated to reminding those of us that have, just how liberating it can be to let loose and chuck that impeding thing we call pride!
Dance Dance, what? Okay, here’s the scoop. In 2006, somewhere in a place called New York City, two gal pals (Glennis McMurray and Marcy Girt) were fed up… An evening of booty shaking usually involved exorbitant cover charges, sweaty guys sporting muscle tees (think Mike Sorrentino “aka” The Situation) “accidentally” bumping into them, spilled drinks, posers in 4” stilletos wanting to let loose but too worried to or literally unable to bust a move – well, you get the picture. Questions were pondered: What ever happened to dancing for dancing’s sake? Why wasn’t there a place where one could go that was reminiscent of junior high school sleepover days? Finally it all came together and up went the first official Dance Dance Party Party disco ball! Says McMurray, “Dance Dance Party Party started as a way to work out and have fun without the conformity of a gym – how often have you heard your favorite song while you’re on the treadmill and wanted to hop off to do a real running man? But it has morphed into this amazing revolution of sorts where women come to find that little girl inside us all who just wants to have fun!”
Since 2006, over a dozen chapters of Dance Dance Party Party have cropped up across the U.S. and internationally. The Chicago chapter of Dance Dance Party Party, headed up by cofounders and former roommates Jenn Salvatore and Jenn Brandel, meets on Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. and Sunday from 4-5 p.m. at Perceptual Motion Dance Studio, 4057 North Damen Avenue at Belle Plaine Avenue. Each session the lights go down, the disco ball starts to spin and a new guest DJ plays tunes from her custom mp3 playlist. All ladies are invited to step up to the plate as guest DJ, just as long as an awesome (sorry, couldn’t help myself) DJ moniker is assumed – past favorites include: DJ Tanner, and DJ Roy G Biv DeVoe.
Chicago Tribune reporter Monica Eng wrote about Dance Dance Party Party, “Why we decide to reveal our inner spaz to this room of mostly strangers is unclear,” yet concluded that it is “a buttload of fun.” What it comes down to is that it doesn’t matter if you can’t dance (no, really can’t dance!), nor does it matter if you were trained at the Paris Opera Ballet, all that matters is that at Dance Dance Party Party, all posers will be prosecuted! No judgment, no rules (apart for the being female thing), just dancing! Pretty simple! And so, in the words of Albert from the film Hitch, off I send you: “Do the Q-tip! Q-tip! Now throw it away! Now what am I doing? I’m makin’ a pizza!”