One day in early 2008 I came across a blog post of a New York based comedian about an event her friends ran. It was called Dance Dance Party Party and from what I understood it was a ‘class’ just for women to dance to guilty-pleasure tunes without a dress code or having to pay an expensive cover charge. There already were a few other chapters in other American cities and I immediately knew that I must bring this to Vancouver.
Because of my theatre training I was aware of dance classes like Five Rhythms and Ecstatic Dance but, for me, they were too ‘movement’ based. I’d gone to them before and felt out of place because I didn’t have much modern dance training and I wasn’t a hippie. Dance Dance Party Party focused on fun rather than ‘using the space,’ ‘expressing through your elbows’ or ‘breathing into your back ribs.’ After years of hardcore theatre training it was just what I needed.
I started the Vancouver chapter of DDPP in Spring of 2008 at the Mt Pleasant Community Centre’s old location at 16th Ave and Ontario because it was only 3 blocks from my home. It ran for a few months on Sunday afternoons. I adored it. But in August of that year I moved to the UK to do a MA degree. I tried to pass the torch to another woman to continue the event but no one wanted to take it.
When I came back to Vancouver in the spring of 2010 I decided to pick up where I left off. It’s been four years and over that time I’ve facilitated many hours of fun at Dance Dance Party Party Vancouver. I like to think I’ve inspired a few women to enjoy their bodies, dance and the magic of Ke$ha (Yes, I know she dropped the dollar sign but I’ll never let it go).
There have been many nights when I arrived sick, tired, and worn down and left DDPP revitalized. For me it’s been in spiritual practice, a ritual, and a blessing. I should admit that I have run run DDPP VanCity for a very selfish reason – I get so much joy out of it. Yet, at the end of May I’m leaving my post as Den Mama of Dance Dance Party Party Vancouver.
I’ve put a lot of thought into this. Those that follow my work or know me personally know that I do a lot of different jobs, performances and producing. It’s time to spring clean and make room for new projects and events to enter my life. This expands beyond DDPP VanCity; I’m going to Toronto for the summer to take a break from all that I do here, to see friends, and to test out that community. For over a decade people have told me that I would do well in Toronto. It’s about time I found out.
DJ Darfunkle will become the new Den Mama in June. She’s been attending DDPP for over a year now and has DJ’ed multiple times. I’m excited to see where she takes it.
As this is my last month as the Den Mother of Dance Dance Party Party I’m Djing twice: May 6 and May 27. Yes, I’ve saved the last dance for me.
Please come and join in on the fun while I’m still at the helm.