Tales from the dance (hall) floor

So every now and again, you got to blow it out. For me, that means going out  dancing until the wee hours. If I’m lucky, it happens a couple of times a year. I’ve been on a killer roll the last few years. I keep picking out just the right spot to get our groove on. And the music gods continue to bless us. Think I’m exaggerating? Last December, I picked out a tiny spot downtown that we had never been to. It was not crowded (score!), totally chill and the opening DJ’s  ENTIRE SET consisted of Tribe Called Quest jams and early nineties hip hop. And then the real DJ, took us to anotha level. Me and Little Sister Applebum blew it out and closed the bar down. Because that’s how we do.

But I digress. This Friday, me and the neph needed to drag our sorry sack selves out of our self imposed hermithood. We needed to blow it out in the worst way. So I picked up my entertainment bible, The Stranger and perused the Friday night options. The winner: Dub Lounge International. And all I can say is, they made this Santa Fe girl’s reggae heart SO glad. They made me a a believer, while taking me back home to my roots.

After the jump, tales from the dancehall floor.

Santa Fe, Jamaicya

I cut my teeth on some of the best reggae shows around. I lived in Santa Fe, NM during middle school and high school. Even though SF was a small town, we got most reggae shows that came through the area. I’ve seen just about every big name multiple times: Sunsplash every year, Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, Eek a Mouse, most of the Marleys and the Wailers (including Ziggy and Bunny)..I could go on all day.

We sort of took it for granted. We had regular access to these small, amazing high energy dance parties. We went to reggae shows a lot during high school and college. Reggae totally fit in with the Santa Fe vibe. Hip hop, reggae, latin – this is all music to be played loud and enjoyed as a group, preferably while dancing. And New Mexicans like to dance and have a good time, we are in the moment people. Throw in a bunch of  leftover hippies with marijuana use as acceptable as it as could be and you have got yourself a party. And I think the dreads really dug that about Santa Fe and New Mexico in general. I mean, this scene from Thelma and Louise shot in NM was a source of PRIDE for us, resulting in cheers in the theaters.

Open those chakras

I have always loved a boomin’ base. I love to feel those low, low frequencies vibrating my body. You wouldn’t believe how hard my Volvo bumps and I LOVE it. Concerts are great for a full body musical experience. I love to go to shows, but I can not be up close to the speaker. I don’t like to be jostled and I really don’t care for crowds, so you’ll NEVER see Ole Bonita in the pit. I’m always a bit back, off to the side, where I’ve staked out a zone and am dancing with myself. (Woa woa woa)

Dancing and singing are a great way to open up your chakras. Shaking your ass and hips helps loosen and open up your base chakras (the root and sacral chakras). Popping, rolling and shaking  your shoulders and ribcage will open up your solar plexus and heart chakras. Throw in singing “One Love” at the top of your lungs for the encore finale and you’ve reached the throat, third eye and crown chakras. That’s right, a full body chakra massage, all you have to do is dance and sing your heart out at any reggae show.

I’m playing, but I am dead serious about this body work. As I’ve worked through issues over the years, I’ve used dance to help work the emotional baggage loose from my body. All of the anger and rage I have swallowed over the years had been carefully stored in my body as well. As I’ve cleared out my home and my head, I’ve worked it out of my body. This is my temple now, there’s no room for that mess.

If your not having fun, you’re not doing it right

If ever there was a time to dance like no one is watching, it’s at a reggae show where really, no one is watching. The truth is, they are probably very high and not noticing you at all. So just get lost in the music and the moment and enjoy.

Last Friday, I knew it was gonna be a helluva show when the lead singer started stretching and warming up.  I used that opportunity to do some yoga strettches myself. I didn’t want to pull a muscle or throw out mah back when I broke it DOWN.

And I totally give bonus points for silly moves. I mean, reggae really brings out my inner clown. The other night at the show, I was dancing in the zone adjacent to this dude that looked like Wyclef Jean. And we just kept egging each other on. It was so fun. He’d do something silly, I did something sillier. Then we’d play it cool. Then I would do something really silly. And he would do it too. Then we’d play it cool. Seriously, we were cracking each other up. We shook hands when it was time to go, “Have a nice evening,” was all we said to each other.

So get thee to a reggae show and work you’re shit out. I GUARANTEE you will be glad you did. If only for the people watching. Because last Friday night in Seattle, there were so many dreads, in every color of the rainbow. Asian dreads, islander dreads, white seattle dreads. And they all moved so slow and in such a stately manner. It was the most chill, laid back vibe. It was all good in the multicultural hood.

Related Posts by Bonita Applebum

Dance like no one is watching

Sowing the seeds of love

A few of my favorite dance moves from the Aughts


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. FuerzaBruta
    Feb 24, 2010 @ 23:24:14

    LOVE YOU, I felt such a peaceful vibe reading this post ❤ Maybe one day we'll meet up at some desert reggae party…


  2. toe-to-toe
    Feb 25, 2010 @ 07:05:19

    this sounds like an awesome time 🙂 i love your posts on clearing out- your house, your mind, chakras, everything. i think with this next summer im going to be doing a lot of that ❤ mad love!


  3. Margo
    Mar 03, 2010 @ 00:01:25

    I love this post so much! Reggae has become a big part of culture in NZ, I grew up hearing the Wailers more than the Beatles, and I miss those jams.


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