I remember when I started DJ’ing and going to parties (that would be the previous century, yes) that we used to have this whole ‘slow-dancing’ routine. Every couple of hours the DJ would play ‘La Bamba‘, sweaty teenagers would check each other out for a quick dance and a stolen kiss (on the cheek), and then there would be 3 to 5 ballads, or ‘slows’. Fifteen minutes of one boy slow-dancing with one girl. For those of you who have never done that: with the right kind of partner it is awesome.
I find it a pity that this tradition has disappeared. Actually, I even think it should be revived. For one, there is this huge library of amazing ballads out there (I’m not referring to Glen Medeiros) and they never get played on parties anymore. They’re used as wallpaper in some loungy bars, but never for dancing. It’s a shame. On top of that, we now have generations of young people that have no clue how to dance in a couple, how to lead, how to improvise. We’re losing a valuable part of human interaction to Red Bull and pounding techno music.
So this is my proposal: I’d like to host a ‘slow room’ at one of the larger parties in Brussels, like the KVS‘ “Bal in de Box”. One cosy room with a dance-floor and some seats with ballads all night long. You come in when you want, have a drink, listen to great ballads (I’ve got quite a collection and I wouldn’t play the obvious ones), dance a bit with someone you know or don’t, and then leave to join the house/techno/R&B rooms when you feel like it. I would probably use a ‘tango salon’ timing: tandas (series of 5-6 songs in a similar tempo) with a cortina (song that cannot be danced to – well not in a slow sense) in between, so that a dance between two people will at most last for 20 minutes. Some people might be too shy to invite someone so they could be incentivised. “Next 5 songs, only the ladies/people with glasses/guys with white socks invite.”
I think it’s a fun concept, and now is also a good time: Sterren op de dansvloer (VTM) and Let’s Dance (VT4) have re-introduced couple dancing as a both entertaining and appealing hobby. There’s load of stuff you could add to it: beginner’s courses (slow dancing is nowhere as complex as tango, but if it’s the first time …), a friendly competition, a hard-rock/ jazz/ schlager tanda, fancy dress, movie themes, … The only thing I need is: the opportunity. Anyone at the KVS reading this?