The Trance Dance
I haven't written in a while. After a busy week leading to New Year working on various projects, including helping a friend shoot an outdoor wedding, I became a bit of a hermit. Rather than entering 2018 full of piss and vinegar I opted for a quieter entry into this year's Gregorian calendar. This state of social reclusion last a few days until I got talking to one of my room-mates one evening. "We are all going to Stereo bar Mike, you should come"
Stereo Bar, a bar/night club around the corner from the hostel. With free entry before 12 and the fact it was so close to the hostel, it was a convenient gateway drug to the Montreal night-life, something that I hadn't really experienced yet.
The music at Stereo was Electronic Dance Music, or EDM for short. I don't mind this sort of music, it is perfectly fine but it isn't my first choice. I find EDM quite robotic, with its rigid 4 by 4 rhythm and various beeping sounds. It is the kind of music I could imagine my laptop listening to. I needed to get out of the hostel for a bit and I hadn't socialised in a few days so I did go to Stereo that night. I was very sober that night and I couldn't really get into the rhythm of the music. Instead I started to people watch.
I actually found Stereo quite interesting as it was different from the typical night clubs I usually frequent, not so much in the club itself but the way the people organise themselves. From my experience, there is a bar, a dance floor and a DJ that is hidden away in some hole in the wall somewhere. People populate the dance floor in groups of circles, social circles in there literal form. Circle sizes vary from just a pair to a large group. Occasionally circles would attempt to merge. The most common example of this is when a guy/several guys attempt to penetrate a circle of girls, usually in an attempt to "chat up" some on the girls. This was my experience anyway from going to indie dance clubs in and around the Manchester area.
Here in Stereo things were different. The setup was similar with your conventional bar and dance floor layout. The main difference was the DJ had a presence, rather than being hidden away in some small room the DJ had a table setup at the end of the dance floor. With a prominent figure, the people of the dance floor formed lines facing towards the DJ instead of the inward circles I was used to. When you stay on the dance floor and people leave to buy drinks or other substances, you find yourself slowly moving forward towards the DJ. After a good 20 minutes I found myself 3 rows in, nearly towards the middle of the dance floor. I felt like I was working my way up the EDM hierarchy, being promoted each time for my dedication to the trance dance. These promotions are quick to lose however, as whenever you leave the dance floor to get a beer as your space is quickly taken by the people behind you. Returning to the dance floor you have to start again from the back.
In reality, I am just an awkward person to take to an EDM night. I need something to keep my mind occupied and the slow robotic music isn't enough. This is why I took up Salsa, with it's complex layered music and relatively difficult dance, my mind is fully occupied. I did have fun at Stereo, but I did still feel like an outsider. Everyone else seemed to be "loosing themselves" to the music, I tried but I ended up people watching instead. After Stereo I made a promise to myself, I was going to find the Salsa community in Montreal.