Goddamn, I miss dancing! More than travelling. More than doing drag. I miss the fun. I miss the release. I miss moving my body in all kinds of crazy ways. I miss the exercise. I miss feeling like I’m compelled to get up and dance when a great song comes on. I also really miss being in a room full of people who are also tearing up the dance floor (preferably with me on a podium though, because I’m a serious show-off). So, if you’re like me and feel like shouting “I WANNA DANCE” then here are some ways to let loose a little this winter and recreate a festival or clubbing experience during lockdown.
Try some Ecstatic Dance
I never thought I would be the type of person to attend a hippie silent disco in a field, but hey, Covid has really changed me. I went along to an Ecstatic Dance session one Sunday during the summer and I honestly can’t wait to go again.
So, obviously, outdoor parties are illegal now. However, distanced outdoor dancing for fitness and wellness is perfectly ok. So these events are a great option if you really miss getting your groove on with a bunch of strangers.
Ecstatic dance is all about letting yourself go with the music, so interpretive and free-flowing moves are highly encouraged. These sober events take place during the daytime and I was genuinely impressed with how good the DJ was.
These events take place in London every Sunday when the weather is ok. I’ve also seen groups in Australia and the USA, so have a Google and see if there is one in your area too.
Hold your own kitchen disco
If you don’t have children (like me), then you were probably unaware that Sophie Ellis Bextor was live-streaming a disco session from her kitchen every week during lockdown. Remember all the weird stuff we did during April to stay sane? Apparently, this is what the celebs were up to.
Even if your kitchen isn’t as nice as the EB household, it’s still probably one of the best places to have your own dance session. The reason: no carpet. Smooth floors are so much better for throwing some shapes on.
When my flatmate Diz and I haven’t been terrorising our neighbours with a little Celine Dion karaoke on weekend mornings, we’ve usually danced around the kitchen while cooking brunch. It’s honestly one of the most uplifting ways to start the day.
If you’re looking for something to get your morning moves started, I recommend trying my Why I Love Disco playlist on Spotify. There’s a whole hour of my favourite remixes. Looking for something a little fresher? Try my Why I love Róisin Murphy playlist instead.
Do a dance workout
Yet another thing I thought I would never do at home: a cardio video. I woke up one morning so desperate to dance around that I decided to scrap yoga and dance my way through a work out instead.
It made me wonder if the reason this kind of exercise videos are so popular is because housewives miss their clubbing years. Honestly, if you’re partying days are over I imagine these workouts really hit the spot for you.
No matter what kind of music you’re in to – be it Latin, hip hop or EDM – you’ll find a workout video on Youtube with it. I even spotted a couple of ABBA themed ones if you’re not ready for any serious BPM.
If I wanted to recreate my normal clubbing experience at home, here’s what I would need to do: soak my t-shirt in water before putting it on, turn off all my lights, dance on my coffee table for an hour, then spend the rest of my night in the bathroom doling out relationship advice to some random woman (aka, my reflection).
It reminds me of that moment in Absolutely Fabulous where Patsy and Edina threw a ‘happening’ in their lounge room, complete with flashing lights and hard drugs. All you really to have a proper dance at home is good music.
At the start of lockdown, there was a whole host of DJs and club nights that streamed sessions for everyone at home. The Stay Homo collaboration between Homo Electric and United We Stream was one of my faves. Really hoping that we see some more events like this during what could be one long, subdued winter.
Of course, Boiler Room has streamed amazing DJ sets for years, so there is an abundance of club-quality music online if that’s what you’re looking for. Alternatively, Horse Meat Disco and Róisin Murphy have both bought out amazing new albums recently.
Whatever the occasion this winter, don’t forget to have a dance. Even if lockdown has got you down, it’s important to find a place for the things that make us feel truly alive. As the anarchist activist and feminist heroine, Emma Goldman said in 1931 “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.”