An investigation of what makes the perfect dancefloor

dancefloor
Words by Joss Peter

 

There’s something in the air for weeks before a big party. A rumbling of excitement. An audible humming, like cicadas in summer.

Did you get a ticket?

Who’s going?

What are you wearing?

Scrapping with scammers on Messenger. Working out who’s makes most sense for pre’s. A hype so heady that it’s near impossible to live up to it. It’s really an impressive ability to throw a party that exceeds expectations. Lovejoy’s Nightlifestyle was one of these elusive parties. It was mere weeks before covid hit Sydney like a sledgehammer, a tyrannical bully back for revenge. It was held at The Bridge and the lineup was a melting pot of talent hailing country-wide; Kia, Dameeeela, Wax’o Paradiso. A night of boiled egg antics (don’t ask, don’t tell), cheekiness and unadulterated energy. 

And so, with the release of Wax’o Paradiso’s 9am-12pm morning set from Nightlifestyle, I got to thinking. What makes the perfect dance floor? What are the ingredients, the perfect melange, that curates a memory that will punch you in the gut when you’re trapped in a country wide house arrest? 

 

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The space itself
The courtyard was structured like a cauldron with people climbing on top of the wall to sit and watch. The sun rising behind the dancers. Decks front and centre. A healthy floor to stomp on. Energy bubbling high.

The characters
A perfect dance floor needs to be made up of old and new. I’m talking people who have been there from the start. Those with a determination in their eyes and a mild stink in their pits. They know the tale of the night, having danced for hours to rapturous sets by DJ Mistry, Waxlily and Unpin. They know who we lost along the way with pathetic excuses of work and exhaustion. The new- bright eyed and bushy tailed. The 6am injection of excitement. Well rested and with energy to lend. These people will guide the weathered home. 

The density
Not trying to get all technical here, but there is a fine line to walk. You want enough room to dance, but not so much that the dance floor is sparser than a sad combover. You need heavy dancers leading the charge to balance the smokers leaning on walls.

The hydration
A friend made his way across the dancefloor pouring a glass of sparkling for me, the bottle held from an absurd height yet not a drop spilt. A moment of golden delight. He turned and offered glasses to strangers in the crowd, they smiled and accepted them. 

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Trust
I think a marker of a sensationally curated environment is if you can start talking to the person next to you as if you have known them for years. You know there’s no dickheads. The classic party paradox is that the only parties that don’t need safety angels are the only ones that have them. 

Listening to the mix back is bittersweet. There’s a cocktail of iconic moments that trigger memories; There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart), Small Circle of Friends and of course Take Me To The Bridge – an on the nose ode adored by all. The mix is nearly 2.5 hours of tingly deliciousness. It’s embedded with pure fantastical joy, as if we all knew that it would be one of the last weekends before indefinite purgatory. At one point in the morning, there was a father walking past that stopped with his toddler to dance with us. The whole party turned to smile and wave back. Towards the end of the set, in a weird twist of fate, partygoers started to cry. Some delicately, me – with the ferocity of a newborn. Perhaps it was the tangible love in the air (so heavy and real you could nearly take a bite) or in a less romantic and probably more real take – the exhaustion, but It seemed like the most appropriate reaction. We clung to each other. Teary, sweaty, snotty. A perfect dance floor. Riding the wave of euphoria to shore. Until next time. 

You can stream Waxo Paradiso’s set from Lovejoy’s nightlifestyle below.

 

Words by Joss Peter

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