(dance) party for the people Research Site #4 - House Party

 Low lights and living rooms = so good

Low lights and living rooms = so good

Ok. So house parties are probably the best. There's usually some kind of smorgasbord of random booze and snacks. Small spaces mean more sweatiness. And there's not so much stranger danger so people usually cut loose sooner and for longer. My hope is that (dance) Party for The People will be a house party at PWNW!

What makes a good dance party?

  Taka:   A good DJ who can see the air and if people are losing energy the DJ knows what to do to bring the energy up. Good company. Imitating each other. Creating new dance moves and naming them.

Taka: A good DJ who can see the air and if people are losing energy the DJ knows what to do to bring the energy up. Good company. Imitating each other. Creating new dance moves and naming them.

 Candace & Jenny: People who are into it. People who are more moved by the music than they are by their insecurities. Being shameless. Funk and soul. Sweat. Disco

Candace & Jenny: People who are into it. People who are more moved by the music than they are by their insecurities. Being shameless. Funk and soul. Sweat. Disco

  Leia, Kumi & Sarah :  Music that has intention and thought behind it. Responsive DJ. No judgement. Safe space where people feel comfortable. Enough space to move. Well-maintained space. Darkness.

Leia, Kumi & Sarah: Music that has intention and thought behind it. Responsive DJ. No judgement. Safe space where people feel comfortable. Enough space to move. Well-maintained space. Darkness.

  Devan & Danny:   Devan shared a story about how when she was traveling in Latin America learning to dance helped her to learn Spanish. We talked about how rhythm, gesture, and the cadence of language are embodied in cultural dances.

Devan & Danny: Devan shared a story about how when she was traveling in Latin America learning to dance helped her to learn Spanish. We talked about how rhythm, gesture, and the cadence of language are embodied in cultural dances.

  Jeffrey:   When everyone is on the same level. When VJs sync visuals with music

Jeffrey: When everyone is on the same level. When VJs sync visuals with music

  Kim & Kaycie:   No pants! Matching pants! Everyone has a dance and they all know the steps to the same song. Sexy people. Weed. Booze. Sexy shots served to me by a butler. Some simple snacks like popcorn, jello, booze cake, meat and cheese spread. Outdoor space.

Kim & Kaycie: No pants! Matching pants! Everyone has a dance and they all know the steps to the same song. Sexy people. Weed. Booze. Sexy shots served to me by a butler. Some simple snacks like popcorn, jello, booze cake, meat and cheese spread. Outdoor space.

  DieAna Dae:   House music. 128 bpm. Enough space to dance. Moving lights. Laser lights. Queer spaces. Inclusive spaces. Air flow and sweaty people (feeling sweaty bodies and temperature around you but also feeling a breeze. Poppers.

DieAna Dae: House music. 128 bpm. Enough space to dance. Moving lights. Laser lights. Queer spaces. Inclusive spaces. Air flow and sweaty people (feeling sweaty bodies and temperature around you but also feeling a breeze. Poppers.

Introducing Padraic O'Meara

I'm delighted to introduce Padraic as the final of our 3 dance teachers for How To Dance Like a Boss. Padraic takes amazing pictures and makes beautiful films. He has a truly poetic eye for images and I can't wait to see what he does for the class!

  Padraic O’Meara comes from Cape Town, South Africa, having recently moved to Portland OR. He has spent most of his life working as a filmmaker and photographer. Finding most interest in the way people connect with each other and the world around them. He likes to swim, take pictures and read.

Padraic O’Meara comes from Cape Town, South Africa, having recently moved to Portland OR. He has spent most of his life working as a filmmaker and photographer. Finding most interest in the way people connect with each other and the world around them. He likes to swim, take pictures and read.

(dance) party for the people research site #3: PICA's 21st Bday Party

PICA turned 21 so we all got to get dressed up and drink and dance like grown ups.

What makes a good dance party?

  (from left) Spencer, Roz, & Colin:   Bass. Sweaty beats.. gotta be sweaty! Hot temperatures and hot bodies. Available, free water. Restrooms with no lines. Cocktails with cherries at the bottom. Some kind of Adele singalong moment. Singalongs in general. Bey. You should show Lemonade. Current (pop culture) relevancy, no Katy Perry- she's over.

(from left) Spencer, Roz, & Colin: Bass. Sweaty beats.. gotta be sweaty! Hot temperatures and hot bodies. Available, free water. Restrooms with no lines. Cocktails with cherries at the bottom. Some kind of Adele singalong moment. Singalongs in general. Bey. You should show Lemonade. Current (pop culture) relevancy, no Katy Perry- she's over.

  Mizu:   Good dancers. People who are going to explore possibilities of being in the space and in their bodies. Being surprised by the music. Various styles of music that aren't stuck in a single rhythm structure. Don't overthink dancing!

Mizu: Good dancers. People who are going to explore possibilities of being in the space and in their bodies. Being surprised by the music. Various styles of music that aren't stuck in a single rhythm structure. Don't overthink dancing!

  Korel :  Smooth transitions between songs. Ambient lighting. Places to rest. Having a theme. Activities that people can choose to participate in or not. Having a good buddy to dance with and space you feel good in to hold it down together. 

Korel: Smooth transitions between songs. Ambient lighting. Places to rest. Having a theme. Activities that people can choose to participate in or not. Having a good buddy to dance with and space you feel good in to hold it down together. 

  Mo & Linda:   Dark lighting. Not too much space but enough space. Permission to be crazy. At least one crazy dancer. Music has to be loud enough. The right inner body conditions. Freedom. Alcohol. Drugs. Sobriety. A little bit of disorientation. Expressive people.

Mo & Linda: Dark lighting. Not too much space but enough space. Permission to be crazy. At least one crazy dancer. Music has to be loud enough. The right inner body conditions. Freedom. Alcohol. Drugs. Sobriety. A little bit of disorientation. Expressive people.

  (from left) Ana, Gracie, & Megan:   The right outfit. Enough bodies. A giant group of people. 90's Hip hop. Music that you know interspersed with music you wished you knew better. The right density of bodies in ratio to space. Good transitions between songs. Songs that aren't too chopped up by a DJ trying to be fancy. People who dance without caring, like they're just in their kitchen.

(from left) Ana, Gracie, & Megan: The right outfit. Enough bodies. A giant group of people. 90's Hip hop. Music that you know interspersed with music you wished you knew better. The right density of bodies in ratio to space. Good transitions between songs. Songs that aren't too chopped up by a DJ trying to be fancy. People who dance without caring, like they're just in their kitchen.

  William & Grace (House of Aquarius):   Variety of music. Lots of rhythm, lots of bass. Soulful vocalists. House beats. Theme or intention of some sort. Enough space to dance. Accepting vibes. Engaging with others. Here's some advice: Don't be afraid, let yourself build on your own groove. Don't be afraid to stand out. Don't take things so seriously. Allow yourself to be led, see what other people do and get inspired. Allow yourself to be silly. Feel the music and don't do what you think you should do, do what you FEEL.

William & Grace (House of Aquarius): Variety of music. Lots of rhythm, lots of bass. Soulful vocalists. House beats. Theme or intention of some sort. Enough space to dance. Accepting vibes. Engaging with others. Here's some advice: Don't be afraid, let yourself build on your own groove. Don't be afraid to stand out. Don't take things so seriously. Allow yourself to be led, see what other people do and get inspired. Allow yourself to be silly. Feel the music and don't do what you think you should do, do what you FEEL.

GOOD KNEES! COMFORTABLE SHOES!!

  Maria:   Sensual music. Lighting that isn't too revealing and leaves some mystery. A little bit of nostalgic tunes and throw backs. Good friends. Move your butt!

Maria: Sensual music. Lighting that isn't too revealing and leaves some mystery. A little bit of nostalgic tunes and throw backs. Good friends. Move your butt!

  Robin:   When people are willing to let loose and interact. Engagement. A little bit of crazy. Spontaneity. Humor. No overthinking, sillyness instead.

Robin: When people are willing to let loose and interact. Engagement. A little bit of crazy. Spontaneity. Humor. No overthinking, sillyness instead.

  Sarah & Giuliana:   People who are willing to be vulnerable with their bodies. A group agreement that no one has to be to cool. DJs that don't play for themselves but who feel the crowd. When people are expressive and their expression gives others the freedom to express. Enough space. Stop giving a fuck what other people think and just be there for yourself.

Sarah & Giuliana: People who are willing to be vulnerable with their bodies. A group agreement that no one has to be to cool. DJs that don't play for themselves but who feel the crowd. When people are expressive and their expression gives others the freedom to express. Enough space. Stop giving a fuck what other people think and just be there for yourself.

  Matthew:   Willingness of people to be present. Open up. Whatever you do is fine!

Matthew: Willingness of people to be present. Open up. Whatever you do is fine!

  Kelly:   When everyone is there to dance and they don't give a fuck. Small space so bodies are close. People's good energy. Good beats. When I can't lift my ass up off the floor. Good rhythms. Groovy, sexy, deep, soulful. African, Hip hop (old school and contemporary).

Kelly: When everyone is there to dance and they don't give a fuck. Small space so bodies are close. People's good energy. Good beats. When I can't lift my ass up off the floor. Good rhythms. Groovy, sexy, deep, soulful. African, Hip hop (old school and contemporary).

(dance) party for the people research site #2: The Get Down

The Get Down is a monthly dance party held on last Fridays at The Spare Room. It's hosted by the inimitable Sarah Baker and you can pretty much count on there being great music and a shit-ton of people who aren't scared to let loose on the dance floor. Here's what they had to say...

Q: What makes a good dance party?

  Sarah :  Contemporary Hip hop, low ceilings and low lights so the feeling is safe and intimate, not 'too cool' feeling

Sarah: Contemporary Hip hop, low ceilings and low lights so the feeling is safe and intimate, not 'too cool' feeling

  Michelle:   An enthusiastic audience, no self-consciousness, spaces that feel contained and where you're not feeling exposed or stared at, living rooms that you can't see anything in, good Hip hop and not the recycled same-old-shit, the room being dark enough

Michelle: An enthusiastic audience, no self-consciousness, spaces that feel contained and where you're not feeling exposed or stared at, living rooms that you can't see anything in, good Hip hop and not the recycled same-old-shit, the room being dark enough

  Talia:   People feeling the music and feeling free to express themselves, openness for expression, awesome bass

Talia: People feeling the music and feeling free to express themselves, openness for expression, awesome bass

  Jenna:   People who don't care if anyone's looking but are just free, being able to let go, being connected to the movement that's inside you, being able to hear the rhythm of your body

Jenna: People who don't care if anyone's looking but are just free, being able to let go, being connected to the movement that's inside you, being able to hear the rhythm of your body

  Lekadia:   NO slow beats, NO slow rap, NO early 2000's music. YES to: 90's Hip hop and R&b, space to dance, music that's conducive to men and women, men dancing and not just standing around and watching... engage or get out! Stop worrying about what you look like. If you're having a good time that's all that matters. Pull your shoulders back! This is a service industry town so there should be better dance nights when industry workers can go out- Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays!

Lekadia: NO slow beats, NO slow rap, NO early 2000's music. YES to: 90's Hip hop and R&b, space to dance, music that's conducive to men and women, men dancing and not just standing around and watching... engage or get out! Stop worrying about what you look like. If you're having a good time that's all that matters. Pull your shoulders back! This is a service industry town so there should be better dance nights when industry workers can go out- Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays!

  Christina:   Everyone being into it, anything that makes everyone move, music that's relatable, good friends, having all your girls with you, remember that everyone looks stupid dancing so just do it. It's way more fun when you don't give a shit

Christina: Everyone being into it, anything that makes everyone move, music that's relatable, good friends, having all your girls with you, remember that everyone looks stupid dancing so just do it. It's way more fun when you don't give a shit

ALL MISSY ELLIOT

  Leah (on the right):   Low lighting so people don't feel self-conscious, a flow of music, energy on the dance floor that keeps moving so it's easy to enter the dance floor at any point, mixing genres of music, I love it when the DJ throws in something unexpected but that everyone knows, maybe a remix. Observe and realize that bodies are moving in different ways and have the courage to get in there and let your body do what it does. I think of this like church... it's a place to just let go and not care so much about yourself.    Ariela (on the left):   Old school Hip hop, R&b, soul. Diverse crowd in age, gender, and orientation. An environment that feels nonjudgmental. A DJ with good rhythm who can engage with the crowd. Low lighting. Don't overthink things, just listen to the music and move how you want to.

Leah (on the right): Low lighting so people don't feel self-conscious, a flow of music, energy on the dance floor that keeps moving so it's easy to enter the dance floor at any point, mixing genres of music, I love it when the DJ throws in something unexpected but that everyone knows, maybe a remix. Observe and realize that bodies are moving in different ways and have the courage to get in there and let your body do what it does. I think of this like church... it's a place to just let go and not care so much about yourself.

Ariela (on the left): Old school Hip hop, R&b, soul. Diverse crowd in age, gender, and orientation. An environment that feels nonjudgmental. A DJ with good rhythm who can engage with the crowd. Low lighting. Don't overthink things, just listen to the music and move how you want to.

IF IT'S GOOD MUSIC DON'T FUCK IT UP BY TRYING SOME FANCY DJ SHIT. IF IT'S A GOOD SONG THAT EVERYONE LOVES (LIKE PRINCE) JUST LET IT PLAY!

  Sonam:   A good DJ and good transitions between songs. Start with your hips and worry about your feet later. Dancing feels amazing, so just be in your own world and do what feels good. Dancing is good for your head! 

Sonam: A good DJ and good transitions between songs. Start with your hips and worry about your feet later. Dancing feels amazing, so just be in your own world and do what feels good. Dancing is good for your head! 

Introducing Leif J. Lee

I met Leif last summer during TBA when we both performed a song for Live Riot's We Must Rage Singalong which was part of the Alien She show and a collaboration with General Sisters and The Feminist Art Gallery. For the last year I've had a chance to get to know Leif's art practice a bit, which, among other things, explores the intersections of queer culture, occult mysticism, and performance art. I'm super excited for Leif's participation in this project!

   "Leif J. Lee is a 2014 graduate of the Masters of Fine Art Visual Studies program at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), and is a current artist in residence at the Rainmaker Artist Residency. Lee is a 2015 recipient of the Precipice Fund for their collaborative project Environmental Impact Statement. Lee’s work has been shown in Portland Oregon’s Duplex Gallery, Surplus Space, Disjecta, PNCA, and Olympia Washington’s Northern Gallery. Past residencies include Centrum, Signal Fire Arts, and Caldera."   Find out more at:    ww.leifjlee.com

"Leif J. Lee is a 2014 graduate of the Masters of Fine Art Visual Studies program at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), and is a current artist in residence at the Rainmaker Artist Residency. Lee is a 2015 recipient of the Precipice Fund for their collaborative project Environmental Impact Statement. Lee’s work has been shown in Portland Oregon’s Duplex Gallery, Surplus Space, Disjecta, PNCA, and Olympia Washington’s Northern Gallery. Past residencies include Centrum, Signal Fire Arts, and Caldera."
Find out more at:

ww.leifjlee.com

Introducing Tonisha Toler

I'm thrilled that Tonisha accepted my invitation to be one of our presenters. I've kind of known Tonisha for years, ever since seeing her regularly at yoga classes, then I found out she worked for RACC and is a super smart artist also. She's rad. And excited to be learning to dance with all y'all.

   Tonisha A. Toler is the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s (RACC) Community Liaison focused on building relationships, especially with diverse and underserved populations and growing RACC’s equity practices in all of our operations. Ms. Toler's concerns involve informing the community of RACC’s services and resources; learning how RACC may evolve to be more relevant to community’s needs; overseeing RACC’s annual Professional Development Artist Workshop series and RACC’s quarterly creative community networking event, Art Spark.      Ms. Toler has been with RACC since 2007 as the Grants and Outreach Coordinator assisting in the administration of all the RACC’s grant programs and coordinating various RACC outreach efforts. Before joining RACC in 2007 she worked for the Washington State Arts Commission in Olympia, WA.      Ms. Toler started her work in the arts in gallery and museum exhibition prep in 2002 interning nationally and internationally.      Her background as an artist is concentrated in art that attends to social injustice and continues to be drawn to all art especially focused on social justice messaging. Her other passion has been community work, systems and system change performing volunteer work for organizations such as Media Island International, Inc. (MII); Food Not Bombs, Student Workers Union, and the Crisis Clinic of Thurston County. She is grateful for this opportunity to be a part of a creative project and stretch herself to give more to the community.


Tonisha A. Toler is the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s (RACC) Community Liaison focused on building relationships, especially with diverse and underserved populations and growing RACC’s equity practices in all of our operations. Ms. Toler's concerns involve informing the community of RACC’s services and resources; learning how RACC may evolve to be more relevant to community’s needs; overseeing RACC’s annual Professional Development Artist Workshop series and RACC’s quarterly creative community networking event, Art Spark.  Ms. Toler has been with RACC since 2007 as the Grants and Outreach Coordinator assisting in the administration of all the RACC’s grant programs and coordinating various RACC outreach efforts. Before joining RACC in 2007 she worked for the Washington State Arts Commission in Olympia, WA.  Ms. Toler started her work in the arts in gallery and museum exhibition prep in 2002 interning nationally and internationally.  Her background as an artist is concentrated in art that attends to social injustice and continues to be drawn to all art especially focused on social justice messaging. Her other passion has been community work, systems and system change performing volunteer work for organizations such as Media Island International, Inc. (MII); Food Not Bombs, Student Workers Union, and the Crisis Clinic of Thurston County. She is grateful for this opportunity to be a part of a creative project and stretch herself to give more to the community.

(dance) party for the people research site #1 - Queer Prom

What makes a good dance party?

  Jeevan:   Prince. Heart resonance (feeling the common thread of humanity through mutual recognition of music and vibes. That feeling that everyone in the room is feeling the same thing that happens when a song comes on that everyone loves.) Music that moves me. Hip hop and R&B

Jeevan: Prince. Heart resonance (feeling the common thread of humanity through mutual recognition of music and vibes. That feeling that everyone in the room is feeling the same thing that happens when a song comes on that everyone loves.) Music that moves me. Hip hop and R&B

  Margaret:   Music that people know and can sing to. When everyone is queer. Comfort. Alcohol. 'Ignition' remix by R. Kelly

Margaret: Music that people know and can sing to. When everyone is queer. Comfort. Alcohol. 'Ignition' remix by R. Kelly

  Sara :  Soul music. Good Pop classics from the 70's and 80's. Cheesy music. Funk. Good lighting. Enough space.

SaraSoul music. Good Pop classics from the 70's and 80's. Cheesy music. Funk. Good lighting. Enough space.

  Lu:   A good DJ. Some moves. Some people who aren't afraid to dance and can cut loose. 1-2 people who are way too drunk. Lighting is key (bright lights are bad.) Patrick Swayze.

Lu: A good DJ. Some moves. Some people who aren't afraid to dance and can cut loose. 1-2 people who are way too drunk. Lighting is key (bright lights are bad.) Patrick Swayze.

  Kate:   Music with a good up beat. Hip hop. A good variety of music that includes popular songs and remixes. A small enough space so that it doesn't feel like you're dancing alone in a big room. NOT bright lights. Some people you know will dance. A mix of extroverts with other people.

Kate: Music with a good up beat. Hip hop. A good variety of music that includes popular songs and remixes. A small enough space so that it doesn't feel like you're dancing alone in a big room. NOT bright lights. Some people you know will dance. A mix of extroverts with other people.

  Ellie :  Over 75% participation. Early start to the dancing

Ellie: Over 75% participation. Early start to the dancing

  Selena:   VJ's and trippy video projections. Bassy music. Drinks- cocktails and also stuff for people who don't drink. Enough water.

Selena: VJ's and trippy video projections. Bassy music. Drinks- cocktails and also stuff for people who don't drink. Enough water.

Score for Researching (dance) Party for The People

1.) I will go to as many dance parties and dance events as I can
2.) I will approach people who look like they're having a great time, and who are dancing
3.) I will ask if they will participate in my survey
4.) I will take their pictures and note their responses to my question, "What makes a good dance party?"
5.) I will report on my findings here

Project Description

I'm really excited about this new project I'm working on for Assembly 2016!
Mark your calendars:
Saturday, May 14th
7-9PM - How to Dance Like a Boss
9-12AM - Party for The People
Performance Works NW - 4625 SE 67th Ave., Portland 97206

Collaborative Learning for Physical Prowess (on the dance floor) is a 2-part social experiment consisting of 1 dance class and 1 dance party. Dancing aside, the question is about communication - How do we learn from each other through gesture, effort, and enthusiasm? Does learning to appreciate someone else's sense of rhythm increase the ability to empathize? Can synchronizing movement encourage other kinds of collaboration?

AND... Best part is, to ask all these questions we don't even need to talk. 

1.) How to Dance Like a Boss - with guest presenters Leif J. Lee, Tonisha Toler, & Padraic O'Meara
Knowing that many people would like to dance but feel too shy or inhibited to take dance classes, this project seeks to create fun, inclusive, and safe environments for people to learn to dance. These classes upset the power hierarchy of traditional dance classes by empowering anyone to become a dance teacher. A selection of people who are not professional dancers or dance teachers (but who like to dance) will research and present their favorite ‘How To Dance’ YouTube videos and lead us all in learning the steps/choreography. Jens Hauge and Renee Sills will host and facilitate warm-ups, cool-downs, and a mid-class surprise. 


Party For The People
What makes an awesome dance party? We have set out to investigate which elements stand out in the best dance parties and will strive to procure and include as many of them as possible in one unforgettable night. It’s BYO(alcoholic)B but there will be FREE mixers, plenty of water, and snacks! Admission is FREE. See you there!