There is infinite number of dance tracks sitting in the music vaults. I know that DJs spend hours seeking out new tracks to play for us and in this blog I want to heap praise on those that resist playing the same old, same old (Click here to read my piece ‘The Same Old Song’). Like any dance music enthusiast I have my own favourites and I thought I might dare to suggest a few that might be given the once over in the hope they might get played. My first choice is R Kelly’s Happy People.
In a four hour long freestyle its nice to be able to dance to something a little more relaxed every so often. But care needs to be taken that its not too slow or it can border on a ‘blues’ track and that is always going to present difficulties to less experienced dancers. The trick is to find a slower track that you can still do the normal modern jive moves to, but in a more relaxed fashion. This gorgeous track is paced just right for a chilled out dance without the need to get in a close hold. As you watch the video, focus on the dancers on the floor – I’m sure that’s modern jive they are doing – and just see how wonderfully serene it all looks.
I am surprised I’ve never heard this track on the dance floor, for it has a catchy melody, over an unfussy but compelling rhythm, and R Kelly’s unhurried delivery is exemplary. To top all of this the song has a lyric that celebrates the joy of dancing and what it means to so many of us.
Tell me, what do we do when the DJ’s playing our favourite groove? We step, to when? The whole night through.
And what do we do, when we’re all dressed up and in the mood? We step, to what? A stepper’s groove
Where do we go, soon as the weekend gets here, the club, Why? To party and have some fun
What is it that can and take away all your stress, tell me? Music.
Why is music with a beat so irresistible to us? As I write this piece I’m listening to it through headphones and my writing is constantly interrupted by a need to start swaying from side to side in my seat. We’ve done this moving to a beat since our prehistoric beginnings. Now I’m no expert in human behavior but I suspect that there must have been some evolutionary advantage to dancing around a bit in our cave man past (not sure what we danced around to mind you – did cavemen have drum and bass?). I’m no biologist either but I think I’ve heard that this dancing, like all excercise, produces some kind of hormone that puts a smile on our face – now I might be able to guess the evolutionary advantage of smiling!
Of course this jigging around has evolved a bit (thank goodness) and so has the music, and the smiles are as broad as ever. Many of us can’t bare the thought that we couldn’t be dancing at the weekend (perhaps we are addicted to that hormone stuff). Is it any wonder then that we enjoy dancing so much, when we know the sheer joy that it brings us. No wonder then that R Kelly entitled his track Happy People. Mr DJ please play it and let us celebrate the joy we feel through dancing.