Most people dread Mondays! I totally understand. As a kid, on Sunday nights, it felt as if there was a dark, stormy cloud looming over my head, preparing to eclipse the sun and the weekend fun… Unless it was a summer vacation day, then Sundays were just another day linking to a HAPPY Monday of frivolity and adventure.
THE FLOOR, was my favorite dance event of the month. It usually took place on the 3rd Monday of the month and it was a like a summer vacation day in the middle of my work month. I missed many Monday night dance events at THE FLOOR over the past 10 years, but I attended more than I missed.
It was akin to summer camp, where I made new friends and I was sure to see many of my favorite people. THE FLOOR, was COMMUNITY. THE FLOOR was FAMILY. THE FLOOR was unbridled energy packed into a hot room full of LA’s most talented musicians and dancers expressing their art in many beautiful and compelling ways. THE FLOOR felt like HOME!
I love swing dancing! In fact, I want to swing dance every night of the week like I did when I first caught the dancing bug. Mondays were one of my normal swing dance nights, unless it was the 3rd Monday of the month, then I knew I would be going to THE FLOOR instead. Every once in a while I would pull a double header and go swing dancing, then leave that venue early to dance until the wee hours of morning at THE FLOOR.
Many of my friends wanted me to describe THE FLOOR and why I was so passionate about it. Usually, I would just invite them to see it and feel it for themselves. In a nutshell, it’s a musicians and dancers improvisation night. If you’re a musician, you sign up with the band leader and you’ll find out which set(s) you’ll be playing. If you’re a dancer, you express yourself in anyway the music moves you.
The music would morph and change as the musicians were added and moved around the stage. The tempo would speed up and slow down depending on the mood of the collective band. The flavor would alter slightly, or sometimes drastically, depending on various individual musicians’ proclivity towards a genre or style of music. Some people would say this was a recipe for disaster, but somehow it all worked out in gorgeous and mystifying ways.
The dancers would move and groove to the energy the band was creating, and in turn, the band would feed off the energy of the dancers. This would continue to feed back and forth and the energy in the room would continue to elevate with each note from the stage and every dance step on the floor. The joy which I felt could be seen reflected in the smiles of everyone present.
When the band took a break, the DJ’s kept the room moving and grooving. Whether the band or the DJ was working the room, the dancers were there dancing the way they felt the music. It was amazing to see a room full of dancers strutting their stuff as the music filled them with energy. Depending where you looked, there might be a jam circle with a couple dancing the tango followed by Lindy Hoppers throwing air. Or a salsa dancer working the shines, followed by a tap dancer accenting the beats. There were no rules at THE FLOOR, except to dance!
In the words of Jennifer Lopez:
"If you go hard, you gotta get on the floor...
If you're a party freak ,then step on the floor...
If you're an animal, then tear up the floor...
Break a sweat on the floor...
Yeah we work on the floor !
Carolina Cerisola and Sascha Escandon brought an idea to Los Angeles which was incubated, nourished and flourished over the past 10 years. I am forever thankful to have crossed paths with both of you and this beautiful experiment. I am forever grateful for every person I met at THE FLOOR and the many friends I have danced with there. I wish you both the best, and if there’s an anniversary or special event for THE FLOOR, I’ll be there with my dance shoes ready to dance, dance, dance!
If you want to experience THE FLOOR for the last time, it will be held at: Los Globos, 3040 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90026 on Monday, January 21, 2019 from 9 PM – 2 AM. Here’s the Facebook Event Link. I hope to see you there!