Bring Back The Slow Dance
Men, when’s the last time you slow danced with a woman?
I’m trying to remember myself. Maybe it was at my friend’s New Year’s wedding. But before then, I have no recollection of the last time I took a woman’s right hand, put it in mine; took my left arm, wrapped it around her waist, and together, we shuffled our feet in a slow clockwise circle.
The first time I slow danced was in 6th grade, and it was definitely a big deal. I had no idea what I was doing, and the entire Boyz II Men song the girl and I danced to sounded like mush to my ears. All I cared about was not stepping on the girls feet, and to prevent such a catastrophe, I put both my hands around her waist, and kept her arms length away from me. The way I danced with her it was as though she had cooties.
In high school, the slow dancing routine took a complete 180 turn, literally and figuratively. I was dancing less and less to songs like Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” and Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love”. The music stayed slow, but the entire feel of it changed. Now I was dancing to “Feenin'” by Jodeci, “Nice and Slow” by Usher and damn near anything by R. Kelly, who I single-handedly blame for the rise of teenage pregnancy during the mid-90’s, but I digress. The fact is, when R&B became more about sex and less about love, my entire slow dance routine changed. I wasn’t just holding a waist or a hand, I was holding necks and buttocks. And, in some cases, I didn’t even have to face the girl with whom I was slow dancing.
Thanks R. Kelly.
Now, I’m a full grown adult, and the places where dancing is encouraged no longer play even the Jodeci songs (at least not the real slow ones, “Come and Talk To Me” still gets played) and I wish they would. All I want to do is go to a spot where the DJ quiets everything down for 15 minutes and gives me the chance to slow wind with a girl to Ginuwine’s “So Anxious”. Is it really that difficult?
Someone needs to break down for me why there is no slow dancing in the club. I could see an argument being made for polarization, how a slow dance set would discourage a great amount of people from dancing because most clubs are designed to have an accelerated good time, but even portions of those sets leave people on the wall. A case can also be made for the two-step set, when the DJ plays about five songs to encourage men and women to dance like civilized adults. Songs like Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let You Go” and R. Kelly’s “Step In The Name of Love” are perfect examples of such a set and are now club standards. But can we go just a little bit slower? For maybe two or three songs?
Nothing will separate the men from the boys better than a slow dance set. Some might call it a soft move, but really, there’s no better soundtrack to macking than some slow songs. The slow dance set at the club is a perfect time for people to make a real connection with whoever they’ve been dancing with most of the night. The DJ can lower the volume slightly and give men the opportunity to learn how to pronunce a girl’s name without straining to hear her. It’s not to say I need one, but as I try to close deal with the girl I’ve been grinding on all night, a couple of slow songs might bode well for me. And, if I don’t have anyone to dance or mack with, the slow dance set gives me a chance to go order something at the bar or take a breather and readjust my tie.
Most of all, a slow dance set is a perfect way to end the night or quell whatever friction may be caused by too many back-to-back songs about beating people up at the club. After all, what kind of jerk would get into a fight while Tony Toni Tone’s “Anniversary” blasted through the speakers?
I find it ironic so many DJs play the exact same set in an adult club as a DJ plays at a high school dance.Then we get mad when people act like children at the club. Well, if they play the soundtrack of juveniles at the club, guess what? People are going to act like juveniles.
To all my DJs out there or to anyone who knows a DJ, please, forward this post to them and ask them to consider a slow dance set the next time they’re spinning the 1’s and 2’s. Every once in a while, I want a girl’s body all over my body. Slowly.