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Bring Back The Slow Dance

January 26th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

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.

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  • EduFirst


  • Chanel

    Wait. Did you say readjust your tie?.. your wearing a tie in the club? lol

  • Danielle D

    Wow…I totally agree!!!!!!!!!!!!! If they would do a slow song set I probably would go out more…ok so I wouldn’t but it would be nicer if they did…they never do slow songs at the club, but I will say I went to a party on Delaware State University’s Campus in 2008 and the DJ decide to play a few slow tracks including my fave at the time (and my fave whenever it comes on) Falsetto by The-Dream, the only thing is all the students started to leave when this song came on which left me standing there with my cousin as the lights came back on just singing the song oppose to me grinding the hell outta some college boy’s crotch…let’s be real that song will make you want to do somethings…. But yeah the slow song of the night use to be magic…tell me you haven’t kissed someone during a slow song…OMG Homecoming 99? 2000? at Dover High School…me and best male friend from like the 5th grade kissed during some random slow jam…wow I don’t remember the song, but I remember the moment…geesh! And don’t say Nice and Slow cause that takes me back to the 8th grade me and my “boyfriend” dancing to that one…yikes…a coach who was a chaperone at the dance was like “You need to stop” LOL….Yeah once upon a time I was worst then a prude I was a tease 🙂 lol…I didn’t know what I was doing…I know all to well now LOL!!!!

  • CocoBee

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    Sometimes my man and I just randomly slow dance in restaurants or wherever else the right music is playing… at home, too. It’s the best feeling in the world to be held by somebody who loves you with Luther or Whitney singing all around you. 🙂

  • Ariana

    Awesome post, definitely forwarding.

  • Alisha

    Dude, I was just talking about this last night! VH1 played nothing but BIIM and Jodeci songs (“Love U For Life”) for hours. The slow dance died with LOVE SONGS. No one writes, rather no one plays love songs on the radio anymore. You have to listen to your own playlists or the “old folks station” to hear love songs. When R. Kelly released 12Play, things went downhill. He finally got that fans wanted to hear about sex just as much, if not more than love. Other artists caught on, and here we are.

    They don’t even play slow sets in the clubs anymore. If it is slow, it’s about sex. That means that you see twoo people damn near conceiving on the dance floor. I’m inclined to believe that the lack of structure and love in the home prevents artists from writing about love or even expressing the want and need for love. Maybe I’m getting too deep. Anyway, great post, as usual.

  • Lisa

    Yeah, those were the good ole days. You are right,those were nice but the bumping & grinding is nice sometimes too…LOL

  • *inquiring mind*

    I’m sorry but I’m not into slow grinding with a complete stranger in the club- a lil too intimate for da kid ya feel me? *shrugs*… Now if it’s someone I know, like knew them before I showed-up at the club, then maybe.

  • L Luv

    man, just did that like 2 months ago. Best feeling ever…yep, slow dancing is forever underrated. And the interesting thing about it now is that with so much bump and grind with folks on the dance floor now – it doesn’t even feel as sexual as it used to.

  • Tasha

    Amen! I mourn the death of the slow dance daily. There is nothing that puts me in the mood for the, ahem, “afterparty” more than slow grinding with my man to some old-school R&B.

  • Sam Sharpe


  • Whitney

    Makes me think about that scene in the “Wood” when he got excited slow dancing w/Alicia. LOL I love that scene. Young love can be so innocent. What ever happened to that?????? I miss the innocence of being young and what we thought was love. 🙂

  • Sunkissed404

    Ohhh snap son! You took it back. And I sooo agree with you on the fact that slow dancing definitely took a turn with the new wave of R&B artist. Frankie Beverly and Maze is my favorite “reunion song”.lol..

    But yeah, it seems like a great part of our generation is missing the elements of what influences “real love”…The kind of love that our grandparents and parents have for one another. People do not realize how much music influences people’s attitudes, and it sucks. For example, when Diddy and Usher “Needed a girl”, all of the sudden there was love in the air… But when 8ball MJG’s bend over let me see it became a hit, all the love went down the drain…LMAO

    I’m an “Oldie but Goodies” baby.

  • Princess0889

    The funny thing to me is this type of set is played predominately for an older crowd (30 and up) which makes since they were exposed to more of the slow jams. I (few of my girl) would definitely love to hear a slow set and I’m in my early 20. “I” second this motion to add a slow set.

  • 05girl

    sure, if you have someone special to slow dance with. But as a single person, if I’m in the club I don’t really want to slow dance with a stranger.

  • BoomShots

    The funniest things that use to happen in clubs back in the day is that you could bump and grind with a chick all night and not even know her name. But as soon as a slow song come on she would straighten up and stop dancing. Typically the excuse was “I just met you and I only slow dance with people I know.”

    That use to crack me up all the time, because up to then the only thing I had not done was insert.

  • me-me

    I agree with you. Every song is about threesomes, quickies, we can have sex, but you can’t tie me down, don’t get attached, and mindless interactions with the opposite sex.

    if someone sang about love and marriage, they’d get booed like they were at the Apollo.

    I haven’t “slow danced” since high school and i’m only 27.

  • Brittany

    I’m in college and I don’t go to the club for this simple fact. I don’t wanna have to worry about having to grind on someone all night with little to no break in between.

  • Christine

    This post brought back memories….the last slow dance I really enjoyed and remember to this day is back in grade 6…. a boy named Peter asked me to slow dance at the roller rink…I swear, I remember that dance above all others.

  • nic

    May I have a moment of silence for the slow dance?

    Loved this post. It brought back great memories.

  • sugarae215

    EXCELLENT post! Yeah I haven’t really slow-danced since my high school prom (which was almost 12 years ago)…minus the occassional wedding, etc. Most of the parties thrown for the older crowd (30+) USUALLY contain a slow set at the end of the night (which is why I like partying with the old heads…the atmosphere is much more mature and definitely about having a good time). This part was HILARIOUS:

    “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?”

    …and SOOOO true!

  • Radiance

    The slow dance needs to come back. I hear ya.

  • ebonifire

    i would dare to say my friend that you just haven’t come up on the right stranger. most men i meet in the club aren’t fine enough for me to allow a hand on my waist. but on the rare occasion that i do me that handsome, fit gem and the mood is set by a little slow music i could certainly spend the next 3 minutes pretending he is the “man in my life”. 🙂

  • TrueMan

    I remember slow dancing in high school and tiptoeing your hands from her waist to her thighs. If she let you grab her bootie, that meant she “like” liked you.

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  • Deen

    Can it be that it was all so simple then?

  • hopey

    Love it! It’s true, the slow dance portion of any event is gone. Weddings are the only event that slow dancing is mandatory. But my question is, if DJ’s were to put on slow songs at the club would people even dance to it? Especially with men today and their “ego’s”, I don’t think a lot of men would feel comfortable slow dancing in a club.

  • Ondrea

    Great post!!!

  • afro

    when the dj spins “cause i love you” by lenny williams, all the men suddenly appear on the dance floor!
    maybe it’s a southern thing-but all they do is that BS line dancing here! like the cupid shuffle & variations thereof. i hate that. i’m @ the club trying to drop it, not turn in circles with a whole bunch of women.

  • Cheekie

    Word! One DJ I know tends to transition slow songs during the “lights on” moment when the club is about to close. I think it’s a nice gradual thing and really puts you in the mood.

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  • Mimi

    I love to slow dance. I 1st did at my prob… which I was so sick due to my college vaccinations the day b4 that I slept thru the whole thing. At the end my date woke me up and said “u have to get one in”. Too bad my shoes were off… he was tall as hell (I couldnt reach)…. so i stood on his toes and we danced that that. It was cute… people stared. Awwww.

  • Chanee’

    I’ve been reading and catching up on your blog for the past couple of weeks and first I just have to say that I’ve fallen in love with it! Keep up the great work!

    It’s really funny that you bring this up because I swear I was just thinking about this the last time I went out. My friend is a DJ and I always give him crap for not doing any slow jams..he said that the club owners discourage it and not enough people slow dance to it. It’s really a shame 🙁

  • Dtwx

    I agree 150%.

    When I was in middle and high school, the DJ would play at least two or three slow songs at every dance. But while I went to almost 20 dances in college, only about half of them had slow songs, and in several cases, I had to make several requests to the DJ for that to happen. And even then, there were quite a few cases in which nobody danced to them.

    In a few other cases, the DJ tried to play a slow song but got shot down by the crowd for doing so. Lol.

  • O’shea

    This is very true most dj’s do play the same set the same way every night.
    It gets boring to know what the dj will play before they play it, a friend of mine by the name of Dj O’shea tends to keep the crowds of a party right and tight. He keeps the people into it even with the slow jams, if we notice it’s a differences between bump & grind and a true slow jam. I suggest you get him for next party (