Journey to Madame Jojos

A sleepless night before the battle begins. It is the topic of town. The dance battle House Dance UK  in the club Madame Jojos, near Piccadilly Circus station. The place to be, as a dancer in the underground scene. The dance itself is an element of urban dance from the hip hop culture. Invented by the gay community of Chicago in the 1980s. This social dance is a combination of complex foot oriented steps with fluid movements of the upper body to give the dance a flow. All dance battles are marketed with flyers around the City. All my thoughts occur about that night.

10 pm. It´s time to leave. I grab the Oyster card and go. Getting on the tube, realizing again how it is packed. No time to be upset. Lost in thoughts for quite a while, I note down scribbles, which I take out from magazines, newspapers, everything readable around me. Tabloids are standard like Metro, Evening Standard. But on lucky days, a forgotten serious newspaper can be found and straight on read by me.

I get attention through funny moments that occur on the tube. Capturing such kind of incidents with my second best half – my iPhone. Travelling around the city as it is is always a great experience. These moments make you realize how adventurous, a commute around London can be.

Getting off the tube and walking through Soho, the heart of London, a place favoured by gays and lesbians. I enter the club. Urban life meets urban dance. I experience the transformation of human experience. Diversity in the club. The same as on the tube and central London. The center of metropolitan life style. The genre of music played in the club is a mixture of house, funk and hip hop. All dancers are trying hard to be different. Serious fashion statements are made here.

My turn to enter the competiton is soon. Heart beats. It´s time to stretch and warm up. Almost done and I hear my name to enter the battle. Get set ready and go. I dance with all my passion and feel so good. The beat, the crowd, the full package. 30seconds up. I danced my part. I did not win. You win one day and lose the other. It’s the nature of the game but the real winners are the people who can take the positive aspects and learn from them. The experience was worth it.Image

House Dance

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As you can see in this video, me and my friend are dancing to house music.

House Dance is a social dance primarily danced to house music. Dancing house is improvisational in nature, and started with New York and Chicago´s community based dancers back in the post disco era in the US. Dancers, who were orginally not looking to create. ended up becoming an influencial part of the dance vocabulary used internationally today.

Fast and complex foot – oriented steps, combined with fluid upper body movements, as well as floor works, are the main elements of house dance. In the vocabulary of dancers, the elements are referred to, as “Footwork” – “Jacking” – “Lofting”.

The source of house music derives from Jazz, African, Latin, Soul, R&B, Funk and Hip Hop. The other source is the individual bringing his or her characteristic, ethnicity and origin to the dance.

The main feature, that distinguishes house dance from dancing done to electronic music nowadays, is an emphasis of subtle rhythms and riffs.

Although, it could boldly be said that House Dance, actually orginates from the Caribbean island – Guadeloupe.

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Yes, I said it. This is my opinion. Well it is true, that the Americans dancing to house back in the days, were of course living in America and did not either really know what they were dancing – but they went down in the clubs, taking by surprise of what the music was doing to them in the clubs in that era.

Rural Guadeloupeans used to dance to gwo ka (french creole for drums) in communal experiences. Their music was created with drums and is a major part of Guadeloupean folk music up to today. So, dancing to gwo ka, was a form of the Guadeloupeans telling their folk stories and their dance definitely shows all elements that were created unconsciously by dancers in America´s post disco era.

A discussion about its proper origin could go on forever. However, I am not aiming to do so and would like to leave it up to each and everyone to do their research and compare or rather explore for yourself. All that counts at the end of the day, is how it makes you feel and I can say: It makes me feel good. I love house music and its dance!

Plenty of the American dancers that were key in the progression of this social dance, are still doing great things by contributing, teaching and inspiring dancers in all art forms around the world.

By interest, you can look up couple of names that were big in this movement, that has poisoned us with love and affection for house music and its dance.

You can start with dancers as Ejoe Wilson, Brian Green, Marjory Smarth, Caleaf Sealers, Terry Wright and Shannon Mabra. This is JUST the beginning of more to find on further information about this great art form.