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Shut Up And Dance: No Talking On The Dancefloor

Ryan Lofus waxes poetic on the sound of silence.
 

Question: Should I be talking on the dancefloor? Answer: No


Picture the scene: It’s just struck 1:00am, the sound system's been rammed up to full throttle, you’ve assumed an enviable position front left (always front left) and the headline act is just about to grace the decks. Perfection. But wait, what’s this? 

A lost straggler who’s somehow infiltrated your opulent oasis of sight and sound. Eyes taking a temporary break from surveying the back of their skull, they give you the nod, then - dear God no - they lean in, a scantly coherent sentence forming on their lips.

You humour them at first, leaning in tentatively to feel the biting clutches of their haggard breath. After the second time you give up, they persist, it becomes uncomfortable.

At this point I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that your sweaty sidekick can only ever be attempting the same cut and paste conversation as every other lost lamb. The bad news is that said conversation is about as pointless and asinine as Paris Hilton's DJ career.

Lets take a minute to run through how it's gonna go down and add in a bit of analysis, shall we?


Lost Lamb: “I LOVE THIS TUNE!”

You: “YEAH SO DO I!”

Analysis: So it’s become apparent that you and your local confidant are very much into the same music. Hopefully that’s all the talking for now.


(3 minutes later)

Lost Lamb: “HOW’S YOUR NIGHT BEEN?”

You: “YEAH IT’S BEEN DECENT SO FAR, YOU ENJOYING IT?”

Lost Lamb: “YEAH MAN I LOVE THIS CLUB, LOVE COMING OUT AND PARTYING WITH MY MATES!”

Analysis: Ooo. Now things are starting to get a little chewy. It’s on its way, and we all know where this is going.


(Almost instantly)

Lost lamb: “WHAT’S YOUR NAME?”

You: “SORRY?”

Lost Lamb: “I SAID, WHAT’S YOUR NAME?”

Analysis: We’ve reached it. Bingo. Nothing is going to stop this reveller from getting to the bottom of everything, you, the night, tomorrows breakfast, will he be able to make the family dinner tomorrow on no sleep? These questions are what some people would call, ‘for the birds’. Tripe. Garbage. Under any other circumstances you may well be inclined to answer some of them, vaguely. But factor in the fact that you've waited all week to loose yourself in music and there’s absolutely no chance that this is going any further.


And why should it have to? 


You're not being mean, you're not being rude, or selfish. This is a fact of the dance, of life even. The straining feeling you get in your head when trying to talk over the music is enough to make some peoples stomach churn. Rightly so as well, we shouldn’t be fighting silence it for the sake of social awkwardness, we should be embracing it and leaving our fellow compatriots to dance.


Case in point highlighted predominantly through the most recent New Year’s Eve. Whilst rejoicing in the warm embrace of some industrial Techno I was approached by a chap who continued to quiz me about how my year was. Industrial can be unforgiving at the best of times, but considering we were placed aptly in front of one of the stacks, this was a real ball-buster. With nowhere to escape there was only a glimmer of hope in relocation, which by all accounts is fairly rude. But what is there to talk about in front of a 5k wall of sound?


Lost Lamb: “HOW’S IT GOING MATE?”

Me: “SORRY!?”

Lost Lamb: “I SAID HOW’S IT GOING MATE?”

Me: “I CAN’T HEAR YOU”

Lost Lamb: “I SAID-“


Now let’s all just take a moment to think – what on earth should we really be talking about here, now, in front of the speaker, battered.


Traditionally, the club – particularly the speaker seats – offers a sanctuary of sound for people far and wide. The DJ provides the music and we enjoy it with little interference. Which is why it bothers me so much when certain people out there try to compromise that beautiful time of the week we hold so dear.


Going into 2016 it's important to be wary that this will be happening all around us and we must be prepared for such for the eventualities. So, when next you find yourself on a dancefloor:


1. Assess the situation if you’re going into a crowded place

2. Look out for the culprits, they’re normally chewing somebody’s ear off

3. Distance yourself from any danger

4. If they do approach you, close your eyes, your lost in music, and it feels goooood.

5. Enjoy.


Hopefully, if we follow the steps outlined above, we can make silence the sound of 2016 and partially alleviate this dance floor disease.



More Clubbing Etiquette:

The Politics Of Dancing: Our Dancefloor Manifesto

DJ Booth Etiquette

Guide To Clubbing As A Fresher



Words: Ryan Loftus


08 Jan 2016