Michelle Is My Belle (as well as my homegirl)

I googled “Chelles Belles” just to see what might pop up. Here is the answer:

Google scares me with its accuracy sometimes. Because I’m about to introduce you to the can of whoop-ass that DJ Chelles Belles opened all over us last Wednesday night.

Now when I blog about playlists, I try to make it about the music. Oh, and don’t worry, it WILL be about the music. It IS about the music! But allow me to editorialize for a moment on the restorative powers of DDPP. I’m a teacher. It was the 2nd day of school. The longest 2nd day of school in the history of education. And the last thing I wanted to do was move my body anywhere but onto the couch. But my den mother duties were calling, and I answered. And LET ME TELL YOU: I have never been happier that I answered that call.

DJ Chelles Belles brought me back to life with her playlist. It gave me the energy to jump up, down, and all around for preeeeety much the entire hour. Behold, a dramatic re-enactment of me during this playlist.

Yeahhhhhh, let that soothing whistle just wash right over you.

And the songs- oh, the songs! (Here’s where it goes back to being about the music.) Feast your eyes:

Get up offa that thing? Don’t mind if I do. Why? Because my life would suck without DDPP. Don’t bring me down, school. And you’re right, sometimes, I DO just wanna bang on the drum all day! In fact, why don’t I just bang on the studio’s trash can with DJ U.N.I.T.Y.?

At this point, you’re probably thinking to yourself “How DOES she do it?” And here to answer your (actually, my…and hopefully yours too) questions is DJ Chelles Belles herself!

Do you remember the first time you came to DDPP? And were you hooked from the beginning? 

“I actually knew about DDPP since it first started, but I never had enough balls to go by myself. So when I moved in to the city and started working out regularly, I forced myself to go for the sake of my thunder thighs. I also wanted to finally meet people outside of a spin class since I really didn’t have many friends in the city. The first time was scary, exciting, and hilarious. I’m a pretty shy girl, very wallflower-esque, but once the first two or three songs were passed and I saw all of the other girls rocking air guitars and pulling out full on running mans, I let it all out on the dance floor. When the hour was done and I was sprawled out on the dance floor, I honestly felt like it was some great spiritual awakening. Hooked doesn’t even begin to describe it! I go at least twice a month and have filled up 3 or 4 punch cards.”
What’s the greatest song you’ve ever danced to at DDPP? (It’s totally ok if it was on one of your own playlists…) 🙂 
“I get beyond excited for Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over.” Just recently, the entire group ran in a conga line circles every time the chorus got to the: “Run fast for your mother…” section. But my all-time, hands down favorite is “Jump in the Line” by Harry Belafonte. I’m so hooked to that song that I have it on my running playlist. It’ll be 5am and I’ll be sweating on the Lake Front Path, but as soon as the song comes on, my hips groove and I get in a weird DDPP induced zone.”
Who’s your favorite artist to include on a playlist?
“Well, I try not to do doubles, BUT I may have included Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s “Come on Eileen” on at least 3 of my playlists. Also, Moby. I have a strange and undying love for Moby. Like, it’s actually an ongoing argument on which Moby song I will put on the playlist.”
What’s the process like when you’re making a playlist? Anything that especially inspires you? 
“I start early. As soon as I’ve got a date, I go through my old playlists so I have an idea of what I have played already. I dont like to do repeats unless I’m really in the mood for a certain song or artist. And then it’s a mix of shuffling my ipod and searching for songs I dont have but am willing to buy for the sake of DDPP. My boyfriend also provides a good amount of input, but mainly he sits there and judges me when I propose “Walk Like an Egyptian” and try to explain how perfect it is! I listen to mainly indie pop/electronic, so I listen to top 40 or read the charts to see what’s popular now that I might enjoy, and I try to add some oldies too. I want everyone to have at least one or two songs on my list that they love. Oh, and I love themes. My birthday mix has been my favorite. I started at 1987 and represented every other year up until 2011. I think my next DDPP playlist will be famous cover songs, so be on the look out for that (Sunday, October 9th!).”
Nice plug, Chelles Belles! You’re a true professional. And really, what else is there to say after that? Except for this, of of course…

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