A Bat Mitzvah Dance Party

First timer DJ Stardust took us WAY back in time to her Bat Mitzvah, 13 years to the day of our dance party Sunday. Stardust noted that she was too nervous to have dancing at her party 13 years ago and wanted the opportunity to make her dream Mitzvah-Mix. She knocked it out of the park! Thanks DJ Stardust! We hope you DJ again soon.

 

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Sweet Sixteen

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To make it through the frigid spring months of Chicago (seriously, what’s HAPPENING?), DDPP ran our own Music Madness. The brackets were painstakingly put together by Den Mother DJ Hotdish, who freely admits that this first round was highly influenced by her own DDPP dance taste. It’s a mix of all time favorites and one-hit wonders, but the main feature of the selections was the premise, “Does this artist have a song that has made the women of DDPP freak out on the floor?” This is how I ended up including Bonnie Tyler but not Cardi B. And how I accidentally ended up with Ed Sheeran on this mix (I thought he sang that “Shut Up and Dance with Me” song. I need to do more research next year).

I’d also like to apologize to some fabulous artists that I COMPLETELY forget. Sia and M.I.A., I am SO SO sorry. Dua Lipa, maybe next year.

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When we got down to the sweet sixteen, it was agreed that a playlist should be made. I took the task on with some trepidation. I figured that finding a variance of pace would be easy, but how to play with genre and diversity of sound? How to make a playlist of the greats without including LIZZO? All of these artists have MANY hits? How to build a playlist that would let people breathe, but also scream sing?

I figured that the easiest thing to do would fist pick out my non-negotiable songs. The pace and vibe of my non-negotiable choices would help me figure out what the pace of the other songs needed to be. Here were my first picks: Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae, All Night by Chance the Rapper, Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore, We Found Love by Rihanna, Blow by Kesha, and Perm by Bruno Mars. It felt like starting with two of the final four was the right move – so I let Missy open it up HARD, let Chance keep that vibe flowing, and then let Macklemore push us up a notch. The first three songs of this mix may be my favorite that I’ve ever put together.

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I’m also particularly proud of Make me Feel into The Way You Make Me Feel. Those songs are a perfect compliment to one another. I also knew that I wanted to put two “jumpers” together, which is how Blow & We Found Love ended up being together in the mix. This meant that a lot of the work I was doing was going through the rest of the picks and attempting to find things that either let us go mid-tempo, or let us change up our dance moves. That made Express Yourself, Million Dollar Bill, and Modern Love really easy picks. I went back and forth on the Beyonce song MANY times (should she let us breathe or do I just go with my all-time favorite COUNTDOWN? Y’all know what happened).

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this mix. The best part about this was how many different versions I made with equally amazing songs by the same artists. These 16 are truly golden – although, if I had to open it up a bit, I would toss in some Robyn, Lizzo, and Carly Rae. Y’all know they have my heart.

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I ended the mix by cheering on the final two, Beyonce and Prince. I don’t think anyone was surprised that these two made it all the way – we’re already putting our heads together in the DDPP headquarters to revamp the way we build brackets for Music Madness #2 (coming to ya in 2019). BUT – based on the success of the party, I suspect we’ll be doing more DDPP participation style mixes this summer! Let us know if you have any ideas for how we set up our next mix!

DJ Khaleesi Right On the Money

 

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Before class DJ Khaleesi told us that when she looked at the songs she selected for tonight (Wed, 3/28), she realized a lot of the songs were about dumping boys and makin’ money. And those jam$ gave us more bang for our buck! Blasting beats, big 80s synths, Beck, Beyoncé, even some Bowie — we’re talking beaucoup de beats.

Talk about a party that makes you feel like a million bucks!

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Sweating on that floor, DJ Khaleesi gave us a run for our money! But it was worth every cent.

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After working out that hard, we were all CASHED and went home with a endorphin-fueled high!

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Enjoy shaking your assets to this playlist!

 

 

 

DJ Needle Sewed Up Her DDPP Debut!

In many ways, dancing to a brand new DJ’s playlist is like going on a great first date.

Your anxiety that things might get weird is WAY overshadowed by your feeling that things are going to go awesome.

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You find yourself learning about yourself through your visceral reactions to a new, intense energy in your life.

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And once you find the thing you undeniably have in common (THE DANCE), it’s nearly impossible to stop the momentum…of true love.

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DJ Needle made her debut at DDPP on Sunday, and we felt all the feels. She offered up an incredible playlist in honor of her badass bestie, DJ Murder Kitten (who created a playlist for Needle earlier this year!) We are huge fans of friendship, especially when we benefit from such friendships by getting…not one…but TWO dope playlists out of it.

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Long live this friendship, and the butterflies we get listening to these ladies spin!

 

DJ Bell Biv deHo Greets Spring With Sunshine Beats!

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Hi DDPP Blog Readers! DJ (and former Den Mama) Bell Biv deHo here, ready to wax poetic on the third best of all the seasons: Spring!

Ah, la Primavera! From the opening lines of “The Rite of Spring” to all the Bed Bath & Beyond coupons for cleaning supplies, the coming of Spring is a celebration! Spring says “Throw open those windows! Retire your wool sweaters! Beat the shizzle out of those musty rugs!”—both literally and figuratively. In a sense, DDPP says the same thing. DDPP is unfailing in its encouragement to bust out of a rut and into a groove, to cut footloose, to channel that canned heat in your heels. DDPP wants ladies everywhere to Get. It.

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Also, the prep and work that goes into crafting a DDPP playlist is a lot like beating said musty rug. (Stay with me here.)

First, you have to get the idea and stick to it, really keep that promise to tackle the job. “It’ll be fun!” you tell yourself, and Yourself doesn’t lie. You sign up to DJ and the good times begin.

Next, time to craft the best 60 minutes of song. I like a good theme, but there are no rules, rhyme, or reason to playlist sculpting. To continue my rickety metaphor: When the rug of musical options is hanging heavily before you, it’s best to get out the stick of free-association and start a-whacking!

(Hmmm….this metaphor got weird fast, didn’t it?)

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Point is, once a DJ starts down the delicious, delightful rabbit hole of music selection for a DDPP playlist, all the dust mites and spider webs and hair dolls fall from the um… “rug of songs”. What’s left is a solid 60 minutes of Grade-A sunshine-stamped, pure energy. That feeling is transported via speakers and disco lights straight into the dancey feet and happy heads of DDPPers. It’s a celebration, much like Spring. (See? It makes sense!)

In fact, I was so in the rabbit hole that I accidentally forgot to beat out a last-minute contender, so this particular playlist has a bonus endorphin-pumping Spring swinger. Consider it my gift to you. Happy Vernal Equinox!

Yours in dance-

DJ Bell Biv deHo

Joy, brought! with DJ Murder Kitten on 3/18

Murder Kitten, Murder Kitten! When she’s at the wheel, we all benefit! Her thoughtful mixes soothe both our dance floor flail requirements and our psyches, and keep us fulfilled, while also wanting more!  The theme of this mix was ‘songs that bring joy’. The idea is simple and organic, and will always be unique. Thankfully, she knows what also will bring us all joy, as we danced to an unexpected and delightful sampling. We are lucky our DDPP DJs like to call the shots, and DJ Murder Kitten surely kills it!

 

 

Honoring a Den Mama’s Mama with DJ Hotdish

There are many lessons that we can learn: some from the mistakes and triumphs in our own lives, and so many more from those we love and lose along the way.

Each year, Den Mama DJ Hotdish compiles a new list of incredible songs to honor her Mama. Her brave ability to share her story, both the pain and the joy, through this annual collection is a task that is never taken lightly and is always massively appreciated by her DDPP sisters.

Being able to find light in times of darkness is one of the primary reasons that Dance Dance Party Party is so important to us all. It gives us a safe space to physicalize our elation and our happiness, as well as our sorrow and anger, alongside people who we trust (regardless of the fact that we’re often strangers when we walk into the studio.)

In no universe will we try to explain what this playlist means for Hotdish, or what it should mean to you, but we hope that you enjoy it. We also hope that you continue coming back to our studio with an open heart, and know that you are amongst family and that you are respected and loved.

Good Advice: A Very Disco Biscuit B- Day

Hi there, DJ Disco Biscuit here!

This year I turned 31 (thirty WONDERFUL…I’ve been told), and with my clumsy nature and my frequent disregard for my own personal health, I decided that it was time to make a playlist that celebrates:

a) the fact that I managed to make it into my third decade of life in one piece.

b) the advice and encouragement I’ve discovered in the songs I love to dance to.

From the tunes of my little-hood (Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, anyone?)…

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…to my big-hood (what’s UP, new Janelle Monae jam?)…

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…from the expected (disco classics and Franz Ferdinand)…

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…to the off-kilter (who doesn’t want to slam-dance to Shirley Bassey’s cover a song from the musical Funny Girl?)…

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…this playlist is chock full of songs that have kept me moving forward in a world that so often seems like it wants to hold me back. I hope that, if you’re ever feeling stuck, you can find similar inspiration in these tracks…or you have a playlist of your own that gives you the freedom, solace, and encouragement that this one gives me.

Love is In the Air: A Very Disco Biscuit V-Day!

Guess what? It’s Valentine’s Day and WE FORGOT TO MAKE A RESERVATION AT WHITE CASTLE! AGAIN!!!

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But it was no big deal, because DJ Disco Biscuit served up a Crave Case of lover-ly love songs to fill us up this Valentine’s Day!

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Romantic love, unrequited love, self-love, friend love and everything in between, THIS PLAYLIST had it all.

Share it with your loved ones! OR DON’T! NO JUDGEMENT!  

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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