'Soulgasm' welcomes NYC legends
“You found the perfect bird perch, haven’t you?”
The stranger in a fedora noticed me sitting on one of the barstools in the Safehouse that faces the dance floor in The Republik on Saturday, Sept. 21.
I always thought those barstools were rather awkwardly placed when the large curtain separating the two venues was closed. Who sits and just stares at the dance floor?
Me, I guess.
I was by myself taking in the music and aimlessly glancing around the room at everyone there. I was once again impressed by the crowd Foundation brings to their events.
It’s not just a room full of people; the vibe is definitely more positive. Everyone loves to dance, and not just that weird, drunken mating ritual you see in mainstream music clubs. These people are totally feeling the music. It’s a heightened sense of reacting I am still not able to fully figure out, but still love to witness. Dancing is definitely something I want to be better at. My movements always feel so forced and awkward.
Lyanne Brooks, a regular in the house scene and longtime dance instructor, stood against a wall, also taking it all in. She had a brighter than usual look about her, which is saying a lot – for someone so small, this girl is a massive ball of positive energy.
I went over to say hello and learned she's bringing back some of the Elite Force crew for her next “Soulgasm” party on Saturday, Oct. 5. No wonder she was smiling so big; both Bobby Mileage and Brooklyn Terry are legends in the world of hip-hop dance. When you talk about choreography and include people like Michael Jackson on your resume, that’s all people really need to hear. Years of touring and a natural progression into the lifestyle realm with a successful clothing and shoe brand have shaped these guys into the icons they are today.
They will be back for “Soulgasm” to host an open format dance cypher, hand-picking the finalists for a dance-off. Everyone has an opportunity to jump in, with the winner scoring a pair of Bobby Mileage’s Elite Force high-top sneakers. Plus, everyone who participates will be evaluated for an opportunity to be sponsored by Bobby Mileage clothing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up (18+ only).
“Soulgasm” has been in Hawaii since 2007, started by Brooks and house dance pioneer Ejoe Wilson from New York after Brooks threw a party called "Soul Much Love." Wilson, a founder of the original “Soulgasm” party in NYC, was there and encouraged Brooks to start her own version of “Soulgasm” in Hawaii.
Since then, the party has thrived at venues all over Chinatown, including the now-closed Indigo and SoHo Mixed Media Bar, The Loft, NextDoor and thirtyninehotel for the past three years.
Together with resident DJs Min One, Yuji, HughB, and Matt Kee, Brooks is a key player in the scene, working hard to seek out other like-minded house music and dance enthusiasts and warmly welcome them to “Soulgasm.”
A room full of fun is what it sounds like to me. I’m definitely planning on finding a perch for this. “Soulgasm” has been around for six years and there is a reason the underground dance culture thrives here. These people love to dance, love the music and love each other.
We could all learn something from that.
Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular "Bacardi Pool Party" on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.