‘You Should Be Dancing’ – Everybody NOW! Review by Bec Johnston
Emanating from the vast walls of the Northcote Town Hall is the familiar and comforting thrum of disco tunes – a provocative invitation into what Gold Coast based collective ‘Everybody NOW!’ describes as “a non-stop exhilarating party through decades of dance”. This is ‘You Should Be Dancing’, a participatory dance experience that is nothing less than a Zumba class on steroids.
As a self-described enthusiastic non-dancer, I am filled with both excitement and trepidation at the prospect of 90 minutes of continuous dance fun. While my dance escapades are typically contained within my kitchen, I let go of these groove-related hang ups for the evening. Happily, this turned out to be a fantastic decision.
We are welcomed by the gorgeous Bec Reid, who wants to teach us a short routine to get us warmed up. The moves are simple but engaging – giving everyone the chance to get into the mood. The room is full of all kinds of people, all sharing in the joy of dance, even if a few of us are cursed with two left feet.
As the night went on, it became clear that this event was about much more than a bit of catchy group exercise. Invited along to showcase their various styles were members of dance schools from all over Melbourne – styles like Jamaican Dancehall, traditional Samoan dance, Bollywood, colonial, Latin and vogueing. Along with some truly delightful displays, we were also invited to learn a few choice dance moves from each style. This was a brilliant example of cultural sharing, allowing the average theatregoer to go on a whirlwind tour of dance styles they may have otherwise never been exposed to.
All of the performers oozed energy and enthusiasm, seemingly genuinely thrilled to be sharing their unique and varied skills and passion with the audience. Accompanied by charismatic MCing and DJing from the hosts, the program was dynamic and well-paced, leaving you just out of breath enough to cheer for more. The town hall served as a great venue, transformed into a shining dance floor for the evening with plenty of room to either boogie or sit when it all got too much.
Everybody NOW! showcases their wealth of experience in putting on these participatory dance parties, ensuring that all involved felt comfortable and keen to join in. The inclusion of the various dance schools gave the evening a wonderful sense of community, with the opportunity for audience members to go along to any of the classes and try for themselves.
If you are up for a night of sweating it out in your finest weekend-wear, as well as seeing some amazing moves you’ve likely never even heard of, ‘You Should Be Dancing’ is an event not to be missed.
Stage management: 4/5