The rapturous energy of New York has a rebirth at night: repackaged in a different form, it waves through the city’s infamous nightlife scene. In our New York series, we shed light on the unique subcultures that emerge after dark. Linking up with adidas Originals to celebrate their new ‘Home of the Classics’ pack, we uncover the stories of some of New York’s young visionaries as they wear their Classics out to play. In our second feature in the city, we joined artist and DJ on-the-rise, Quiana Parks, at one of her favourite community hangouts - Dance Dance Dance at Le Bain.
“My NYC is a place where diversity, art and culture thrives. You can be who you wanna be and you’ll be alright”
From the queer clubs surfacing in 70s Manhattan that epitomised subversivity, to the Brooklyn basements of the here-and-now where titans of the underground techno and electro scenes revel, clubs and dance music have long been integral to the freewheeling nature of NYC. Dance Dance Dance is one party that aims to keep the spirit of New York alive at night, but with new rules for the modern party contingent. As Quiana tells us, the creatives that party here comprise a tight-knit community that values allegiance to classic venues, while still embodying a carefree attitude.
Residents at Le Bain, on the 18th floor of the New York Standard High Line Hotel in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, Dance Dance Dance packs out the rooftop bar every Wednesday - with the proviso that if you’re coming in, you have to dance. In this sense, Le Bain operates as a revival of the parties of the past.
Quiana names DJ Eli Escobar as one of her top two DJs in the city. Eli is a house selector through-and-through, but for Dance Dance Dance he favours a multi-genre melting pot including hip-hop, reggae, ballroom and soca to keeps things lively.
Harking back to the heydey of disco in the 60s/70s, Dance Dance Dance - drawing from Chic’s anthem of the same name - works hard to maintain the “power of clubbing on weeknights for the true heads”. Going against the grain of many other local parties who consistently draw from the global pool of heavyweight names week-on-week, Dance Dance Dance favours the approach of housing the same community of guests, ensuring the focus is always on the party, not the performance. Quaina says the family-feel of the night is what keeps her and her friends coming back. “I’ve been coming for five years” she tells us “it’s always an amazing experience” DJ Eli agrees, fundamentally believing that a club experience should centre around movement and utilising the space to its full potential, he is adamant there is no space for posers at Dance Dance Dance.
The Manhattan location is significant to the ethos of Dance Dance Dance. Eli and the team ensure us that this night resists notions of exclusivity: accessibility is the key to ensuring everyone is welcome within this space.
As Quiana reminds us, “New York literally invented nightlife”, and events like Dance Dance Dance continually push to maintain a scene that provides a lively escape from everyday life, while always prizing inclusivity at its core. For Quiana, Le Bain is a space where creatives are free to just “come and let go”. “When I come here I get to explore and come outside of my box… whether I’m DJing or on the dancefloor, this night is an inspiration”.
The ability to continually broaden your creative horizons is a distinctly New Yorker sensibility. Quiana always feels inspired to keep moving, as New York “is always evolving, it’s always becoming something new”. Dance Dance Dance, for her, is a place that is both comforting while still encouraging guests to expand their imaginaries. This outlook, says Eli, helps continually expand the New York scene, and harks back to its glory days of the late twentieth-century. Ultimately, this event is all about creating a home away from home, a space where classic soulful house tunes and friendly faces are guaranteed.