Electronic Music Dance Culture

The DMV has it Goin' On!

Op-Ed of a Recent Transplant

Posted by Code Red on July 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

[cover photo: B.A.D.A.S.S. Raves, Psychedelic Dreamscape 2]

I could easily start this op-ed with some undercutting, my scene is better than your scene, comment or observation. However, I am not writing this to try and tell you the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) is better than any other location. What I want to tell you about is my take on why I think the DMV in so many ways, well, just has it goin’ on.

I lived in Philadelphia for the last 10 years, only recently moving to the Baltimore area in February of 2012. I am no stranger to the area though. Working with Dark Matter Squad, I’ve put some considerable mileage in traveling back and forth from Philly to Bmore, and many shared bottles of Jameson, to work with and help develop our crew.

I love Philadelphia. I’m just going to start by putting it out there. I will always root for the Phillies over the Orioles. Though I have begun to prefer the color purple to green. Call me a lover of dogs rather than bad names my 215 brethren!

But when it comes to the underground dance scene, both in the hip-hop, funk and house arenas and the electronic dance music circuits, there is just something culturally cohesive happening here.

In the 10 years living in Philly, I have witnessed the EDM scene change dramatically. From fly by the seat of the pants, grimy jump off raves, to residencies at the best weekly breaks party in Philly (thanks Imri and Reflective crew!), to long-standing credentialed house music events (ahem, the Shakedown), Philly has transformed in a way that now nurtures a cultured, more musically driven audience. Don’t get me wrong, Philly knows how to get down. At many of the parties, events, what have you, everyone is dancing. And it’s what I love to see.

But the last few years I lived in Philly was tough. No one did Liquid. No one did Digitz. One by one, my dance partners slowly drifted off to the call of life. Technical dancing. That’s what I was missing.

Then, through my crew mate and twisted, maniacally loony cohort, Relic, I discovered Baltimore. As I began venturing down into the area (almost every other week for a year and half before I actually commandeered a bedroom in his house) I recognized a new energy and spirit. Something about EDM dancing that once was once so prevalent in Philly, had re-emerged in Baltimore.

Parties were killing it with over the top themes, collaborative promoters and production companies, and dancers. Lots and lots of dancers. My friends of the DMV, this was what made me quit my job, pack up my shit, and take a giant leap of faith. You all. The chance to be with the dancers, promoters and artists of the DMV; to learn, to teach, to grow. I almost forgot what that was like. The saying of, you don’t know what you truly have till its gone is very fitting here.

I could not believe not only how many people were actively participating in EDM dances. But also the amount of people, and the combined strength of those participating in the urban dance scenes as well. Collectively, the strength in numbers and area pride is amazing.

You all have been here way longer than I. And I know for a fact, you all have a greater understanding of the scenes down here. But let me just say, even in the case of tension and competition, every group down here is making noise. You're beasts! Be it as dancers, as promoters, artists, etc. You all make the DMV a force to be reckoned with.

As an outsider looking in, the DMV has it goin’ on. And I can't be more happier and proud to have become a part of it.


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