“The day you cry in a club… that’s when you know you’re in tune with the music and the dance,” attests Steven Garcia, organizer of “the House Dance Exchange” at Central Square’s Dance Complex, recalling a particularly memorable dancing experience.
Steven explains that house dancing is unique in the sense that it can’t be quickly categorized. Interdisciplinary in its nature, house dancing incorporates many different dances from many cultures. Hence, it naturally brings people from diverse backgrounds together. “This dance is a collective of different peoples, backgrounds and races. Whatever you know how to do, you can mix it in,” he says. “You can mix salsa, African, hip hop – anything you want – into this dance. It’s a very free dance. No one is really telling you what to do. There are no limitations. What ever your social dance background is, you incorporate those dances into house dancing.” Below, Steven discusses his motivations to produce The House Dance Exchange and describes what is known as “catching the ghost.”
Why did you term this workshop an “exchange?”
“This dance is meant to be shared with people. The word ‘exchange’ means to give or pass along and that is what we’re doing in the workshop. Everyone is exchanging dance information, steps or techniques so that we all learn from each other. House dancing is a social dance. You share or exchange energy with someone else on the dance floor and that is exactly what this workshop is about.”
Why are you passionate about this dance? What does it bring to your life?
“House dancing is about being smooth and feeling the music. You can just be yourself and let go and I love that about it. Dancing is not only a passion, but it’s the only thing in my life where I can truly say it’s been there for me through everything. When I went through bad times, I danced. When I go though good times, I dance. Any issues? I dance. Music and dance have always been there for me. It’s the one thing I can take with me everywhere I go. It’s become a part of me.”
I’ve heard there is a philosophical or spiritual side to house dancing. Can you comment on this?
“In house dancing it’s called ‘catching the ghost.’ Catching the ghost is just like people ‘catching the holy spirit.’ When you go to church and someone catches the holy spirit it’s because there is a feeling – it’s like God is in them. Something brings it out, so they’re happy. So catching the ghost is that same feeling on the dance floor. Dancing in general is a very spiritual thing. I could be in a club and there could be 200 people – the music’s playing and it’s just me there. Yes, there’s people in the club but I’m in the zone. I’m in my own world. I’m catching the ghost right now. I’m feeling the music. I’m interpreting the music. I just let go.”
The next House Dance Exchange will be 2 – 5 p.m. on June 16 at the Dance Complex (536 Mass Ave.). -Micaela Kimball