Since the dawn of the EDM era, with its bottle service and VIP areas, clubbing has become less and less about the reason it was invented: dancing. At least that's what Garrett Brown, AKA DJ G.Brown, believes.
“Once upon a time, the dance floor was the focal point of most nightclubs, but once bottle service became the norm, dance floors got smaller and smaller, making way for more couches for bottle clients,” Brown says. “There are, indeed, dance clubs in Miami that have respectable dance floors, but if you're not into those particular scenes, where else is there to dance? And there aren't any dance studios centrally located in Miami. The most reputable ones tend to be farther out, in places like Hialeah or up north in Coconut Creek or Palm Beach.”
But there's hope.
Along with Daniel VVL, Jason Dwarzski, and floor master Hyp3, Brown began Future Steps, a monthly dance party that's been giving Miamians a space to set themselves free.
After starting the party last September as a response to the lack of large dance floors and world music, Brown noticed dancers would take over the party while bystanders watched. He figured he could create a space just for dancers where movement by extroverts could influence and even teach those new to the dance floor. He also wanted to play more eclectic tunes than the usual Top 40.
The first Future Steps parties began in the backroom of Coyo Taco in Wynwood. It stayed until it outgrew the space. Since then, the party has doubled in size, with about 200 people attending the event. Brown says attendees have even asked that the organizers take the pop-up party to other areas, such as Los Angeles and Greece.
“The whole intention of Future Steps was to give dancers an event to call their own, all while exposing them to incredible underground dance music from all over the world," Brown says, "everything from bass house, future beats, Afrobeat, baile funk, G-house, and Latin trap to U.K. garage, future funk, Jersey club/footwork, soca, bhangra, grime, nu disco, and juke. Once you experience it in person, it makes perfect sense. With the help of some amazing dancers, each party has gotten bigger and better, incorporating live percussion and visuals.”
The sister leg of the Future Steps party are its dance workshops. Brown says the intention is to connect people through music and dance, so it was important for people to learn how to dance. On a monthly basis, Brown gathers some of the best dancers he knows and hosts a class where he spins. The last event featured Miami Heat choreographer Sean Green and brought out dancers of all levels. Their next two workshops will take place July 12 and 26.
Brown says the movement ultimately is about creating community through universal feelings.
“The party welcomes people from all walks of life, not to mention dancers of all types: professionals, club kids, amateurs, and aspiring. It's something you have to experience firsthand. The moment you walk into the party, everyone is smiling, dancing, and, most important, accepting and welcoming. There are no wallflowers. Everyone is moving in one beautifully energetic mass.”