Last night, the Panda and I went to a house party in Spanish Harlem (103rd and Lex). Two of the kids that live in that house work with my Panda at her high school in the Bronx. The parties are always awesome and have a healthy mix of young professionals from similar suburban backgrounds; however, I almost always inevitably make up the people of color entourage (P.O.C). This is not a problem for me because ever since I moved out of Miami and moved to the northeast, I have always made up the P.O.C. at integrated parties.
The theory is as follows. For spontaneous dancing to transpire at an Anglo-dominant party, at least one-third of the people at said party have to be of "color," meaning octaroons, high-yellows, mulatos. If this proportion is not achieved, there will be no dancing at your party. Even if the people of color at your party are one-fifth of the population of that party, dancing will not spontaneously transpire unless a full third of the party is people of color. I have tried this hypothesis out at various parties, but this is the first time I have gotten almost identitical results.
The playlist doesn't make a difference because at both parties James Brown was playing, and the "shuffle" mode was strictly playing the extent of their James Brown. And, the importance of James Brown is that he is the link to that "American" sound that first made white youth want to openly dance to black music. Even if you play James Brown, if the persuasion of the party is not at least one-third people of color, then it is almost empirically impossible to get that party to break out in spontaneous dance.
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.