From the moment I first stepped foot in my very first gay bar at 18 in Nashville, I knew I was home. The song playing was Teena Marie’s Lips To Find You. Damn, I still love that song! I ran to the dance floor like one crazy queen and proceeded to tear it up like I had found my own little paradise. Truly, I had. Gay Dance Music unites the LGBT and has played a very special part in my life. I know it and follow it well. If it has a good beat and you can dance to it, it sounds fabulous to me! From UK darlings The Saturdays’ On Your Radar to Britney Spears’ chart-topping Femme Fatale Deluxe to our Mother Monster Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, I’ll detail the fiercest happenings in gay dance music. If I take time to share something here on these pages, I believe in what I’m saying. On that you can trust…
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Gay Dance And Club Music Culture
Music and Dance are an integral part of any culture and it’s traditions. Within the GLBT community dance is a big part of our identity and expression as well. For many, the bars and nightclubs became the place where we could gather and congregate in freedom. As the Gay rights movement gained real traction, it also coincided with the Disco dance era (for good or bad.) So Gay Dance Club Music was an integral part of forming our social identities in the coming out process of the 1970’s and early 80’s.
Coming Out Gay – The Disco Era
Yeah, the Disco era was cheesy, clothes and fashion were horrific and filled with utterly over the top excess of fashion, physical and sexual expression. Blends of R&B, Pop and Funk dominated. But it firmly entrenched popular Gay club music as the hot and happening sounds and scene to be in. Both Straight and Gay party people came together (literally!) during the iconic, hedonistic Studio 54 days of Disco in New York City that set the dance music model.
Celebrating Diversity – Mainstream Gay Music Influence
Post Disco, music across the Gay dance club scene started taking on new Genres. House music embraced a wide array of dance musical styles from Electronica to Ambient to Techno to Deep House, Trance, Progressive, Pop and more – depending on the time of night, the crowd and energy. The right song styles at the right time – and DJ’s could draw-in or control the crowd through a wide palette of music selections.
Gay Dance Divas – Queens Of Noise
During and after that phase, two trends emerged: true Dance Divas with enduring track records of dance hits. From Donna Summer to Cher to a younger generation with J-Lo, Madonna and Whitney Houston – to today’s reigning Queer Culture Queens of the current nightclub scene; Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Madonna (again!) amongst others. The other was the emergence of the EXTENDED Gay club remix. Three to four minute radio edits just didn’t cut it on the dance floor. We needed more time to be fabulous! Who can forget the relentless progression of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” as it forced us to keep going for over 8 minutes and 15 seconds in a sea of sweat and strobe lights? Longer, extended club tracks rapidly follow radio hits these days, and clubbers lap them up.
All Night Nightclubbing – Dance Remix Long Plays
Fast-forward to some of today’s hottest DJ’s and EDM – Extended Dance Remix artists. David Guetta, Hex Hector, Tiesto, Armin Van Buren, Den Broeder and others are creating long-play delicious slices of sweeping ear-candy that drives Queer club kids – of any age – out onto the Gay nightclub dance floor – and keeps them there. Instead of having to rip and steal loops for remix edits – many of these Remix Stars are given direct access to to the major studio recording tracks to have their shot at making great three to four minute radio hits into unforgettable long-play dance club tracks.