Boogie House KW: A funky take to normalize dancing

By: Meghan Lisa

Imagine a safe place to shake your sillies out, or ground into your body, or socialize and connect with like-minded souls or lose yourself in your dance meditation. 

Imagine dancing under the moonlight with a perfect soundtrack to set the mood. This is what Boogie House KW has to offer.

On Jan 10, from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., Boogie House KW hosted its January Boogie event at the Rhapsody Barrel Bar in Kitchener. 

Local band Wolfmoon Tide who hail from Kitchener, set the mood for the night. The band played a mix of rock, funk, jam, and groove original and cover songs. 

The evening was divided into sessions by the hour flipping back and forth between Wolfmoon Tide’s performance and the Boogie dancing sessions. 

When I walked into the Rhapsody Barrel, I got the chance to listen to Wolfmoon Tide for a while before the dancing began. Wolfmoon Tide had a unique sound that couldn’t be more fitting for this January Boogie. 

It was a great experience to hear from a local band. There were lots of people sitting around listening, socializing, and cheering as the music filled the bar.

This was Boogie House KW’s 34th Boogie event. They will celebrate three years of hosting Boogies in May 2020. 

A keystone of their events is the sign on the DJ’s table that they bring to every Boogie. It captures the essence of what Boogie events are about. 

The sign reads: “While I dance, I cannot hate. I can only be joyful and whole,” a quote by Hans Bos, a contemporary admirer of dance. 

All of Boogie House KW’s events are free and run off of donations collected during events. 

Their DJ is Beats Petite, whose music you can check out on SoundCloud. 

At 10:00 p.m., the lights were dimmed, so the glow and flashing lights took over. The bar transformed, and the lighting and soulful house music set a funky tone as dancers gathered through the hour. 

I saw attire of all kinds—some Boogiers even wore funky, vintage clothing. The Boogiers’ energy and excitement were unmissable as they immersed themselves in the music and movement.

A unique element about Boogie House KW is that their events are usually hosted outdoors—giving them their distinct energy and encouraging free-flowing vibes. 

However, this time around, event organizers Jessica Fleguel and Kirstie Smallman decided that to be safe, it was best to host the event indoors, setting a new precedent.

“Tonight’s Boogie was a little different because it is our first time collaborating with a band, and there was not as much space as there usually is during our outdoor Boogies. The past two Januaries, the weather has been very cold. Last year we tried hosting outdoors, but we ended up inside,” Fleguel said. 

However, this didn’t deter the dancers or the mood, “The vibe is actually nice, which is good since it is our first Boogie that is officially indoors,” Smallman said.

Looking around, I noticed that the dance floor was packed with people of all ages and abilities. 

On Boogie House KW’s Facebook page, they describe their intention of creating a safe place where people can come together to dance and socialize to meet like-minded people. 

“We try and make our Boogies very inclusive spaces where people of all ages and abilities feel encouraged to participate. Some of our regular Boogiers use wheelchairs or walkers. There is one person who even parks their walker to the side, but they still manage to passionately dance on the floor,” Fleguel said. 

Another part of Boogie House KW’s motivation is to provide an environment where people can express themselves through dance. 

Boogies are different than dancing that goes on in a typical bar or club settings because alcohol and drugs are not the primary influence behind people’s dancing.

“Regulars come just to dance. The idea here is to normalize dancing just to dance and not having to be drunk or high to do so,” Smallman said.  

Boogie events happen every full moon. Since the full moon falls on different days each week, it provides an opportunity for different people to attend Boogies each month. 

Fleguel and Smallman explain that the reason they chose full moons as their monthly gatherings was partly to connect with the amped-up, palpable energy of that time of the month and partly because of the spectacular natural beauty of the glowing moon in the sky. 

Which is why their events are held outdoors, to enable their dancers to dance under the natural moonlight.

“It’s fun dancing under the stars, it’s a free, unique environment.” attendee Jen Evans said. 

When I asked her how tonight’s Boogie made her feel, she said she was relieved to have the opportunity to get down with friendly people, saying people at this event are always respectful and kind. 

All events are free to get into, perfect for university students who want to have fun while on a budget in a judgement-free zone. 

“We would definitely recommend our Boogie events to university students. Our events are usually during the week from 8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m., which is great for those who have school or work the next day. Dancing is also one of the best ways to get exercise!” exclaimed Kristie. 


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