#RFB Host Profile: Dan of “Dancers Anonymous”
“…the difference (I hope!) between dancing a lot and an addiction is that dancing can revitalize you, and leave you feeling better than you did before!”
RFB: Hi Dan! Tell us a little bit about the path(s) that led to you doing your show and to Radio Free Brooklyn.
DS: I’ve just loved music forever, and have been a major lover of dance music since my early 20s (over a decade now, yikes). I moved to L.A. after college, and was lucky enough to catch a really fun moment there in the late 2000s and early 10’s, where a new wave of parties like Making Shapes and A Club Called Rhonda were bringing underground DJs to town. I ended up becoming friends with lots of DJs and musicians but was just too afraid to actually throw my hat in the ring and pursue that dream myself at that time. But after moving to NYC in late 2019 (great timing, huh), and finding myself lying in bed, aching and sweating with COVID in March 2020, I reflected on a decade of being like “well, that’s ok, I can just enjoy music as a spectator,” and realized it was bullshit, and I needed to actually be making and sharing music. It’s a bit of a pat story, but I really did buy my first DJ controller while I was sick in bed (thanks online shopping) and that started me on the path I’m on now.
RFB: How did you become interested in radio and why did you choose RFB?
DS: I had been making SoundCloud mixes in my bedroom, but starting out as a DJ during quarantine… well, let’s just say there really weren’t the usual avenues an aspiring musician might seek out, like throwing parties in a friend’s backyard, or hunting for bars or small events that might give a newcomer a shot. I still wanted to find a way to share music with more than just the five friends who follow me on SoundCloud, and radio seemed like an amazing way to connect with music lovers during this time. I actually found RFB in a bit of serendipity — an old LA friend of mine, DJ Beschloo, had a guest mix on the RFB show Private Party. He posted about it on social media, I saw the post, clicked on it, and loved the community ethos and openness of RFB—so I decided to take a shot!
RFB: On your show page you say “…turn it on while you’re sauteéing… folding laundry… luxuriating in the buzz… gossiping with friends….” Did you picture hordes of listeners jumping with spatulas in their hands, boxer short breakdancers, and friends whirling around doing their makeup for their night out? (I do, and I think that’s pretty amazing!)
DS: Haha! I don’t know that I’d ever actually formed that mental picture, but it’s an easy one because it’s something I definitely do myself! I find my most moving and grooving home dance parties actually happen after dinner, when I’m washing the dishes. Nothing makes a crusty pot get clean faster for me than some dance music. And I have had friends send in photos of them listening at home — around the fire pit, with their baby, or just with a glass of wine — and that definitely sustains me.
RFB: What is it about dancing that you think is so, for want of a better word, “addicting” (in the best possible way, of course), and what is your favorite music to dance to?
DS: Dancers Anonymous as a name definitely is meant to reference that idea of it being a compulsion, but of course the difference (I hope!) between dancing a lot and an addiction is that dancing can revitalize you, and leave you feeling better than you did before. Especially after a year-plus of enforced absence from the dance floor, I’ve redeveloped my appreciation for just how special it is to be in a room full of people all moving and enjoying the same music. It’s something very primal I think — a society without dancing would be a very grim thing indeed — and catching yourself and a stranger grinning like idiots as you both recognize the next track is about as good a feeling as you can get with your clothes on.
When it comes to dance music, I’m pretty omnivorous. My show is definitely focused on the smoother, groovier end of house music (and sometimes techno or electro), given the format and at-home listening intention. But when I’m actually going out, I definitely also enjoy higher energy underground house, especially Chicago and Detroit stuff, as well as the occasional banging techno set. And I also enjoy analog dance music, so to speak: disco, funk, post-punk, new wave, etc., and am hoping to get out to more live band shows this year.
RFB: COVID-19 is still hanging on, but that hasn’t stopped you from debuting a show! Tell us about the challenges and rewards of your process so far— and maybe a little about your in-home studio setup as well (if you have one).
DS: And as I said earlier, COVID-19 did actually inspire me, in an “oh shit, what if I die and never tried” sense, so it’s been incredibly rewarding to try something new, overcome the fear that everyone will just throw tomatoes at me and boo, and find a deeper connection to something I’ve loved for a long time. The challenge of course is that you can’t be a DJ without a dance floor! I’ve split my shows so far pretty evenly from the RFB studio and at home. I love the connection of doing a show live and getting feedback from friends, and would love to hear from other listeners… but sometimes I can’t be there at midnight on Saturday, and so prerecording my show at home is best. That’s also nice because I’ve got my home setup: a Pioneer DJ controller, a pair of monitors, a mic, and Rekordbox on my laptop, all set up to my liking.
RFB: What is the takeaway you hope people get from Dancers Anonymous?
DS: That listeners can’t stop nodding their heads or tapping their feet, and are eager to get out on the floor soon! Get vaccinated, people, and let’s get dancing!
Tune in to Dancers Anonymous Sundays at 12am.