Every Saturday from 11.30 to 14.30, a growing number of people gather in Deia to Wake Up Dance.
Strange but very Deia
The funky brainchild of Llewellyn Graves, AKA DJ Nin Petit, Wake up Dance is a non-alcoholic dance party held at the Deia Cultural Centre (Sa Tanca) on the main street opposite Sa Fonda bar.
After yoga or stretching, Llewellyn kicks things off with a deliberately varied mix of mellow reggae, jazz, afrobeat, Bossa nova and soul. When dancers are nice and loose, soul revs up into funk, disco and hip-hop before peaking with house, techno, drum and bass and electro. (It has to be said that Llewellyn’s been known to throw some thundering Pantera into the mix – a satisfying shock to the system and bizarrely funky.)
The dancing winds down with classical music, new age or down tempo beats.
After the dancing, everyone is welcome to eat together. If the weather is good, people go for a swim or a walk in the mountains. Being able to hang out and spend the rest of the day with other dancers is one of the great things about Wake Up Dance. You’re not left with that slightly flat feeling that often creeps up after a satisfying dance.
Come on in
I’ve known Llewellyn for almost 20 years and we’ve been swapping music since forever. I’ve never stopped loving the slick, ultra-produced dance music of the late 1970s and early 80s (people like Mtume, Gwen McCrae and D-Train) and this is the kind of music Llewellyn plays often. But I had no idea Wake Up Dance existed until, one Saturday morning I heard beats pumping out of the open windows of Sa Tanca and wandered in, intrigued.
I was still grooving happily two hours later.
Like most of us, I always associated dancing with something I did at a party or club. But, the combination of Llewellyn’s great music and the warm, welcoming vibe from a wonderfully mixed group of dancers made me feel at home pretty much right way. Actually, it took about half an hour but you know what I mean.
High on music
Although Wake up Dance is part of a growing movement of sober, straight dancing – think Five Rhythms and Ecstatic Dance – Llewellyn came up with the idea because of his own feelings towards DJing and dance culture.
“I was a ‘regular’ DJ,” he says, “playing gigs at night but I was getting tired of being surrounded by drugs and alcohol. Also, I was wiped out the day after I played. I really loved DJing and dancing but not the whole culture that was behind it. So I decided to do healthier and earlier parties. At first very few people came – fair enough, it was a new idea. But, slowly, Wake up Dance is getting more and more popular as people discover you can get high only with music.”
So, if you want to shake off the week and welcome the weekend in a very Deia way, Wake up Dance. And, if you’d like a flavour of what Llewellyn plays, check out the Wake up Dance Spotify playlist.
Can you help Wake Up Dance?
Llewellyn will be able to hold Saturday Wake up Dance sessions only until 20 June. After this he’ll be looking for a new venue. So, if you have a space you can offer, or know of one, please get in touch with Llewellyn on +34 656459313.
Five Rhythms with Jessica Howie, Mallorca
David Holzer is a freelance writer who has been coming to Deia for almost 20 years. Apart from loving the village, he is fascinated by the – without being too pretentious – cultural history and significance of Deia.