WHAT IS JUST DANCE?
Just Dance are multi generational, free form dance events. They are held in a friendly and positive environment that celebrates Global Fusion music, dance and community building.
We have two distinct events. "Just Dance", two Fridays a month, offers an open dance floor for those looking for a good time and to socialize. "Journeys", presented occasionaly on the fifth Fridays , are intentional dance events that build on the transformational power of music and dance.
For 27 years, Just Dance has showcased local and world class talents and shaped the Global Fusion community of Vancouver. Just Dance provides a safe and alcohol free and safe environment space to partake in an experience that deepens the connection to music and dance. As we share our connection to World Beat, it expands our ability to learn and grow personally and socially.
Just Dance founder, Abheeru was inspired to create these events to offer a positive and rewarding dance experience. It has since touched many hearts, moved bodies, changed lives and provided the community with a steadfast place to gather.
TELL ME ABOUT THE MUSIC
Just Dance began in 1993 when most popular music was often formulaic and 'localized`. Since then Global Fusion and World Beat have become more commonplace in popular culture. Just Dance has for over 20 years been offering an alternative for music lovers and artists seeking to expand their horizons.
On our dance floor, you will hear ultra creative blends and fusions of Tribal, World Beat, indigenous and sonic tones that inspire the body to move and flow in contact, improv and intentional dance moves; individually or partnered. At each event, for 3 to 4 hours, music will vary in waves of tempo, energy and tone and allow the dancer to fully enjoy an evening of organica and electronica in perfect fusion. Genres, styles, ethnicities blend seamlessly in a truly unique smorgasbord, all for your dancing delight.
With the onset of electronic tools for remixing, the ability for Just Dance to merge the world of music and dance has become easier. Just Dance has become a new music forum that encourages DJs and live bands to search and offer music that constantly re-invents itself.
WHAT ABOUT THE JUST DANCERS?
Just Dance has proven to continuously provide a fun and safe space for multi-generational dancers to experience the beauty and joy of movement.
On any given evening, you will find a cross section of many of Vancouver communities on the dance floor; the office worker who needs to unwind, the acrobat who uses the floor for a workout routine, the dance or yoga teachers experimenting with movement exercises, the children and parents, all enjoying and organically responding to the warm rhythms filling the air.
For over 20 years, Just Dance has attracted more than 45,000 dancers who come together to experience World Beat and Tribal Fusion in our unique and welcoming environment - and just the love of Just Dancing!
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR VENUE
The original Kitsilano Theatre was built in 1913 and was for several decades a marquee Vancouver venue. This hall has welcomed many of the at-the-time emerging artists of the 60's and 70's including The Grateful Dead, The Doors and many others. After a stint as movie theater, it later became a community space and has since served as such.
From 1999 on, it has served as our "Just Dance Hall". The room is beautiful and unpretentious with high ceilings and a generous amount of wood-finished dance floor. Chairs are arranged around the perimeter of the space, allowing for rest or for watching the movement in the room.
At one end is a large raised stage used by the occasional live band or by dancers, hoola and poi artists or anyone who wishes to enjoy a different perspective of the hall while basking in the subdued atmosphere created by the colored, laser lights and video projections.
WHAT ABOUT THE EARLY ACTIVE MEDITATION?
Before each event, at 7:30 pm, we offer an optional and free 1-hour OSHO Kundalini Meditation. This modern active meditation is specifically designed to calm the mind, get centered, let go of the week and allow for a more vibrant mind/body experience during Just Dance.
This meditation is equally accessible and rewarding for first-timers and experienced meditators. It consists of 4 stages of 15 minutes each. The first two stages allow for 30 minutes of movement followed by 30 minutes of stillness and silence. The format is clearly explained before each meditation and is easy to follow as it unfolds along a specifically designed soundtrack.
Please arrive 5-10 minutes early as the meditation instructions preface the 7:30 pm start.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ORGANIC CHAI BAR
[Note: Unfortunately, our Chai Bar is not currently running. We are in process of rebuilding our volunteer crew for more basic tasks and once this is done, we will consider reopening the it]
You can further sweeten your Just Dance experience at our Chai Cafe. We offer organic affordable and freshly brewed Indian Chai with either organic soy or dairy milk. Early each night, our chai experts grind an elaborate mixture of organic spices and once mixed with the tea, let the chai simmer for a few hours to perfection. Also available are a changing variety of treats such as samosas, bliss balls and many more. Pristine drinking water is available from our high quality filtered system for your own bottle or using our recycled paper cups.
The Chai Cafe offers a space to refresh and re-energize or to mingle and chat with other Just Dancers. It is slightly removed but still connected to the dance floor environment.
THE HISTORY OF JUST DANCE
Back in 1993, Abheeru, a dance lover recently relocated from Quebec City, was feeling disillusionment with the downtown club scene and decided to take positive action. Envisioning an alternative to the overcrowded and contracted atmosphere prevalent in most clubs, he created Just Dance. His vision was to offer an innovative and positive dance event with music from around the world in a smoke-free (unique in the days of smoky clubs) and alcohol-free environment. He also wanted Just Dance to be a nonprofit event that would donate all its proceeds to local charities and organizations. At the time, Abheeru had no background in DJing or event organizing but took the plunge and on the fly, learned the skills needed to support such an event. And so, Just Dance was born.
Just Dance quickly grew in numbers and became a well-known and established monthly event. The next years were full of memorable moments with several live performances by very happening bands, unique theme nights, and plenty of expressive and vibrant dancing. So Just Dance began offering two monthly events as it welcomed Kushad as a second DJ and organiser.
During our 6th year, our first hall became unavailable. We scrambled to keep the dances going, hopping from place to places, none of which served us very well. It was a chaotic year that dispersed our regular attendees and the magical energy we were experiencing. This difficult transition nearly ended Just Dance. Year 7 began with a great news: the finding of our current venue on West 4th Avenue. Thrilled to be in the heart of Kitsilano, we resolved to bring Just Dance back to its juicier self.
Then came another turning point: our 10 year anniversary. Abheeru saw in this landmark an opportunity to bring Just Dance to the next level. Months in the making, it was a great opportunity to celebrate 10 years of dancing and community building. The success of that BIG night was way beyond any of our wildest dream.
In the years following the 10 year celebration, Just Dance kept changing and evolving. Kushad left Vancouver and Just Dance. After months of dreaming, meeting and planning, Abheeru launched a third monthly event: Just Dance Journeys. While Journeys builds on the regular Just Dance format, this monthly event expands it by providing a more intentional space for the dancers to connect with their personal journey through movement.
While we thought our 10 year anniversary was big, our 15 year and 20 year anniversaries kept getting bigger with sold out nights that saw crowds lining up the street hoping to join our long planned parties. The next big step was in year 21 with the arrival of Raghunath Khe who not only became a co-resident DJ but also brought in his passion to organise one of our monthly event. We also welcomed Kashub, our talented and dedicated resident VJ who adds a unique visual perspective to our dances. Two years later, with a renaissance of energy on the Just Dance floor and new talents appearing, Abheeru expanded the Core Group by welcoming DJs and organizers Koda Love and (for Journeys) Zen Fabrice and Laura Bloomberg, allowing for Just Dance to become for the first time ever, a weekly event! Then came the arrival of our brand new website along with our continued presence on the Facebook and Twitter.
And during Year 26, the unthinkable happened... Just Dance events stopped. Only a global pandemic could pause Just Dance! It was a long 2 years...
But in March 2022, we were beyond excited to resume our events. We are still stoked to offer magical moments to the dance floor by bringing a broad range of grooves from around the world to our truly awesome community of dancers. Coming your way twice a month are the best World Beat and Global Fusion music with our now 2 resident DJs (Abheeru and Raghunath Khe), guests DJs and live bands to offer you the best dancing experience.
Just Dance keeps expanding its presence in the Vancouver community in ways that have touched and transformed many lives, opened many hearts and polished many dancing shoes!