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How to Dance Safe to Electronica

I have posted a lot about different artists, events, and electronic music in general over the past couple of months. What I have been meaning to post and discuss are a couple of things that are associated with electronic music culture. Well the time is now to discuss those things. Whether you see them as good or bad is up to you.

In the 80s through the 90s, the uprising of the club kids created an entire trend of club culture. With that brought a lot of drugs into the mix, and a lot of younger people were introduced to drugs for the first time. Today, it is definitely easier and seemingly more acceptable to take drugs while either at raves or nightclubs or just listening to electronic music. to I’m not here to criticize or even say that I’m all for drugs. I choose to not take a side but know that you don’t need drugs to enjoy electronic music. What I am here to talk about is how to dance safe.

Photo copyright DanceSafe

There is a nonprofit organization called DanceSafe that was created in 1999 to help people who were going to do drugs know what they were actually taking and ensuring that it was ‘safe.’ While the organization knows that you are not completely safe unless you don’t take drugs, they also state that most people don’t know what they are taking, or they only think they know. As quoted from their website, DanceSafe is a harm reduction organization promoting health and safety within the rave and nightclub community.

Photo copyright DanceSafe

But DanceSafe isn’t only about drugs. “Our volunteers staff harm reduction booths at raves, nightclubs and other dance events where they provide information on drugs, safer sex, and other health and safety issues concerning the electronic dance community, like driving home safely and protecting one’s hearing.”

Their philosophy is simple:  to create successful, peer-based educational programs to reduce drug abuse and empower young people to make healthy, informed lifestyle choices. The organization goes on to say that while drug resistance programs are good and somewhat preventative for some adolescents and children, DanceSafe believes that trying to scare them away from experimenting with drugs often has the opposite effect. Adolescents and adults will ultimately do what they want, even if they are aware of the consequences of their decisions. That’s where DanceSafe comes in. They aren’t here to judge or tell you that you are wrong, but to help make sure that you are fully educated and know what is being done to your body, and then leaving the final decision up to you.

Photo copyright DanceSafe

The organization operates through young volunteers who have experienced or been directly involved in dance culture. DanceSafe states that, “while many organizations exist that provide services to drug-dependent individuals, few groups address the needs of the majority of non-addicted, recreational users. We hope to fill this gap. When needed, we will always refer people to appropriate treatment programs.”

With the 2011 EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) coming up in June, DanceSafe is concerned about people being safe and responsible with their bodies. A documentary called After EDC is being released the summer of 2011 about the 2010 Electric Daisy Carnival – which had the most number of people in attendance than any other past EDC or electronic music festival in North America, and also had the most injuries, drug-related medical emergencies, and the death of a 15-year-old girl from an alleged ecstasy overdose. The film is being released by White Lotus Media, who is comprised of the writing, editing, directing, and producing talents of former San Francisco State University film student Le Sheng Liu, and shows how festivals like EDC are fun and can bring people together, but that people also need to be careful and responsible while partying. Watch the trailer below!



YouTube video by White Lotus Media

Going along with DanceSafe and White Lotus Media’s philosophy’s, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health collaborated with DJs such as Kaskade, Steve Aoki, and A-Trak (just to name a few) and released a Public Service Announcement about taking ecstasy and being safe if you do decide to take it.



YouTube video by White Lotus Media

So there is nothing wrong with partying and having a good time, as long as the good time doesn’t end dangerously. Remember to Dance Safe!

Photo copyright DanceSafe

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Electro spins into Disney’s California Adventure with the help of TRON

A couple weeks ago in one of my earlier posts I said that I wanted to write about electronic music and culture because it seems like it’s becoming some type of trend lately. Well with Disney’s new installment in Hollywood Pictures Backlot at California Adventure, it kind of affirms my suspicions….in an awesome way.

I’ve always loved Disneyland since I was little, and took my boyfriend there last Easter. He is from Portland, Maine and had never been so I was excited to show him around. But after our trip he said it was a little lackluster for him – things looked old or he thought it would be me interesting than it really was. I kind of agreed that there isn’t very much to do for people over 21, but now I think there is.

Disney’s California Adventure has always been more modern than the original Magic Kingdom (well, because it’s newer), but it still tried to gravitate towards people that are over the age of 15. With the help of the new TRON movie that debuted in theaters December 17, 2010, Disney created a whole other electronic experience in their park. It’s called elecTRONica. Good name, I think, because while it is about the movie TRON, at night it also has DJs spinning techno and dance music, as well as one of the only places in Disneyland that serves alcohol. It has a whole club vibe, which definitely attracts a 21+ crowd.

elecTRONica concept art, copyright Disney

I asked someone who works in the elecTRONica section how it’s been going so far, and what he thinks of it. Patrick O’Rourke, who works in a few of the elecTRONica stores, describes the scene as a rave without the drugs. Disney-friendly rave. “They kick off this event by giving the back story to the first Tron movie and do a little dance to go with it,” he says. “They also brought over Flynn’s Arcade over from Comic-Con and theyre all old school video games from the 80s that all cost 1 token. I would say that its very popular with people 21 and over cause I think of this as a club atmosphere only its outside. They even serve alcohol.”

copyright Jeremiah Daws, Disney

He says that overall, the response to the club-vibe area of the park has been positive, although he has noticed a few drunk people walking around. He recalls a time after elecTRONica first opened when he first noticed it. “I was working in Flynn’s Arcade and this family walked up to me and they asked where Soaring Over California is so I told them and they didnt hear me so I told them again and thats when I realized they were drunk,” he says. “At one point while im talking to the parents one of the kids brings me closer to him and says ‘i think theyre drunk.’ After that happened it made me think that some parents probably don’t care about the club atmosphere as long as they get to drink. California Adventure is the only place at disneyland that serves alcohol so anyone 21 and over really take advantage of it.”

Video by: Asianjma123, YouTube

This section of the park opened in October 2010, before the movie was in theaters, but has started to take off and become more popular since the release of the movie. Some of the music I’ve heard the DJs playing are remixes of Daft Punk, Swedish House Mafia, and Deadmau5. I’m sure there’s more big names that they’re putting out there every night.