Dance Night at Duffy’s

Sometimes a scene that goes on week after week can fly under the radar, and if you’re not already a regular, it’s easy to continue not being one. Duffy’s Dance Night was like that for me. For one thing it happens on Wednesdays, starting around 10pm (officially 9pm, but you know how it goes), and if I don’t get a certain momentum going early on I have a tendency to veg out on weeknights. Part of that is long workdays, and part of it is the complacency of having a really huge couch and a fat cat who acts like the lazy devil on my shoulder.

The other problem is the perception filter. Maybe you’re not a Doctor Who fan and are unfamiliar with the concept, so I’ll explain: A perception filter is a little wall in your mind that gets put between the things you deem relevant and moveable, and the things that take up residence in your space that you just ignore.

You know that tea set on your kitchen shelf that you never ever look at? Perception filter. How about the pile of receipts and junk mail on the edge of your counter that you keep cleaning around but never sort or throw away? Perception filter. Over time, these things add up and your workable environment becomes smaller and smaller. Recurring events can become like white noise in a world where singularities are the only things that stand out.

If the planets align just right, however, I sometimes have a spontaneous burst of awareness. I’ll realize that I do have it in me to endure a few less hours of sleep for the sake of a good time. I love music, I love dancing, I love people-watching, and I love Duffy’s. I bit the bullet and forked over the whopping $1 it costs to get in.

The first few minutes of Dance Night weren’t too promising. Dain assured me that it used to be cool, and would probably pick up. I started alternately browsing Facebook and Gawker, thinking about my couch and the early morning ahead of me.

A couple weirdos were dancing as the DJ sorted his records. I took a few long pulls from my Duffy’s seltzer, secretly deciding that when I finished this drink we could pack it up.

As if by magic, clusters of people began sliding through the doors on waves of laughter, completely transforming the bar. There was electricity—and to my profound surprise, there was a scene of really hot dancers tearing up the floor. I think they were doing salsa, or maybe it was some kind of swing. It was sexy and complicated and a treat to watch. All I know for sure is that they lit the place up and totally made my night.

How could I have ever doubted that this would be awesome? Every Wednesday night, the resident DJs (Jeff Howse, Spenny, and Lois) fill the room with this mess of amazing, and the friendliest bartenders in town are pouring stiff drinks. And I almost didn’t go because my overweight cat was staring at me with a little part of his tongue sticking out.

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Managing Editor for Synthesis Weekly. Amy likes to make clothes, plant flowers, and chase butterflies.