Arts & Entertainment

Time to go bananas!

 | October 20, 2011

Who says you can’t party outdoors in November?

Kamloops is about to host the Decentralized Dance Party (DDP) Tues., Nov. 8, and it’s all business—and bananas.

What is a DDP? It’s an outdoor flash mob dance event featuring a van-load of boom boxes tuned to the same station, broadcasting genre-spanning dance tunes. Why should you get involved? Do you really have anything better to do on a Tuesday night in November in Kamloops? Most importantly, it’s a lot of fun and a great way to stave off the pre-winter blues. The event is free.

Tom and Gary, known only on a first-name basis, are the founders of DDP. They started the parties in 2010—and one of the best known DDPs was held during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where over 10,000 people got together in costumes to dance and celebrate.

So far, Tom and Gary have thrown events in major cities all across Canada. The 2011 Strictly Business Tour has made its appearance in Calgary and Victoria, and, as long as fundraising meets the group’s expense requirements, the tour will continue to the end of 2011.

Currently, DDP is having difficulties with Facebook, which is affecting its exposure. Gary explains that their entire roster of event listings was erased when Tom and Gary tried to change their group name from “Tom and Gary’s Dynamic Dance Party Delivery Service” to “Tom and Gary’s Decentralized Dance Party”. As such, no one can view event posts, which Gary says affects their fundraising efforts.

“They (Facebook) deleted the events for this tour and the American tour,” he says. “This is trouble for our fundraising, because all the URL links are broken.”

The team, which also includes the Elite Banana Task Force, a group of friends dressed in banana suits that help with the radio transmission during the events, and, as Gary says, “Keep an eye on things,” is also currently seeking sponsors to help promote and fund the tours.

It does sound a bit crazy—a dance party in the middle of the city, with no formal security, has worried police and city officials. But to date, the parties have been safe; no major incidences reported. The parties are for all-ages, and the focus is on lowering inhibitions, dancing, listening to music, and having a great time. Drugs and alcohol are not condoned. As the DDP website claims, “People drink a lot at most parties because most parties are boring and drinking is therefore necessary to loosen up and have fun.”

While DDP events end at 11 p.m., in accordance with city noise laws, they look anything but boring. Gary points out that he believes the dance music they play has a lot to do with the atmosphere at each event.
“It’s been a crazy social experiment,” he says. “We play just upbeat music; if we started playing heavy metal it would be a different environment.”

Should life have to be so serious? On Nov. 8 exchange your laptops and textbooks for business attire—DDPs current theme—and join in on Canada’s party revolution.

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