Following the trend of social dances in New York, the eccentric dances of New York City formed the basis for the Loft style. Dating back to the early 70s, David Mancuso, arguably the first audiophile, opened his home to enthusiasts of his music selection and attention to environment. The loving reinforcement of the music became the catalyst for the dance form.
The dancers from David’s party, The Loft, had no intentions for “creating” and dance style. The tireless dedication to each other and the music naturally created the very organic and dynamic range of movements.
Many others club enthusiasts recognized the prowess of the dancers who frequently danced at the Loft. Many times unknown to them, others referenced “the Loft dancers” as an elite group of artists. As the underground sound moved to larger and larger venues (ie The Paradise Garage) the fame and the vocabulary of the these dancers grew.
Clothing and environment played a large part in the scene. Many felt the movement should be natural and the clothes should allow the body to freely interact with the music. This group would often wear athletic shoes and gym attire while challenging the limits of their bodies. Character was celebrated as many of the members were from very disparate backgrounds. From Fred Astaire to martial arts to ballet and everything in between, the dance floor was an open canvas painted by the believers.
Some common characteristics seen from these dancers :
• Soft, flowing, movements accentuating the relationship between the members and the music
• Short footwork with emphasis on the innuendo versus raw speed or power
• Large, athletically challenging movements with emphasis on grace and control
• Attention to both the sensual nature of the music as well as its composition
• Varied tempos for a wide range of music style and genre
• Adaption to changes in environment
• A high level of interaction between the collective