Retro club night for partygoers in 30s, 40s and 50s comes to Islington
PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 April 2016 | UPDATED: 09:16 07 April 2016
Nikki Spencer, 55, is the founder of Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet (HSDY), a club night playing ‘70s and ‘80s soul, disco and funk aimed at people in their 30s, 40s and 50s who still want to go out dancing to their favourite music but somewhere where they won’t be judged.
Soon to be held in north London for the first time at Islington Assembly Hall, she tells Imogen Blake what it’s all about.
Q: Why did you set up HSDY?
A: I was in my late 40s and for a few years I had just wanted to go out dancing, without feeling like I was gatecrashing a teenager’s party. Even Paul McCartney was turned away from a club, and I wanted to go out knowing that I would get into where I was going. There didn’t seem to be anywhere like that, where I could hear music I loved.
Q: What can people expect from a HSDY night?
A: It’s all about dancing. Before 8pm, people get a chance to sit down, get a drink. Then at 8pm, we have a dancer called Rebecca who leads a kind of “flash mob”. It gets everyone up and dancing, and we have three routines: one is Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet by Gonzalez, another is Car Wash, where we give out shiny rags as a prop. Then our DJs play tracks. At about 9pm, there’s another choreographed dance. We always do Oops Upside Your Head – we might need more help getting up again afterwards, but everyone loves it. Later, if people are dressed up, we have a dance-off competition. Then we have a final routine before we finish.
Q: What makes HSDY different to any other retro club night?
A: HSDY is much more than just a disco, with a DJ who presses play and doesn’t do very much. Our DJs dress up, and we dress up. That is, if you want to, which is wonderful, but if you don’t, that’s cool too. We don’t want to be judgemental of anyone. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what sex you are, what your sexuality is, what race you are: it’s just about coming and having a good time. Life is too short to be serious.
Q: What’s your ultimate aim?
A: Life can be tough sometimes. I lost my dad two years ago, and I give 10 per cent of proceeds to Cancer Research, which is a personal thing for me. A friend of mine kept saying that it was a great idea to do the club night, and when I first started it, she came. Three years later, she died. She came out of the hospice and partied with us nine days before she died. I just want to brighten things up for people.
Q: Why does this especially appeal to people in their 30s, 40s and 50s?
A: We’re not like our parent’s generation, who led a much more sedate life. We can still move, and so why shouldn’t we still dance?
HSDY comes to Islington Assembly Hall on April 16. Tickets £15 (£18 on the door), buy online or local shops including Cloud Cuckoo Land, off Camden Passage.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.