Did you walk with your flag?

Martin Luther King Day Weekend in Brooklyn

I have often wondered if I am just not stush enough for the New York soca scene.  Don't get me wrong, I partied my behind off this weekend and I was grateful for the extra day to recuperate; however, I realized that things in the New York party scene are changing.

Sanders Studio Crowd

On Friday, I kicked off the weekend with Pantrin Vybez's Appreciation Party.  The amped crowd and the mix of soca, dancehall, and pop music (yes, they played Beyonce's "Drunk in Love") made for a spectacular event.  Once I made it up the stairs at Sanders Studio, I entered what felt like a sweat lodge and commenced shaking it on the dance floor.  Once the soca music started pumping, I pulled out my Guyana flag and starting waving it like a boss!  New soca, old soca, unpopular soca - it didn't matter.  I was caught up in the trance.  When I finally opened my eyes (yes, I get into a zone on the dance floor - don't judge me), I realized that I was the only one waving a flag.  Okay, maybe I am the only one who always walks with my flag to a soca party.  Regardless, I continued to dance until Riggo finally decided to stop playing music at 4:30am.  What a workout!

On Sunday, I headed to "Dream" at Matrix Lounge.  I rocked to the warm up reggae tunes from Elegance Sounds and sipped my drink as I did my two-step.  When Spoil Brattz took over the deejay booth, my vibe completely changed.  Whether it was Edwin Yearwood crooning "Oh gosh" or Bunji Garlin stating "we have one big, bad, stink truck on de road," I responded my thrusting my flag into the air and singing along.  The expertly mixed popular soca songs kept the crowd moving and everyone smiling.  The vibe was so nice that no one wanted Sounds 4 Life to stop - even after the "get out of here" lights came on.  Although everyone seemed to be having a ball, I realized once again that mine was the only flag in the air.  After this weekend, it occurred to me that these are not isolated events.  In fact, I have not seen flags in New York parties at all recently.

As a feter, this phenomenon is interesting to me.   The lack of flags demonstrates a trend that is rapidly taking over the soca party scene in New York.  The parties have become very stylish with some promoters even stating that heels are MANDATORY.  If you follow me on Twitter or FaceBook, you know that I am not the dress and heels type.  In fact, I frequent Dr. Jay's epic events in Toronto because they often have anti-stush, powder-flinging crews donning flat shoes and flags.  If Toronto can host these kinds of parties, why are they dying out in New York?

In a recent conversation with a fellow socaholic, we pondered the reason for this.  Perhaps promoters save casual affairs for the summer time outdoor fetes.  Perhaps partygoers are more interested in looking stylish in Instagram photos than in deigning to get sweaty.  Yet, this would not explain why the parties I go to in Toronto do not seem to have this issue.  It seems most likely that the proliferation of stylish, upscale parties promoted in New York is causing the extinction of the flag-waving ones.  

Are New Yorkers too stush?  Do we prefer heels to flats, dresses to leggings, and clutch purses to flags?  I wonder why women wear heels to a party and then immediately remove them in order to dance.  Why are the gents clad in sportcoats that they fling to the floor in order to wine on a bumper?  I wonder if this kind of partying is a trend worth keeping or if New York promoters can devise more anti-stush, powder-flinging, flag-waving events?

Note: Catch DysChick in Toronto on February 15th for "Doh Cry Ah Leavin'," Dr. Jay's annually sold-out Carnival send off fete.