Erica Thompson dances with friends at the monthly soul and R&B dance party
I've made progress controlling my anger regarding the parking situation in Columbus, but I had a bit of a relapse on my way to Heatwave at Ace of Cups on a recent Saturday. After getting stuck in the bar's packed parking lot, I probably spent 20 minutes searching for somewhere to park before finding a random spot at East Tompkins Street and East Avenue.
“Random” is a fitting word to describe the rest of my night at the vinyl, old soul and R&B dance party. I kept running into people I didn't expect to see.
But before I saw any familiar faces, I took a moment to watch the sea of people dancing, then slithered my way through to grab a beer. I hopped onstage to talk to a group of fellow Heatwave newcomers who were nonetheless the life of the party.
By the time I made my way back to the bar, I'd bumped into BravoArtist co-founder (and one of Alive's People to Watch) Cory Hajde, and also a co-worker, who bought me a shot of tequila. As someone who can't tolerate much alcohol, I am so proud of myself for not throwing up. My co-worker graciously allowed me to hang out with him and his group, which saved me from bugging bartender Aleks Shaulov (my backup plan if I didn't connect with anyone).
We had a blast dancing, especially to “Shout,” during which the entire bar squatted down for the “a little bit softer” section (my thighs still hurt). Overall, the music was the highlight of the night. I heard some of my favorites, like Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' “The Tears of a Clown” and Marvin Gaye's “Can I Get a Witness.”
I was also reminded of the many old songs that have been adopted for cheesy commercials (e.g. “Venus” for Gillette and “Cool Jerk” for Cool Whip).
Given my lifelong obsession with the Temptations, I ran onstage during “Ain't to Proud to Beg” and found someone to shout the lyrics with me. While I was up there, I ran into a guy with whom I had a coffee date scheduled for the next day (my previous relationship fell apart after the election, or when the country fell apart). Neither of us knew the other would be at Heatwave.
It was definitely a cool surprise. We danced and talked about everything from the Affordable Care Act to master's degree programs. It was also a tricky social situation because I wanted to spend time with him but also give him space to hang out with his friends.
I would talk about my coffee date but, as I'm not Carrie Bradshaw, that type of discussion is for another time and another column.