Dolce Social Ballroom

If we can infer musical taste by dress style and vice-versa - one person's wallet chain and septum piercing may scream Black Flag, for example, while another person's beard says Akron Family - then nightlife venue choice must be even more telling, as it is the solid marriage of these two things. When you go to a punk club, you dress punk and listen to punk music. When you go to a sleek King West club, you dress up and listen to pop music. Where you go to party with your friends is a

statement about who you are. And there's no right or wrong - just different categories.

I say this because, going to Dolce Social Ballroom, I felt a little out of my element. More of a running shoes and beer type of barfly than a cocktail and heels club-goer, it usually takes a gimmick or a really unique draw to make me appreciate the kind of dance clubs that draw men in suits. And Dolce Social Ballroom, while a very nice space, had nothing particularly unique to win me over. But Dolce caters to a different demographic, and for (slightly!) older clubbers who want to party like they did at This Is London when they were kids, Dolce Social Ballroom is the new go-to King West destination.

The music at Dolce is a mix of what they call "house with a touch of condo." I don't know what "condo" music is, but the word developed into a kind of culture descriptor for me. "Condo" must mean that you are successful, take great care with your appearance, and like top 40s hits. You are willing to pay $20 to get into a club on King West, and prefer to go to places that describe themselves as "upscale". Most likely, you do, in fact, live in a condo. Or a nice house in the suburbs. Condo music, as it turns out, is probably a mix of

electronica, popular hits and classic rock favourites, peppered with the odd reggae number.

Looking around at the gold foil-wrapped pillars, underlit dance floor and carefully-screened 28-and-over crowd, I thought happily that perhaps 30 really is the new 20. Or, if 30 is old, then Dolce Social Ballroom is an active and bustling Miami for the well-coiffed condoland dwellers. But the club aims to be more than just an extension of the club district scene, claiming that they "aim to bring all the splintered musical and fashionable niches together" and that I can expect to see the "asymmetrical-haircut set" there among the "socialites," while attending a "raucous subculture party.". The only set I saw, however, was the "would-be socialite" set, and not an asymmetrical haircut in the bunch.

Writing by Jessica McCann

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