footprints toronto

This might be Toronto's most famous dance party

Ask any trustworthy friend in the city what the best monthly dance party is and they'll most likely all have the same answer: Footprints. It's one of Toronto's most welcoming, eclectic, dance floor-driven parties and if you don't know about it yet, your life is about to improve by one hundred per cent.

"Footprints grew out of an era in Toronto partying where the average club-goer wanted to hear something out of the ordinary," says Jason Sanders, AKA General Eclectic or one of the DJs and founders of Footprints. He and his co-founders started a party called Movement, which became super popular. It needed an indie, weirdo little brother party for the next generation.

"We decided to throw an underground version of it concentrated on soul, world music, hip hop and funk at The Rivoli," he says. "We just decided to aim directly for what would work best on the dance floor and that included talking on the mic - in a non-cheesy wedding MC way - eclectic sounds, positive vibes and visuals."

That was 14 years ago. The party hasn't stopped since and still takes place at The Rivoli. But what makes this party so special? We've written about many long lasting, quality dance parties, but there's just something different about this one. It's a party DJs and dancers love the most.

"We're pretty blessed to have such a wide range of people with different socio-economic backgrounds, race, sexual preferences, it's a pretty cool party that way," Sanders says.

It's named after a Wayne Shorter jazz song. And Sanders and party partners Jason Palma and Stuart Li's (AKA Basic Soul Unit) event might just be this city's most danceable party.

Just as important as the music is the energy. It features well-lit room to avoid complete darkness and ensures a safe space for women.

"I'm not condemning hookup culture," Sanders says. "But there also needs to be a space, especially for women, where they can go and just bug out and dance have a few drinks and go the f*ck home. That's what we aim to be."

The positive energy that Footprints puts out into the city, its underground dance scene and the dance floor comes right back to them. That's how the party has lasted and continues to thrive every month.

"When you love what you have and people love what you do, it's euphoria," Sanders says. It's pretty cool to be part of something that people connect with."

Photo by Mark Valino.


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