Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Celebrate Five Years of Nothing Elegant!!!

For the last five years Nothing Elegant has been packing the dance floor at The Old Miami on the second Saturday of the month. Partners Sara Aldridge and Amy Kaherl have curated a signature dance party that has become a Detroit staple. They know how to get a party started and keep it moving late into the night.

Sarah and Amy promote a positive and safe environment for Detroiters of all ages. They are two strong women who help lift up other female artists in the community and they are two damn good DJs! This Saturday they will be celebrating their five year anniversary by doing what they do best, partying. In honor of their anniversary we asked Sarah to tell us a little bit more about how it all got started and where the duo will go from here. Check out what she has to say and make sure to stop by The Old Miami this Saturday to celebrate five years of fun!

HID- How did you and Amy meet?
Sara- "Amy and I met when we both DJ’d a mutual friend's birthday party at Woodbridge Pub. We both were sick of sitting on the sidelines."

HID- Is there a meaning behind the name Nothing Elegant?
Sara- "When Amy and I were looking for a name for the party we were scouring the internet and found this amazing picture of Amelia Earhart by her plane, wearing an aviator cap and overalls. Over the photo “Nothing Elegant” was written and we immediately knew that we had the name for our party. We both respect a lot of the feminist ideas that Amelia held so we thought it was a perfect match. The strange thing is when you try and search for that picture now it’s MIA-it’s like it existed just for us to find."

HID- When did you start going by Lady Fantastic? How did you choose that alias?
Sara- "I started DJing under the name Lady Fantastic 6 or 7 years ago. I used to DJ in my college friend’s kitchen and his girlfriend, now wife, started calling me Lady Fantastic. So, when Amy and I started DJing together we needed something to put on our first flier for Nothing Elegant so I went with Lady Fantastic and Amy went with Amy Dreamcatcher."

HID- Why The Old Miami?
Sara- "The Old Miami is just such a Detroit staple. We love the backyard, we love that it’s owned by a woman, Julie, and when we first started doing Nothing Elegant a lot of our lady friends were bar-tending so we thought it was a good match for what we were trying to do."

HID-Are your guest DJs always women? Why?
Sara- "Our guests are mainly women, but we’ve had some of our guy friends play with us as well throughout the years. We think it’s essential to create safe spaces for woman to be creative. Also, when we started Nothing Elegant we wanted to build a foundation for other woman DJs that were often overlooked when galleries and such were booking entertainment. We wanted to use the parties as a way to help our friends get exposure and hone their skills as DJs."

HID- Why do you think Detroit has such a strong female presence in the musical and nightlife scene?
Sara- "I feel like the women in this city have to be extra tough- Detroit can be a hard city to live in (but it’s totally worth it!). The women that are present in the music and nightlife scene are hustlers with a strong will and drive. I just see a lot of ladies in these scenes that really really want it and that intense desire to thrive is motivation. But in my own experience I’ve been incredibly lucky to have found some great male allies in the scene that have help me push forward in my own craft. There’s a real sense of community in the art scene in Detroit which gets overlooked a lot and this camaraderie and willingness to collaborate is win win for everyone involved."

HID- Do you have a special song that you like to play that always gets people moving?
Sara- "We definitely have some staples when we play. Fantasy by Mariah Carey, anything Missy Elliot, and Return of the Mack always seem to get people on the dance floor."

Just because:

HID- How do you think Detroit has changed over the last five years that you have been hosting the monthly party?
Sara- "We’ve definitely seen a shift in who comes to our parties which is kinda exciting. It’s nice to see different people getting exposed and excited about what we do! Obviously, the city itself has changed dramatically in the last few years on so many different fronts and we can see that at our parties."

HID- Top three parties over the last five years and why?
Sara- "New Years Eve 2013 at the Old Miami. We got to play with a bunch of our friends like Cold Men Young, Doc Waffles, and Eddie Logix. And, the Right Brothers were kind enough to make an amazing promo video for the party for us! So, it was a really incredible process of working alongside our friends and artists that we really value.

Nain Rogue is always one of our favorites too! It’s nice to DJ a day party and we get to play for a lot of people we don’t normally get to DJ for. And, our bud Josh from Jr Jr has been joining us on the decks the last few years, so that’s always a good time!

Our anniversary parties have got to be on the list too! It’s just such a great celebration and a chance for Amy and I to reflect on how far we come as DJs, as friends and business partners. It’s always very humbling."

HID- What can someone who has never been to a Nothing Elegant party expect if they come out to celebrate five years?
Sara- "We’ve definitely got some surprises in store, but people can expect a party with electric energy. Lots of gold and glitter. Lots of shenanigans. A welcoming space with nostalgic music. This party is about people coming together, leaving their baggage at the door for a few hours and getting free."

HID- Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Sara- "We definitely think it’s important that people know we try to cultivate a party that is accessible for everyone. Gay, straight, doctors, bartenders, lawyers, black, white, trans. Noting Elegant is about letting your hair down in an unpretentious way and just celebrating life and love and the city. It’s a chance once a month to let go and get some dance therapy. You can come in a ball gown or jeans and flip flops. We want people to be able to be themselves and not have to dress a certain way, or belong to a certain social circle to feel as though they can/should come to one of our parties."

The party starts at 10 p.m. on Saturday and 21+ are welcome to attend. $5 gets you in at the door. 

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