A weekend in the life of a Columbia dance machine

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Meet Stu, a 22-year-old Columbia male who slaves through his classes and his part-time weeknight bartending gig at a token local dive bar to get to Friday night. That’s right, just like the 1980’s Canadian pop-rock band Loverboy, Stu is working for the weekend. He lies in bed at nights thinking about just one thing. Girls? No, fuck girls, as Stu’s boy Dane Cook so eloquently stated. He just wants to dance. Now, Stu’s been having a rough year this year. Shattered was his jam. He went there every Saturday night for the ‘80s Night. You know why? Because Stu was born in the ‘80s, goddamnit. It might as well be Stu Night. And he’ll spin you right round baby, right round. And when Stu needed a change of pace he’d stop by Athena. Stu likes the hip-hop. Give him that bomb beat from Dre, and he will happily serenade the street of Broadway. Unfortunately, Stu doesn’t have these options anymore as both of these Columbia clubs have closed down in the last year. Stu was down, but he wasn’t out. He just had to remix his weekend hot spots. And Stu can remix like nobody’s business. Like the giraffe that once had a short neck but evolved over time to survive, Stu can adapt. He starts earlier in the week now. Stu is attempting to fill the void in his heart that was left when Shattered closed its doors, with Thursday nights at a seemingly inauspicious nightclub sandwiched between a high-end jewelry store and a piano bar. Externally distinguished only by a large white bar code above a phone number, Generic has become the Columbia dance hot spot. And to Stu, it doesn’t matter that it may not look like much from the outside. He doesn’t come for the frill. He comes because even when he’s standing in a silent forest, there’s still a thumping bass drum beat pulsating in his head, and he’ll be damned if he’s not going to step to it. The line on Thursdays usually extends way beyond Jimmy John’s. KTXY/106.7 FM provides the disc jockeys that pump out the rap club bangers of the last few years, throw in that new Leona Lewis jam every now and then to show some love to the Brits, and Stu’s got himself an all-out party upstairs. He is admittedly a little weirded out by the one lone go-go dancer on stage, but she does her thing. Get down girl, go head, get down. And the dance floor has enough wall space so all those guys who used to have to extend large doses of energy maintaining balance during the dry-hump sessions can now just happily lean back and not worry about burning those extra four calories while shawty gets low on them: mega-convenience factor. But Stu usually has to call it a night by midnight or so at Generic. He has Human Sexuality class early Friday mornings, and he can’t miss that one, if ya know what I’m saying. So he goes to class all day Friday and then, come nighttime, Disco Stu is back. On Fridays, Stu likes to get his groove on at Tonic. Boasting a two-story club area with bars on each floor, Stu certainly has enough room to do his thing. Watch out ladies. And although it doesn’t pack the Thursday crowd at Generic, Tonic does just fine for itself. Not only that, it has a friend on Friday nights. Hidden away in a doorway a short walk into the nearby alley is Tonic’s connecting bar and one of Columbia’s best kept secrets: The Alley Bar. What better way to feel in the know downtown than to make weekly visits to a bar literally hidden in an alley? Who cares if it’s connected to a bar everyone knows about that you’ve been to 1,000 times? It’s still money. The bouncer just waits in the alley silently. He doesn’t advertise himself or shout out drink specials to drunk passers-by leaving Quinton’s. He just looks at you, and you look back at him, and he knows that you know. That shit is beautiful. Another day, another dance floor, in further hopes of reliving his glory days of yesteryear at Shattered, Stu starts his Saturday nights off at the Sapphire Lounge. Welcome to retro night, where the DJs only play music of the ‘80s and early ‘90s. If you want to hear Next’s bonafide boner jam “Too Close,” you’re out of luck by a few years. But Stu doesn’t want to hear that. Stu wants to kick back and jam through all the years Salt-N-Pepa were relevant and then some. He could go all night. That’s where Disco Stu becomes Disco Stud. And afterward, maybe a trip to Club Moe’s for some salsa while he looks forward to next weekend. Do work, Stu. Do work.

Unfortunately, to MOVE’s knowledge, Stu is not a real person.

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