Monday, August 16, 2010

Jive Junket 2010: Southbound

The summer is almost gone and I have not fulfilled my duty to find the best dance place in Knoxville. I'm sorry I've failed you. If I can offer any excuse, it's that recently I've opted to go to bed by midnight on the weekends rather than going out dancing. The thought of any superfluous sweating after a hot summer day hasn't been very appealing.

I'm done whining. I finally went out dancing somewhere new Saturday night.

I decided I would try Southbound first because there's a billboard on my way home that keeps reminding me it's the place to be on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night. At least the two girls portrayed on it seem to think so.

I had to muster up all of my nerves on this one. I asked a friend to join me, one of my only friends who doesn't dance like a close relative of Elaine Benes. She's what one might call a sexy dancer, exactly who I needed with me on this endeavor.

We arrived at 11:30 pm. There wasn't a line, and when we entered, males were being directed to the left where they paid a cover. My friend and I were directed to the right, where we were NOT asked to pay a cover.

It was packed, not uncomfortably, but we weaved through to the bar and got some drinks. Once I had beverage in hand, I found myself immediately looking for the dark corner of the room where I could warm up. Sassy Ann's has such a place, and I have grown accustomed to it, as it helps me build up my dance moves in my own timing.

Southbound does not have said corner, at least not one that I saw, so I followed my friend smack dab in the middle of the dance floor where I had no other option than to start dancing cold turkey. Lucky for me, Get Low began to play and my born-and-raised Memphis bones followed suit.

The ambiance. The main level is a large, open room. The lighting was on the brighter side of dim, which at first made me nervous, but I got over it quickly. They have TV screens around the room displaying the appropriate music video for each song. Girls who worked there danced on tables in front of the TV screens ((so hottt)). Most songs were shortened and faded quickly into the next, which my attention deficit-ness enjoyed. The mix was mostly hip hop, rap, or pop: Ludacris, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus (??), etc.

We were dressed appropriately, I in my jeans and black shirt, my friend in a black dress. Some girls wore dresses while others were more casual. There certainly were a lot of dudes in button up shirts and ties. People of all ages were there, ranging from young to, say, 50's.

So you better understand my stance on dancing...  I typically don't go to a club to dance with men I have just met. Instead I'll go with a group of girls, kind friends who create buffers for one another to ward off the lurking, creepy male.

But as I said, I was with my sexy-dancing friend.

My night at Southbound, in a nutshell, felt like this: 'Round about the middle of the third song, my friend lured in a very fine looking gentleman. From there, it took me about 45 seconds to return to the bar for another drink. A minute later, I threw away my unfinished drink and left.

Yes, I left my friend to fend for herself. She appeared to be in it for the long haul, and I had no intention of finding anyone else to dance with, so I fled.

As I left, the DJ announced that the second and third floors were opening. For research sake, for you, I wanted to go up there, but my short-lived attempt at dancing led me out the front door instead.

I looked at my watch. 12:00 am. Good, B. A solid 30 minutes.

There are a lot of morals to this story (I think) one being that Southbound is not as bad as I always imagined. Not really at all. I'll probably go back. Another moral is I need a posse the next time I go there. And now, if I ever get the hankering to grind with a strange older man wearing a tie, I know exactly where to go.

With these lessons learned, I commit myself to keep Jive Junketing... 2010.

106 South Central Street
Knoxville, TN 37902-1009
(865) 474-1038


ck said...

You're braver than I am, B.

The Modern Gal said...

I've been once, on a night when it was fairly empty. The music was OK, but I didn't quite feel comfortable there. There was one older gent with silky, long silver hair who was fun to watch though. Don't know if he's a regular.

regi said...

wifey and i went down there with some friends and ended up on the third floor where it is less crowded, laid back, better dj and a full bar. they played gangsta's paradise and cmc music factory. need i say more. give it another shot and head up to the top next time.