We passed the middle of the dance floor where girls were ‘butterflying’, a dancehall move where you rotate your knees together in opposite directions, but these girls were doing it on their backs. I hadn’t seen this dance live before, only in music videos on TV.
The sound system was set up on a lit-up stage. A deep, melodious-toned MC spoke over the reggae and dancehall beats that were put on by the DJ, who measured the beat with the pace of the MC's patter. At the MC's command, the DJ would stop, rewind, scratch and play notorious tunes. These were prepped up for glamorous introductions that would whip up the crowd into a frenzy. The hoarse Jamaican vocals resonated from eight humungous speakers and drew everyone into captivated submission. We moved through the crowd, passing walls of men and women slow grinding. We walked past a few old-timers skanking wildly with swinging locks.— Stephanie Johnson
That summer of 1994, I knocked on my sister's front door with aggression. No one was answering. I think I had been impatient from birth, even at the point of leaving my mother's womb. I smashed the knocker down so it reverberated back and forth like a ping-pong machine.— Stephanie Johnson