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  • Henry Johnstone

FBi Dance Class: The Track That Changed My Life

The Class Of 2023 graduates reveal the music that inspired a love of dance music.

Photo by Ravyna Jassani

FBi's annual dance music mentorship program, FBi Radio Dance Class, kicked off earlier this year - a recurring project which sees the Sydney radio station take a selection of fledgling female, trans and non-binary DJs under their wing and transform them into the city's newest dance and electronic music tastemakers.

Over the past three months the six trainees have been busy attending masterclasses which have schooled them on everything from mixing skills on CDJs and vinyl, to running their own events, to hosting live radio. The trainees have been taught by some of the best in the biz, including Andy Garvey and Jemma Cole of Nectar, Adi Toohey, Merph, Atro and FBi Radio program director Darren Lesaguis.

To celebrate their graduation this week, we're throwing a huge showcase party at Club 77 this Friday night! In the lead up, we asked each trainee to share with us a track that made them fall in love with dance music and led them onto the path of potential DJ glory.



Ab fab! - DJ ESP aka Woody McBride

"This track brings back fond memories of a silly and special time in my life when I moved out of home and into the city. Moopie played it during one of his sets a few years ago. It was a night that grew my love for both dance music and the community which has led to some special friendships."


Astronomia - Tony Igy

"It’s 2010 and I’m scrolling through Youtube on my iPod Touch and I've just tapped on 'Astronomia' by Tony Igy. This blew my little 12-year-old brain! I kept playing this song over and over on repeat for at least 2 months. Honestly, it still goes off! Wait sorry...was this meant to be like an origin story?"


Dance Now Cry Later - Alexander Santana

"About a year ago, Alexander Santana released their track 'Dance Now Cry Later'. It was the end of the European summer and this song was going everywhere with me. It's so playful, elegant and emotional and has so many cherished memories of people in my life attached to it. Every time I hear it I feel like I’m listening to it for the first time all over again. It may not be the first ever track that made me fall in love with dance music, but it's definitely the one I’ll still be playing when I’m 90."


Emerald Rush - Jon Hopkins

"When I was living in Stanmore in 2018, there was a construction site on Bridge Road that was always plastered with posters. One day walking home from the bouldering gym, I noticed new posters had gone up advertising the launch of Singularity, a new Jon Hopkins album. Intrigued, I looked up the album (a friend had mentioned the artist before). I hit play. The first track electrified me and the second, 'Emerald Rush', blew me away. Fast forward five years and I have a tattoo of a visual motif from the music video on my tricep, a remix by Solomon on my USB for the Dance Class gig at 77, and Jon Hopkins still tops my Spotify wrapped every year."


Sick - Wench

"I fell in love with this song instantly when I first heard it in a mix on Soundcloud because of the ethereal instrumentals, the strong vocals, and the massive sound design that crafted an atmosphere. I understood that this is how I wanted to feel when listening to music: soothed, enlightened, and fascinated. I am appreciative of musicians like Arca that incorporate a wide range of styles and sounds into their music to reflect greater global and LGBTQ sounds. Through my music, I want to achieve the same thing."


All The Things She Said - t.A.T.u.

"This track is not one that inspired me to mix, but rather made me want to dance and feel a sense of freedom. It also made me fall in love with more dance music. It was around 2013, and I have only recently come out as queer and started exploring the scene, which was daunting for a queer immigrant who really hadn't experienced much in this city yet.

At my baby queer stage, clubbing mostly involved Birdcage and Girlthing and I think it was at one of those events that I heard 'All The Things She Said' by Tatu. At the time, I was just dancing to whatever music was playing at the clubs and didn't really know what I liked and didn't. When this track came up while I was waiting in a long bathroom queue, I instantly ran back to the dance floor. It hit all the right places for me with all the right feels and nostalgia. I probably listened to it a few too many times that year and it still feels nostalgic when I listen to it now...sort of like a queer anthem! It definitely made me enjoy club music more. Now I can go on to explore more of what I would want to listen to on the dance floor, not defined by genres, but constantly shifting and evolving."

You can catch all 2023 graduates DJing at the FBi Dance Class Graduation Showcase which hits Club 77 this Friday 26 May. More info HERE.

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