Mai-Kai Dance Party Was More Fun Than Your Saturday Night

The birthday boy was hungry.
The birthday boy was hungry.
Ian Witlen

For the past few years, off and on, a group of DJs has taken over the Mai-Kai bar to spin the most danceable songs off their favorite records. The last one in August was a real doozy that packed the house. This past Saturday night, they delivered again with a "rum-soaked" bash.

This January's party was a celebration of life, specifically the life of Nick Dewey, AKA James Brown's Sweat. His friends and fellow wax hoarders, DJ Sensitive Side, Mikey "Killer" Ramirez, and Action Pat, joined him at the turntables for this very special birthday event, goading a roomful of folks in flower prints and pompadours to boogie like it was 1965.

See also: Full Slideshow from James Brown's Sweat Birthday Bash at Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale

Yes, we did the mashed potato. Did anyone know how? Not really, but maybe by chance someone got it right. The exact moves didn't matter, because with our bellies full of half-priced cocktails of the booziest sort, we were moving like towers of jiggling Jell-O anyway.

See also: Mai Kai Dance Party This Saturday: "Shake Your Coconuts!"

Dance fever USA.
Dance fever USA.
Ian Witlen

There was time for everyone to explore all the exciting elements that make Mai-Kai worth attending even when there's no spinning vinyl. Walking around the outside pathway through Polynesian statues, tiki torches, and a mini bamboo forest, you get the feeling that you're not in Fort Lauderdale or even the 21st Century anymore.

This place is a jungle.
This place is a jungle.
Ian Witlen

 

The DJs.
The DJs.
Ian Witlen

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In the barroom, with its dark wood, ropes galore, and carved mermaid figureheads, it's like being in the hull of a ship. That, or at the bottom of a fish tank. Then water rains down on the windows from the outside, so you look out at what could actually pass for an underwater seascape after a few (dozen) rum barrels.

The waitresses serve the people in style. They're (barely) dressed for a luau, in coconut bras and straw skirts. And walking through the crowd of rowdy dancers -- which included folks from ages 21 to probably 70 -- they kindly delivered the fuel for our torches.

You can hit the thrift stores hard and practice your best twist in time for the next party. It's probably not till spring. So even though you missed out on this one, there's another right around the corner. And bring your friends for an optimal fun time.

The ladies of Mai Kai.
The ladies of Mai Kai.
Ian Witlen

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