In Boston, there is a very small dance scene that exists and a limited amount of shows that occur. Eli and Charlie of the infamous, Soul Clap were once residents of Boston, MA (You heard me!). They had been throwing a summer day party called, Dancing on the Charles which was a staple in the developing music scene in the city. Once the duo had moved on to green pastures in NY, the party was dissolved.
There is something to be said about those who want to keep the party going and that person was Rose Krueger. Sad that DOTC parties would no longer occur, Rose decided to investigate into getting permits to throw a block party in a private area by her house in Cambridge. Near her house there used to be a parking lot, which was then converted into the Green Rose-Heritage Park.
Having a background in the catering industry and being exposed to various types of events, Rose decided she wanted to keep the party going. The first year the party was called, in came Block Party on the Green. Rose had put together a lineup of two DJs and various bands, including Will Dailey before he made his debut in the music world. The party was so much fun and such a huge success that she continued it again the following year.
The next year, Rose reached out to Randy Deshaies (a.k.a. Party Bison) to get his help in securing a better combination of acts because there was too much lag time between each of the band’s sets. Randy has been in the Boston music scene as far back as 2001 and agreed to help Rose that year. They then changed the name to, Dancing on the Block.
To Rose, the block was special because it was more condensed and they had more random neighbors stopping by. “Most would have no clue what house music is and they just happen to be walking down the street and kinda see that there is a party going on and decided to pop in and check it out.” Her goal was to create a fun event for the community that involved hearing new music and bringing people together.
The party lasted three years on Rose’s block before it got too big and there were noise complaints (even though the party ended at 9 PM). For the fourth year, Rose and Randy moved the party to the Veteran’s Marsh Post in Cambridge and wanted to use the original name, Dancing on the Charles.
With Soul Clap’s blessing, the party was converted back to its origins and continued on. The party was outside at the new venue overlooking the Charles River and left room for a larger capacity of attendees. The space had picnic tables, decorations and some green space for people to put down blankets and relax in the sun. Over the course of the last six years, the event has been growing exponentially and so have the acts and amenities.
Randy has done an incredible job of curating a combination of Boston locals to showcase the rising talents around the city. Soul Clap even came and played at their July 18, show as a small homecoming. Rose has been inviting local food trucks to come and offer their service exclusively to the event. Rose also acts as the "fun police" (even though she is far from it) to make sure that everything closes up on time. She also works closely with an incredible security team who keep everyone in line (but definitely do not need to worry with that crowd).
This year, the event has pretty much been selling out at each show. I, myself, have attended three DOTC events out of the entire summer season and have never been disappointed. The wonderful thing about the event is that each one feels as if you came to a party with your closest 200 friends (big LOL, here). Boston is small, so the music community is pretty tight and it’s always a pleasure to spend the day dancing and mingling. For Rose, it was always about love and respect for the music. Dancing on the Charles is a place where people can get together and dance with friends but also make new ones. People continuously come up to Rose and say they had met their significant others at one of the DOTC events (maybe they need a tinder-like app).
With the growing numbers of attendees for every event, Rose gave me a little scoop about possibly looking into a venue with a higher capacity that would give DOTC a little more differentiation. More room to dance? No objections here!
Dancing on the Charles is a great event filled with amazing people who get together to enjoy the best of their city. Boston, however small, is very fortunate to have many amazing local talents some of which had made it over to the Big Apple (i.e., Soul Clap, Taimur of Bedouin). A big thanks is deserving of Rose and Randy for keeping the vibe going in Boston, we greatly appreciate it.