Blaise Tapp: I’m not ready to pack away my dancing shoes just yet

For the past six decades, dancing into the small hours on a sticky nightclub dance floor has been a rite of passage for teenagers everywhere.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

My parents’ generation proudly boasts that they invented clubbing, although those of us who did our best partying in the greatest decade of them all - the ‘90s - will tell anyone who listens that we lived through the golden age of nightclubs. Some of the most enjoyable nights of our lives were spent queuing in all weathers, sometimes for the best part of an hour, before trying to convince a neckless bouncer that we were perfectly fine and would behave ourselves once we got inside.

As someone who has hung up his jacket in countless club cloakrooms across the country, I look back fondly on an era when my nights out wouldn’t really get properly started until 1am and would end with an overpriced taxi journey home or another queue - for a kebab.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although the responsibility of paying bills and raising little humans means my days of regular clubbing are long gone, I have long cast an envious eye at younger folk who have the stamina to go all night on the dancefloor. It seems, however, that today’s teenagers are going out far less than their forebears used to, a real problem for the night time economy.

Some of the most enjoyable nights were spent dancing the night away. Photo: AdobeSome of the most enjoyable nights were spent dancing the night away. Photo: Adobe
Some of the most enjoyable nights were spent dancing the night away. Photo: Adobe

Earlier this month, the largest nightclub operator in the country, Rekom UK, shut 17 venues after going into administration, citing rising costs along with the fact that much of its target audience - Generation Z - doesn’t have the disposable income to go out on the tiles on a regular basis. The cost of living crisis really has changed everything for so many of us.

But even if they had the money to blow on blue WKDs, it isn’t a given that today’s teens and early twenty somethings would be living it large on a Friday. We know that, typically, they don’t drink as much as previous generations and that they would much rather stay at home on their phone than trying to catch a barman’s eye before being relieved of £40 for a round.

That’s not to say that all bars and clubs are dying - I recently hit the town with a group of much younger colleagues and we hogged the packed dancefloor of one particular venue all night. The place was packed, although it is perhaps telling that I was a long way off being the oldest swinger in town.

There is plenty of dancing left in our shoes, which can only be good news from those who earn their living from nightclubs.