What are the location must-haves?
A good LOTS location has a few basic conditions. These are some that I categorized this way, but you can obviously judge yourself if you agree or that you feel that other conditions are of bigger importance.
- Possibility to use a toilet
A public restroom nearby is quite nice. You can think of a toilet within public spaces such as a library or a museum, but also a cafe or restaurant might have a toilet you could use. If it concerns the hospitality industry, make sure you meet an arrangement with the owner and maybe bring some spare change. This enables people to stay longer at the LOTS rather than going home early because they really have to pee.
However it won’t be necessary every time, it is convenient to have a place to shelter if it starts raining. In the Netherlands you never know if a sudden shower comes around. If you have chosen a good spot, this is no reason to shut down the LOTS. So make sure to choose a location with a place to shelter when needed. All my favorite locations provide some level of shelter. Download the app and you can start right away!.
- Secluded but open environment
It is nice to have a bit of a secluded location for your LOTS. It is fine if a curious bypasser comes to peek what is going on, but a LOTS has not the intention to attract a lot of people. Especially in these times with corona measures. LOTS was started as an approachable way to practice dancing, sharing salsa and bachata tips, and broadening your dance network. The focus lies within the group, not on exposed dancing. Therefor a rather secluded location would help with that feeling of security so you feel free to try and experiment.
When do I consider it secluded? In general when it is not located in the middle of a busy shopping area, something a little more remote. E.g. you can meet at the Maritime museum as this is covered from rain, but this is in the middle of the city center close to a busy crossroad with many people walking by. Locations that are below streetlevel for example, work better. This way the location lies out of direct eye sight. Besides, a more secluded or remote location gives some freedom based on the use of music. This way you create less noise disturbance for the environment.
If there will be dancing, the dancefloor is a good element to take into consideration. Some fanatics can dance on literally any surface, but in general it is nice to have a smooth and even surface. Be careful not hurting your knees! This varies between an ideal floor such as natural stone without joints, to less ideal surfaces such as cobblestones or loose sand. Make sure that before you decide on the location you check the surface of the potential dance area so you can communicate this to your fellow LOTS-goers. Is it a perfect dancefloor, or is it better if they leave their dancing shoes at home and should they be dancing on sneakers?
Nice to have’s
Some of the elements that definitely make the location are the nice to have’s. They might not be as important to everybody, but it does give that extra level of experience of your LOTS.
How do your LOTS invitees come to the event? By bike, with the car or by public transport? You can take this into consideration when choosing your perfect LOTS location. It might come in handy to have a location that is accessible by public transport or has free parking nearby.
Not every place has that atmospheric vibe. You can imagine that a parking near a industrial area might be secluded but not necessarily look very ‘gezellig’. However you can always pimp it, it is something to take into consideration. Is your location perfect for watching a sunset? Is it lit at night? Or is there a cute arbor or lots of greenery? All these elements add up to the ambiance of your LOTS. So again: go check it out. Visit your location and discover what vibe you get and get a taste if this might be your location for a LOTS.
In your city there will also be multiple locations that are perfect for a LOTS. Are you not interested in figuring out your own ideal location? In the free Movely app you can find my 7 favorite LOTS locations in Rotterdam. Prefer to look for your own spot? Do it like Marco and I did: grab a scooter or bike and make a day out of it. Discover your own city, so in the end you’ll know the best kept secret locations for your LOTS.
Go and explore! Consider the above mentioned elements, but do mainly what fits your ideal LOTS afternoon or evening. Make sure to inform other about the basic conditions such as the availability of a toilet, if there is a possibility for sheltering for the rain, the accessibility and the quality of the (dance)floor.
Have LOTS of fun!