On Her Toes

A night on the town with dance-scene veteran Groovin' Kim.

On Her Toes

Kimberley Dietemann, the Seattle dance-music zealot better known as “GROOVIN’ KIM,” has been making it her business to be in the know for a decade. A U-Dub research assistant and tech-support worker who began raving as a teenager in the mid-’90s, she’s kept her love for the local scene steadfast via her popular, regularly updated club and rave listings Web site. She doesn’t proselytize about dance music as much as she used to, when a job at Capitol Hill’s Orpheum Records gave her a pulpit to preach from, but she’s still a fervent believer, and as was evident the Sunday I tagged along with her, she knows everybody in the scene.

When we meet for coffee at 4:30 p.m. at Victrola (411 15th Ave. E., 206-325-6520), she is frazzled from seeing San Francisco house DJ Mark Farina at Chop Suey (1325 E. Madison St., 206-324-8000) the night before. “It was packed, and I was smashed, crushed by a variety of people,” she says. “I lost part of my hearing, because the only place you have any room to dance at Chop Suey is in front of the front left speaker, and it’s far too loud there for any reasonable person to dance in front of.”

Kim is not quite reasonable. Which is not to say she’s discourteous; after a vigorous day of record shopping at Tone (1359 E. Olive Way, 206-382-8495) and Zion’s Gate (1100 E. Pike St., 206-568-5446), she invites me to her Eastlake apartment for vegetarian spaghetti. This is part of Kim’s Sunday-night ritual: cooking dinner for herself, her boyfriend, and friends before hitting the clubs. Kim is serious about dancing. She sheds the fun outfit she wore record shoppingolive shoulder-slit long-sleeved turtleneck, a long black nylon skirt, fishnets, leg warmers, zig-zag patterned socks, camouflage shoes with strapsin favor of a more utilitarian army pants and tank top before heading out. There is another ritual to enact, this time involving . . . toe socks. In the six months since she took in the Sonar electronic music festival in Barcelona, Kim has been wearing toe socks while clubbing. She purchases them online from a Belgian manufacturer, though American-made ones are much cheaper. Apparently, Kim is a toe-sock purist. “They lift and Empty Picture Box Empty Picture Box separate, just like a Wonderbra,” she explains of the pair of woolen, red-striped foot gloves she thrusts into my hands. I try them on . . . and they do!

Properly armedor footedwe set off for the Baltic Room (1207 Pine St., 206-625-4444) to catch the local DJ crew SunTzu Sound’s broken-beat night. It’s early but still more crowded than we’d anticipated, thanks in part to the collective’s appearance on KEXP earlier in the evening. Kim dances in a way that seems both contained and boisterous, bobbing from the knees up and almost hopping in place before taking a couple steps forward, at which point her arms and torso begin corkscrewing, all while maintaining posture that would shame a drill sergeant. She’s tall5 feet 8 inchesbut her demeanor is more pixieish than you’d expect. After a while, she comes up and says, “Here’s my advice for your readers: Don’t eat before going out or you’ll get side cramps.”

Later, we head to Kim’s usual Sunday-night haunt, Re-bar (1114 Howell Ave., 206-233-9873), for Flammable, Brian Lyons and Brent Laurence’s house night. Kim and a friend hit the floor while I talk music with her boyfriend and continue enjoying my toes’ newfound lift and separation. Amazingly, Kim is just getting startedat 24, she has the stamina of a teenagerbut although the music sounds good, I’m wearing down. When Kim returns to the table, I ask if we can go out to the car so I can fetch my backpack. “You have to dance for five minutes first,” her friend says with a smile. I relent and go for 15. I bid the group goodnight and walk halfway home to Belltown before realizing something: I’m still wearing Kim’s toe socks. I haven’t returned them yet.

Groovin’ Kim’s Web site: ww.pulpfiction.com/ rave/groovinkim/events.html; and hotline: 206-686-3151.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, who pushed for broadband funding in Washington schools. (Screenshot from murray.senate.gov)
American Rescue Plan Act funding approved for broadband investments in WA schools

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray pushed for the funding, which will benefit several King County school districts.

Courtesy photo
State offers free at-home COVID-19 tests

You can order the tests through the state’s new online portal.

Sen. Mona Das, D-47
Kent Democratic Sen. Mona Das proposes 1% cut in state sales tax

Starting in 2023; Republicans voice support for Senate Bill 5932

Federal Way police arrest suspect in fatal carjacking

35-year-old Tacoma man charged with murder in “random, brutal and senseless carjacking,” preosecutors say.

File photo.
Man accused of fatally shooting 11-year-old girl’s dog in front of her

The defendant is being charged with first-degree animal cruelty and reckeless endangerment.

Stock photo, Metro Creative Graphics
Auburn, Federal Way mayors speak out against multifamily housing bill

Leaders say they don’t need state intervention.

File photo
Non-profit sponsors study on how the pandemic impacted arts and culture in Puget Sound

The study helped identify challenges faced by residents and cultural organizations in Washington

File photo
WA lawmakers propose making companies responsible for recycling improvements

SB 5697 would compel industries to report data, invest in infrastructure, meet standards.

Governor Jay Inslee. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee: Officials’ lies about election results should be crime

Governor wants lawmakers to pass legislation making it a gross misdemeanor.

Most Read