Meet Ellie Locke, FBi‘s Dance Class Trainee

December 21st 2015

ELLIE LOCKE ash berd

Photo by Ash Berdebes

“This is a mix of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and cranberries. It’s also my first promo mix for FBi’s female mentorship program, Dance Class.”

Ellie Locke is one of five trainees that have been a part of FBi’s Dance Class presented by V MoVement: an opportunity to learn everything there is to know about being a DJ from some of Sydney’s best. Now she’s putting her new skills into practice – joining Spin The Bottle on air on Saturday nights for the next month, and playing her first party at the Burdekin on December 7.

Introduce her to your ears – Ellie’s debut all-vinyl mix is below, plus some nice words about her experience so far. Keep an eye out for all the FBi’s Dance Class graduates over the next couple of months, they’ll soon be taking over!


White Noise for James – EDUARDO DE LA CALLE
“Tape 8”: Track 4 – INTERSTELLAR FUNK
Highest Level – RON OBVIOUS
Infectious – GARY ROMALIS
Houses in Motion – PALMS TRAX
Phrase – TC80
The Hammer (Think Mix) – DAN WHITE
Spacer Woman – CHARLIE
Bisou Sucre – BOB SINCLAIR
Women Beat their Men – SUBMISSION


“I’ve been a supporter of FBi since I was 14, and when I heard about the Dance Class program it was music to my ears (pun intended). In high school I sang in the choir, played clarinet in the concert band and orchestra, busked in Pitt St Mall with my (appalling) self-taught guitar skills and unamplified voice, and did tap, jazz and hip hop dancing. Tap was my favourite – it felt like strapping a drum kit to your feet.

When school ended, I stopped creating music and began searching and collecting. My friends got into bass music, we’d see every dubstep event in Sydney, and when I went travelling in my gap year I became pretty obsessed with drum and bass. Maybe it awoken the tap dancer in me, jumping up and down at 180BPM for 8 hours straight – heaven.

When I first started listening to house, it was corny stuff like Tensnake, Sven Vath, podcasts from Ibiza… Over the past couple of years, I’ve been honing in on the sounds I really like. I rode the disco train for a long time, and now moving into more minimal stuff, dub techno, 90s house bangers, acid house/techno, bushy tech house, even some early trance. I’ve seen a huge number of extremely talented DJs and producers. (TOP TEN: Amon Tobin, Flying Lotus, Bicep, Sex Tags, Tinman, Claire Morgan, Smallpeople, The Black Madonna, Palms Trax, Marcel Dettman).

FBi’s Dance Class has been a dream come true. I have strong feelings about the gender imbalance in today’s dance music scene. It takes a lot of courage for a girl to get up in front of the boys and have a crack on the decks. It’s not that they’re less talented or passionate about music (as the other Dance Class girls have absolutely proven) – I believe it’s that there isn’t an accessible platform for females to feel comfortable or worthy while they learn.

This program has given us incredible knowledge and a broad skillset. The highlights for me were the vinyl workshop with Kali and the radio presenting workshop with Caroline Gates and Adi Toohey. As an avid FBi listener, I found it fascinating to learn of the intricacies behind being a presenter and the ways one builds a relationship with listeners. We’ve learnt insider tips from people who have helped shape the Sydney music scene (Kali, Joyride, Future Classic’s Anna Burns, just to name a few). I’m stoked to have Andy Garvey as one of my tutors and now role models – she’s talented, motivated and proof that gender is not a legitimate marker.

The main lesson I’ve learned from the program is that there is an infinite number of ways to do anything, and no way is right. Find your feet, and do it how you want to do it.

I started collecting records when I was given a turntable for my 21st birthday. Initially this meant I bought things for bedroom listening, like the beautiful piano piece this mix opens with (check out Max Groove – such sexy jazz). Thanks to Dance Class, I’ve now got the perfect excuse to burn a bigger hole in my wallet and buy more danceable records. I had basically no mixing experience on CDJ’s or turntables before Dance Class, and I’ve thrown myself in the deep end by sticking to vinyl. The program has given us some really solid foundations, but I’ve still got so much to learn. The mix posted here is glimpse of the sorts of records I’ve been buying – from jazz to minimal techno to deep house to breakbeat to disco. More is more!

Massive thanks to V MoVement for making the whole thing happen, and to Andy Garvey and Caroline Gates for their tireless efforts to give us five lucky girls more than we could have wished for! It’s been such an exciting time and looking forward to what we all do in the future.”





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