Heartache on the Dance Floor

Album: California Sunrise (2016)
Charted: 47
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Here, Jon Pardi sings about love at first sight, as he recounts a story of lost opportunities, It begins with the first glimpse of a beautiful auburn-haired girl on the dance floor at an out-of-town bar.

    She was a heartache on the dance floor
    Yeah, she's moving through my mind
    I gotta know her name and I gotta see her again
    She's got me wondering, yeah I'm just wondering
    Where she at, where she at, where she at tonight?


    Pardi can't get the girl out of his mind, but despite his best attempts, he hasn't been able to run into her again.
  • The song's music video was directed by Carlos Ruiz who was also at the helm of Pardi's "Dirt on My Boots" clip. The visual follows the song's storyline as we see Pardi hoping to encounter again a girl that stole his heart during a nighttime beach party.

    "Shooting the video for 'Heartache on the Dance Floor' was awesome. We were out in Venice Beach, California. There's a lot of crazy people out there [laughs], but it was a lot of fun," said Pardi. "It was beautiful. It was great weather, and we got to explain the story of 'Heartache on the Dance Floor,' and it's kind of a dream sequence where you kinda fall asleep where you dream about the girl on the dance floor and the party. It's a lot of fun, and there's a lot of cool coloring in there, a really cool car I drive around. It's a different video, but it's kind of grungy in a way and it's really beachy, kinda cool California style, so that's why I was really excited about it."
  • Jon Pardi wrote the song with songwriter/producer Bart Butler (Thomas Rhett's "Make Me Wanna") and fellow songwriter Brice Long (Pardi's "What I Can't Put Down").
  • Pardi came up with the song's "where she at, where she at, where she at tonight" hook while staying in a hotel and sang it into his phone. He saved the "Heartache on the Dance Floor" title with it.

    Pardi then suggested it as a topic when he Butler and Long met up on June 26, 2014, at the Country Stampede in Manhattan, Kansas.
  • The three songwriters purposely made it unclear whether the guy actually joins the auburn-haired girl her on the dance floor or simply stares from the sidelines.

    "That's what I think is neat about it, 'cause you don't really know what happens," Butler told Billboard magazine. "It leaves it to the listener to figure out: Did they share a dance? Or was she out there dancing with somebody and he fell in love?"
  • Jon Pardi was thinking of a West Coast beach town when he penned this song. "I kind of wrote it with like San Diego kind-of-style-of-town or Venice Beach in my mind just because there was a couple of times I spent out there," he said. "So, I just always had this story of this super-hot California girl, like you're dancing around. You don't ever have the courage to say it but then you like – she drives you crazy and you're just kind of like waiting to see her again. You never really see her but this is kind of that – it's just like a happy song about this guy looking for a girl, and he's just trying to find her but not in a creepy way."
  • Brice Long told The Boot the story behind the song:

    "We wrote that song somewhere around Wichita, Kansas, me and Bart and Jon. Jon came on the bus - we met him at a show in Wichita, and he came on the bus - and just started singing 'Where's she at. Where's she at. Where's she at tonight? He had that kind of thing going. I looked at Bart, who produces Jon, and I said, 'Buddy, if we don't mess this thing up, we've got a hit here.'

    So, the next morning, we started writing on it. [We] got it written in one day, and we wrote 'All-Time High,' which is on the record, too; so we wrote both those songs in the same day.

    It was a lot of fun. Like I said, Jon came on and started singing that kind of thing, and we kind of went with a story behind him seeing a girl out in California - him being from California - and the rest kind of falls in place, but that's pretty much how it started."
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