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Silent Disco: Dancing Queen

Maggie Waickman | Monday, April 8, 2013

I love to dance. 

Whether I’m at a planned, themed SYR I have been looking forward to all week or a spontaneous study break dance party, I am always willing to bust a move. While my moves are not graceful, smooth or cool , the one redeeming quality of my dancing is copious enthusiasm. Whether or not the world wants to see it, I love to move my body.

So, obviously, when Allie and I decided to go to Silent Disco at Legend’s this past Saturday night, I was excited. The premise of Silent Disco forces the dancers to accept that they will look ridiculous. Silent Disco-ers don headphones and choose between two channels broadcasting the stylings of two different DJs. If any dancers takes their headphones off, they can watch a roomful of silent people dancing to different beats. Participants must accept that they will be part of this ridiculous set-up. Basically, Silent Disco forces everyone to approach dancing as I always approach dancing: abandon any semblance of caring about what onlookers think.

Allie and I, along with the friends we coerced into going with us, arrived at Legend’s at about 12:30 am. The scene when we got there was a little pathetic – about 11 people silently (and awkwardly) dancing. This sight did not deter my enthusiasm. I grabbed a pair of headphones and tuned in.

The beauty of any ill-attended Legend’s night is the huge amounts of space you have to break it down. Unlike a crowded dorm party or an SYR where all attendees feel the need to dance as close together as possible, Legend’s provides copious amounts of dancefloor when there are only 15 people in attendance. With my headphones on and the dance floor clear, I danced it out to song after song. I looked completely foolish, and I loved every second of it.

If you choose to participate in the glory that is Silent Disco, however, do me a favor and do not sing along to the music. We had the honor of hearing the vocal stylings of a very drunken group of boys. While I understand that most Notre Dame students belt out “Livin’ on a Prayer” every chance they get, the glory of Silent Disco was ruined by the attempted harmonizing of these inebriated fellows. I was busy shakin’ it to the electronic beats of the other channel and hearing their dulcet tones over my own channel threw me out of my dancing zone.

If you do choose to participate in the spectacle of Silent Disco, there are some key steps to maximizing your fun. First, choose to go with a group of people who will enjoy it. These friends must either be unafraid of looking ridiculous or be easily coaxed into looking ridiculous. Secondly, if you are of age, go with a bit of a buzz. Don’t go so smashed that you will become those kids who sing aloud to every song, but a slight social lubricant can only help overcome the initial barrier of awkward. Finally, come prepared to show off a wide variety of dance moves. The white guy head bob or the awkward step-tap-wave-your-hands will simply not cut it. Need inspiration? Watch Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” music video. Realize that Robyn is in her 40s. Aspire to her give-no-cares style of aggressive dancing.

Although Allie may try to convince you that Silent Disco was a terrifyingly awkward experience that forced her to boogey uncomfortably in place for a third of the night and loiter by the water for the rest of the time, don’t listen to her curmudgeonly ways. Take your destiny and your moves into your own hands. Dispel your cares about what the measly 10 others in Legend’s think of you. And just dance.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Maggie Waickman at mwaickma@nd.edu