9 pm: I finish my shift at the Bear-y Sweet Shoppe and close up shop. My friends and I walk around the corner to Ursa’s Nite Life, the alternative night life programming space on campus. A curtain of metallic streamers hangs in the doorway and my glasses fog up immediately upon entering. Green, blue, and red lights bounce around the room—each color of the headphones indicating a different channel of music. Green signals the most popular songs in the charts right now, blue is 90s-2000s hits, and red is 70s & 80s bops. Disparate voices float through the air as people sing to the different songs playing through their headphones while they dance.
I’ve always wanted to go to a silent disco. Other than my room, there are no places I feel comfortable enough to dance in all my arm-flailing, leg-jerking glory. But there is something so freeing about dancing in a dark room with people who aren’t listening to the same music as I am. While I’m jumping up and down to Gangnam Style, others are doing the Cotton-eye Joe. It doesn’t matter that my body might not be moving at the “right” pace as others; we’re not listening to the same song anyway!
On the occasion that an absolute bop or jam comes on, everybody switches to that channel and sings and dance together. Some memorable ones are classics like Bohemian Rhapsody, I Want It That Way, and Everytime We Touch. We’re belting the same song together but all we can really hear are the crooning voices of Freddie Mercury and the Backstreet Boys.
My friends and I go with the intention of only staying for an hour or so, but we leave two hours later, sweaty, happy, and more comfortable with dancing in public.