Make some noise for Northeastern’s first Silent Disco!

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Shining through the doors of the Curry Ballroom, vibrant lights invited passing students to make their way inside a space filled with echoes of laughter, strained voices chanting the lyrics of princess tracks. pop and dance circles powered by TikTok’s latest trending choreography. With multicolored circles floating on the floor in the effect of a mirror ball, Northeastern’s Friday night disco had begun. The only thing missing? Music… or at least that’s what it sounded like.

The soundtrack of the night could only be heard through wireless headphones, glowing red, green, or blue – an indication of their chosen music channel.

Hosted by Northeastern’s Council of University Programs, or CUP, on September 17, the long-awaited Silent Disco attracted undergraduates looking for a night to dance to their own beat.

“It was a really cool scene,” said Leila Abdul-Malak, marketing coordinator for CUP and a combined third year major in health sciences and psychology. “My favorite part of the event was watching everyone switch between playlists when a classic was playing. “

Participants had a choice of three different playlists, displayed on a projection screen next to the ballroom: flashbacks and classics; the top and the pop of today; and EDM. Switching between these channels colored the headphones with a distinct light, allowing revelers to gravitate to like-minded groups of listeners. While a traditional nightclub deserves ringing in the ears and music hammered in the hands of a DJ, the power of a silent nightclub lies in its ‘choose your own adventure’ style of entertainment.

If given the choice between a quiet nightclub and a more conventional party scene, there was no doubt about it, said Megan Lam, third-year architecture and design student. “I would definitely choose that,” said Lam, who hosted the theme of the night in a head-to-toe ’70s disco ensemble. “It’s not like high school parties where we all end up the night complaining about the DJ they hired.”

“I can change channels and it’s all up to me,” said Lam’s friend and all-night dance partner Pragnya Kousik, a third-year business administration student.

This idea of ​​silent clubbing is not a new phenomenon in entertainment, especially in universities. From freshman orientation nights to dance marathons, to local colleges and across the country including Boston university, New York University and the University of Southern California – took the opportunity to organize silent and structuring festivities for their students. However, the popularity of silent nightclubs does not end there.

“I actually saw this on Netflix once,” Lam said. “Shout ‘Atypical’ for inspiring me to come tonight. ”

Netflix’s Coming of Age Series “Atypical”Offers a silent disco ball in an accommodation for Sam Gardner, the 18-year-old protagonist with autism. Silent disco earphone call especially people with autism spectrum, and anyone who may experience overwhelming sensory sensitivity, social anxiety or lack of control in the usual club setting.

Lam, Kousik and Bhavashah were three of more than 100 attendees who flocked to the event after parading in front of the CUP’s intriguing Instagram flyers. As CUP’s special events chair this year, fifth-year health sciences major Charmy Patel was more than excited to work with the board’s marketing team to create unique promotional material. The long-awaited event was then officially announced at the start of the semester.

“When Northeastern announced that we would be allowed to have in-person programs, I was eager to bring the students together again,” Patel said. “I’ve actually been thinking of running a silent nightclub for over a year now, mostly inspired by my love of dancing with my friends and seeing smaller scale silent pop-up nightclubs around Boston.”

While hosting an event of this magnitude has brought its own challenges, such as finding and retrieving packaged headphones from the mailroom – a struggle Northeastern students know all too well – the luck to offer students a night to remember Patel’s continued perseverance.

“After a full year of blended learning and little to no in-person programming, I wanted to give students the opportunity to create non-virtual memories, get away from the world, and dance alongside their friends for a few hours. , ”Patel thought. “At first glance, I would say we were able to do just that. “

Over the hours, the confidence in the room grew more and more palpable. No longer intimidated by the familiar and vulnerable sensation of singing in the shower, the voices grew in volume and strength under the obligatory masks. Crossing the room allowed one to experience simultaneously the unmistakable verses of Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More”, Train’s “Drive By” and the low beats of the EDM tracks emanating from the explosive headphones.

Despite the occasional ‘battle of the groups’ atmosphere of the ballroom through competitive sing-offs between pop ballads and return tunes, the sense of oneness that hung in the air was almost tangible. For many, it was the first time since my forties to sing, dance and just socialize in a room teeming with new and old friends.

“Unlike other community events, which aim to bring together people with common hobbies, cultures or career goals, our event was open to people of all backgrounds and interests,” Patel said.

After a year of pandemic policies and virtual barriers to community building, a silent nightclub offered undergraduates the unique opportunity to find a place to dance and chat, creating a night to remember for everyone.


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