Bring your own music, Headphone disco allows students to dance to own beat
By Amber George
Imagine a room full of students dancing their hearts out to the perfect melody. The ambiance is thrilling: Flashing colors and fog machines fill the atmosphere as the final chorus bellows throughout the room. But the mood crumbles in a matter of seconds as the first simplistic, overused notes of the worst song ever begin to circulate through the air, flushing out the energy once filled through the room. While a handful of students may shriek in joy, because they actually like the song, the dance floor begins to clear and the rest of the students take a seat and wait for it all to end. Many students would agree this is a common problem at school dances; and it can sometimes ruin the mood for the rest of the night.
What if, however, being stuck listening to the one bad song was no longer an issue? What if everyone had the choice to turn said song off and switch over to something better? This past Friday, in the field house at NAU, this was exactly the kind of dance SUN Entertainment had in mind. The events group put on a “headphone disco,” which Rachel Sizemore, the SUN Program Coordinator, described as a “silent dance party.” The idea first came to their attention at the National Association for Campus Activities conference, where they learned the basics of the headphone disco and saw what an appeal it had to other students.
“Students are given a pair of headphones to wear for the event.” Sizemore explains, “There are two DJs set up, each mixing up different music.” The students are then able to switch from one DJ’s station to the other as many times as they want. The actual room is silent, and instead, the music blasts through the headphone speakers. Sizemore jokes it could “even take place in the library!”
The event not only hosted silent dancing with various music options, but also offered free food and a disco themed costume contest. There was endless fun for the students as they danced silently together in sync to songs such as “Cupid Shuffle” or the “Cha Cha Slide”.
Freshman photography major Victoria Nabours attended the dance, and said it was a lot of fun. “I loved the idea of a headphone disco,” she says, “I had never been to one before, and I really loved the idea. I think it should be held again, and hopefully more people will come.” Though there wasn’t a full house, many students still stopped in to see what all the excitement was about.
DJ Rex Buchanan, the lead DJ for Headphone Disco, was thrilled to be hosting the NAU party. “I enjoy watching kids dance to two different beats at the same time; it’s fun to guess which song they’re listening to by watching them dance,” Buchanan says.
Not only were there group dances, but there were also dance circles, where students would take turns busting a move in the center of the circle and show off their unique dancing skills. Everything from the robot to the sprinkler was seen as the students tuned in to the different stations.
And the best part? If that “worst song ever” started playing, a simple touch of a button on the headphones would immediately switch to the other DJ, and the students could continue to dance the night away.
“The primary benefit of having a silent disco is that you can have it anywhere at any time of day or night, with no restrictions on sound levels,” Buchanan says.
If someone needed to take a break, they could simply remove their headphones and have a normal conversation with their friends, without the hassle of having to blow out their lungs from shouting over loud music.
Whether it was busting out some slick rhymes along side Flo Rida, or bopping around to “Call Me Maybe,” there was a song and a station for every student. The reaction to the headphone disco was definitely a positive one, and many of the students hope to see a return of the event.