Disco isn’t dead, it’s just quiet: Students dance the night away at silent disco


Taheera Washington / Hilltop Views

Students hit the dance floor at silent disco. On the dance floor, you can choose to group together on the same station with friends or go your own way.

People often take time to dance like no one is watching in the comfort of their own homes. But the opportunity to have your own dance party in public surrounded by others doing the same can be found with silent discos.

On March 6, the University Programming Board (UPB) hosted their second silent disco of the year in the St. Andre Apartments multi-purpose room. This time the theme was glow in the dark, shown by the retro, neon decorations and glow sticks. 

While the name insinuates silence as a key factor, a silent disco is anything but that. Upon entry, wireless, noise-cancelling headphones connected to different stations are given to attendees. Stations are influenced by the DJ’s music taste. 

This year, Latinx Student Leaders Organization (LSLO), Asian Student Association (ASA) and UPB curated the blue, green and red stations respectively. With the flick of a switch, disco attendees could navigate through the stations on their headphones and know which stations others were on based on LED lights on the headphones matching the assigned colors for each station. 

LSLO played mostly Latin music, ASA played Top 40 Hits and UPB played EDM and house music. While it’s essential to provide an assortment of genres, each station played recognizable songs in a battle to get listeners’ attention.

“I went for Latin music [since] St. Edward’s is a largely Hispanic community, so that definitely plays a big part as to why I put Latin music on,” president of LSLO and DJ Antonio Morin said.

On the other hand, it’s key for the DJ to play music that suits their preferred style since they have to listen to the same genre for three hours. 

“I go to a lot of house concerts,” UPB’s DJ Nick Drkulec said. “I just used the songs that generate the most energy at the concerts that I go to.” 

Energy plays an important role in the overall experience of a silent disco. People are unable to hear anything other than the music unless they choose to take their headphones off, so everyone is indulging in each other’s energy, shown through dance moves and reactions to certain songs. 

“What attracts me to silent discos is the energy and the fun anyone can have,” ASA’s DJ Justin Nguyen said. “Even if they listen to different kinds of music, they can still dance together.”

While St. Edward’s next silent disco won’t be until next semester, there’s plenty of opportunities around Austin to get the experience – notably during Austin City Limits Music Festival. Quiet Events Inc. also hosts silent discos across the city and allows anyone to host their own silent disco for $6. 

The name ‘silent disco’ hints towards the disco genre, or that you have to be quiet in order to attend, but it’s important to remember that silent discos are a celebration of all music genres and a revival of dance parties. Whether you’re introverted or fearful of dancing in public, there are plenty of others in the same position as you, so just dance like no one is there.