Opinions, Column

Somebody Call 911, BC’s Shawties Have Left the Dance Floor

Sean Kingston once sang, “Somebody call 911, Shawty fire burning on the dance floor.” But if you’ve visited a Boston College party, on or off campus, nothing could be further from the truth. The dance floor is gathering dust. 

Most BC off-campus basements on Saturday nights feel more like middle school formals than true college parties. Instead of dancing, people huddle around in small groups talking with their friends. Big Booty Remixes still blast around them, but most Eagles prefer screaming over this music about their finance problem sets instead of dancing. It’s time for this to change. 

There are probably many reasons why Eagles aren’t dancing at parties, but I have two running theories for the phenomenon. The first is that people prefer spending the weekend catching up with their friends and socializing outside of study spaces instead of dominating the dance floor. I have no reason to oppose this. After all, the weekend is meant to be a time when you can put down your books for a minute and enjoy the company of your friends. 

The second hypothesis, however, is that people are too embarrassed to openly dance in a crowded setting with their friends and peers. This has got to change—no Eagle should be too scared of their peers’ judgment to get on, step on, tear up, break a sweat, and work on the floor. 

If you’re concerned about generally embarrassing yourself at a party—for example, if you say something stupid or appear weird to a crush—I’m sure that drinking at an effective pregame would ease your worries. Yet, even after a few drinks, many BC students still have a problem with dancing. After all, judgment is the source of embarrassment—and what we’re really worried about is being negatively judged by our peers, not a bad hangover. 

There’s a good way to embarrass yourself on a Saturday night and a bad way to embarrass yourself. One way is “making memories” and “embracing the college experience,” and the other is “awkward” and “I mean I love your energy, but I wouldn’t be caught dead doing the Macarena in a Mod party.” This difference between good and bad embarrassing moments suggests that there’s an even deeper problem at hand, one that involves the social psyche of our campus. 

For a school that broke an attendance record at the AHANA+ Leadership Council (ALC) Showdown this year, it’s surprising to think that students don’t like dancing. Certainly, the BC community really appreciates dancing and loves to support the talented and hardworking students who are members of different dance groups. But, BC students find themselves nervous on the sidelines when it comes to dancing as their amateur selves. 

We’re insecure about whether or not we’re enjoying our weekends “the right way.” Supposedly, enjoying your weekend properly does not involve dancing like nobody’s watching—after all, what if people are watching? 

This is not a useful mindset. The beauty of dance is that you don’t have to be good at it to participate. And unless you’ve been training for months for a Showdown-level performance in a crowded basement with LED lights, I don’t think people are too concerned about whether or not you hit every beat. And neither should you. 

So get out there and dance like a dad at a wedding! And drag your friends too! If “Evacuate the Dancefloor” comes on and your soul does not levitate out of your body and become replaced by the ghost of Michael Jackson, something is wrong. Bust a move, break it down, pump it up, whatever feels right, but let yourself enjoy the moment. We only have so much time to cherish in Foster basements or Mod living rooms, so we might as well set the dance floor on fire.

April 30, 2023