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New fad of 'silent discos' sweeping the globe

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 29th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's a wild new fad that feeds off the dissociation found in modern life. While millions of people listen to music on headphones while they shop at the market, do housework and other mundane tasks, there are a crop of new nightclubs, called "silent discos," where all the dancers listen to music on wireless headphones. The experience to the newcomer is disorienting. Walking into these clubs, you will see people dancing in total silence. It's a trend that catching on.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The new dance party phenomenon, which started in Europe uses specially designed wireless headphones, rather than a traditional speaker system sends people boogying on to the dance floor. Silent discos are now taking America by storm.

"People would think its anti-social, but it ends up being the exact opposite," Ryan Dowd, owner of Silent Events, Inc., who caters Silent Disco events around the country says. "If you meet someone or give them the eye on the dance floor, there's no way to talk in a loud, crowded club without going outside, but this way you can literally take off the headphones in the center of the dance floor and talk in an inside voice steps from the DJ."

College campuses are now hosting Silent Disco parties for their students as well as music festivals, fairs, weekly silent nights at your favorite club, rooftop parties.

Originally created to deal with noise ordinances, silent discos help build camaraderie among those in the know. Everyone feels like they're in on a secret since they're all wearing the headphones. Spectators nab a voyeuristic pleasure from watching the group dance in what appears to be silence.

"I think it's become a phenomenon because there are so many ways to enjoy it," says Dowd. "If you don't like loud music, you can dial down the volume. If you don't like a certain type of music, you can change the channel. If you don't dance, you can people watch."

Many silent discos feature several DJs or two or three types of music like rock, rap or electronica. Silent Events even created a bilingual option for a silent dance party.

Dowd measures the success of the events when the headphones run out at the door.

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