Leg warmers were dusted off, tutus fluffed and shoulder pads made to be as sharp as ever at the Let’s Dance: 80s Edition dance party, hosted by the Neoteric Dance Collaborative and the Redfern Arts Center, this past Friday in the Mabel Brown Room.
Upon entering the room, attendees were handed a program in the form of a “cootie catcher,” outlining when group dance lessons and dance performances by the Neoteric Dance Collaborative would be taking place throughout the night.
Neon lights illuminated the room and the disco ball, and party-goers took to the dance floor to boogie along to the likes of Prince, Bowie, Janet Jackson, Devo and more, ‘spun’ by DJ James 808.
Every half-hour or so, the dancers of the Neoteric Dance Collaborative cleared the dancefloor to perform original choreography for the attendees to popular 80’s music, starting off these performances with an interactive group dance lesson that everyone would perform for the finale dance number.
First-years James Yates and Shelby Orifice both were drawn to the event because of their love of 80s music and their love to dance.
Yates did admit to liking more of the 80s “metal” music variety, citing Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer and Van Halen as some of his favorites, while Orifice prefered rock groups more like The Smiths.
Coordinator of Energy and Administrative Services at the Physical Plant at Keene State College Diana Duffy, was also seen busting out some dance moves on Friday.
“When I was in highschool we used to have 50s dances, it was this nostalgic alien period that we reached back for. This is now where we are, and we are reaching back to the 80s, so for most people it’s this sort of foreign alien time that had people dressed up funny with a lot of hair, etc, so it’s something to commemorate , in a way,” Duffy said on students today reacting to the 80s era at the event.
Having gone through college in the 80’s, Duffy recounted on the times of a student run disco that ran six nights a week, where she jokingly said she got a “summa cum in disco”.
Her dance moves remain as energetic as ever.
KSC students Umutoni Nyiramugisha and Claudine Umurutasate appreciated the performances put on by the Neoteric Dance Collaborative, first hesitating then finding themselves on the dance floor for a majority of the night .
“They all are very good at it [dancing]” Umurutasate said on the dancers. Both said they would go to an event like this again.
Director of the Redfern Arts Center Shannon Mayers, had happened upon the Neoteric Dance Collaborative and their Let’s Dance: 80s Edition event by chance, stating that she was drawn to the dance party vibes that Neoteric Dance Collaborative brings.
“I was really thinking about this for students” Mayers said, “Having something fun on a Friday that is fun and safe”.
Founder of the Neoteric Dance Collaborative Sarah Duclos, begun the group while in college in order to push herself and other student dancers further in the dancing/choreography realm.
The group has developed Let’s Dance: Soul Edition and Let’s Dance: 80s Edition dance parties, events that take anywhere from three to nine months to put together.
“We have another version of this show, Let’s Dance: Soul Edition, and we created that first and that was sort of our next big thing,” Duclos said.
“There was a real call for it [the 80s Editon]. Everyone loved the Soul [Edition] but everyone was like ‘You should really do an 80s party’”.
An an 80s Dance party they certainly did. From start to finish, Let’s Dance: 80s Edition had people continuously on the dance floor.
Meridith King can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org