Sept. 1, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
Three DJs will bring a party straight to dancers’ ears on Thursday, for the return of Lincoln Center’s Silent Disco.
Silent Disco is a free, outdoor dance party at Hunters Point South Park. Music will not be blasted through speakers; instead, dancers wear headphones that they can tune to one of three DJ performances.
“The location is spectacular,” Lincoln Center senior publicity manager Kate Merlino said. “Dancing outdoors, on a beautiful late summer night, with the backdrop of Manhattan – it’s sort of magical.”
Lincoln Center Local, which brings cultural programming to neighborhoods across the city, hosted Silent Disco for the first time in Long Island City last year. The event saw 1,200 attendees, and this year, Lincoln Center expanded the party to all five boroughs.
Doors for Thursday’s Silent Disco at Hunters Point South Park open at 6 p.m. A dance lesson will take place at 6:30 p.m., and the party will run from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The event is presented in partnership with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
The preliminary dance lesson is intended for both beginners and “people who just want to brush up,” Merlino explained. Instructor Robert Vance will teach the Hustle.
Merlino said she has observed that “silent” dance parties allow attendees to shed their inhibitions.
“To listen to music through headphones – it makes it your own private world,” she said. “You really let go, and that makes it really fun. You see people spontaneously laughing or giggling.”
Rob Basch, president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, said he believes Silent Disco is a boost for the park.
“[Last year] it brought a lot of people to the park that hadn’t been there before,” he said. “An institution like Lincoln Center that wants to use our park is great for Queens and great for Hunters Point.”
Headphones are free, but attendees will need to provide an ID or credit card to borrow them.
Lincoln Center Local’s Silent Disco is not the only party of this kind to take place in Long Island City. The company Quiet Events has hosted similar “silent” dance events at LIC Landing and throughout western Queens.
Silent discos have got to be the corniest gatherings ever next to flash mobs.