Growing up, I danced all the time. Now I only dance (and sing) in the car as the commute requires it to preserve my sanity and provide other drivers a smile. So when I saw that the Silent Dance Society and the Embassy Row Hotel had invited our #BloggersTakeTheCity group to the Friday Night Rooftop Silent Disco Dance Party, I thought this old dog had no room for new tricks. I’m glad to say that I was wrong as there’s no age limit on fun.
I’ll admit, I was skeptical when I first heard about the Silent Disco events that have popped up over the years in London and the U.S. Growing up in the 80’s, my friends and I would frequent many teenage clubs in Northeast Philly. The DJs were spinning dance music, MTV pop music (high school) and alternative music (college days). We left the clubs with sore throats from all the screaming over the music to talk and traveled en masse back to our neighborhood diner to recap the night’s events.
Get Your Angel Wings First
Before you enter the Embassy Row Hotel, you need to pose with the famous angel wings (great #streetart) outside the parking garage in the corner. There is a metal box to stand on if needed. The Angel Wings are the creation of artist Colette Miller as part of her Global Angel Wings Project and you can find your wings around the world (no Red Bull necessary). Check out her website for city (but not exact addresses) locations.
The Embassy Row Hotel
The Embassy Row Hotel is a 4 star boutique hotel and a member of the Destination Hotels. Located in the DuPont Circle area with a rooftop pool, its a fantastic location Silent Disco on Friday Night. The lobby décor and hotel vibe reminded me of a many great stylish boutique hotels that I like (making notes for my future D.C. lodging needs). You can reserve your Silent Disco spot online for $15 or pay $20 at the door for the Friday night dance at the Embassy Row Hotel Rooftop until the end of September, weather permitting.
Silent Disco on the Rooftop
Riding the elevator to the top floor, it was then a flights of stairs to the roof. When asked for my I.D. which hasn’t happened in a long time, I was told it was to hold the headset and get a wristband if I wanted alcohol from the bar since this is an all ages event. The next table was filled with colorful blinking wireless headsets. We were given a headset, shown how to operate them and told to have a good time.
With my headsets in hand, they reminded me of my Bose headsets that I travel with in size and weight. To operate the headsets, use the button on the bottom to press to a new DJ and color, volume control was on the side. There are three DJs and three corresponding colors – red, blue and green – located on the pool deck.
As we descended the few stairs there was a bar to the right, a table with self-service water (great idea) on the left and people dancing everywhere and yet never felt too crowded. I was a bit afraid someone might dance themselves into the pool or trip over someone dancing but that never happened. I walked around to take in the glorious views of D.C. and watch the planes on their descent to the airport. Unlike the dance clubs of my youth which were steam baths of people sweating with strobe lights, fog machines and a dancing robot (don’t ask), dancing outside with a breeze was perfect. Before I was ready to put the headsets on and escape, I watched the other dancers and everyone seemed to be having fun. I wanted to have fun too!
Silent Disco – Time to Dance
So I forgot about everyone around me, put my headsets on, listened to all three channels and settled on green. I looked around and the majority of people were green with only a few reds and blues. Everyone was dancing to their own beat quite literally and no one cared about anyone else as they were lost in their own world of music. It was a unique experience to be dancing to the beat in my headset while others were keeping in step with their own music.
View the video and take a listen at the Silent Disco by the Silent Dance Society –
Note: No neighbors were harmed by loud music
The fun part was seeing the changes of the headset colors as the DJs varied their musical choices. There was a mix of dance, house, EDM, Latin, rap and throwback songs of the 70’s and 80’s. At one point, Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” song came on – how did I know? People were singing as they danced and the dancefloor had a plethora or people singing with no music in the background that we could hear. I took off my headsets to hear them singing and took a break wandering off to the corner railing. There was an older couple (in their late 60’s) sitting on the lounge furniture without headsets. We got into a conversation – they were guests at the hotel visiting their grandson in the city for the week and came up to the roof for drinks. The Silent Disco D.C. event was fascinating to them so they stayed to people watch. They were having fun since they don’t have this type of event in their Missouri town, to their knowledge. Overlooking the railing, there was another part of the rooftop below for private space (no water hazards but also no bar) – the headsets still worked there.
There were many groups of people that night in all age ranges, including our small group, but it was the guys that stole the show. A group of eight twenty somethings found a station and were dancing at each other in a dance competition, it was hilarious and they were all so good as if they had practiced the routines. Even funnier was their friend, in an arm cast and sling, who was keeping up on his turn. Unlike my youth, they weren’t staying at the bar trying to talk to girls or going up to a girl group to try to infiltrate, they were dancing together having fun. That was so much fun to watch. When one guy changed to a channel, they all did and tried to choreograph a new routine. At one point, the DJ came over to join the group and dance because they was too much fun to miss out on.
The Silent Disco at the Embassy Row Hotel was more fun than I anticipated and made me a fan. As the event is held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., we left a bit early to ensure we didn’t get stuck in the line to retrieve our I.D. and avoid the bathroom downstairs (three stalls – apparently some things never change).
Bring the Silent Disco to your next Event
As I danced and looked around at the guests, my inner event planner had so many thoughts of how awesome this might be at a birthday party, fundraising event, corporate event or even a wedding! Everyone seemed to be having fun with or without their headphones on. Silent Disco seems a great way to disrupt the old school thought of one band/DJ and an empty dance floor waiting on a good song. The Silent Dance Society will bring the music and headsets to you! I’d prefer to have a better choice of music at events rather than wait for the song that a friend likes. The silent disco setup does spark curiosity and causes you to dance outside the box; rethinking what the “club scene” can be.
Final Thoughts – Silent Disco in D.C.
I danced to a variety of songs and genres that night and was an equal opportunity dancer as I chose each DJ at some point. I didn’t feel weird dancing against the crowd or in my own way. Of course when my group was all on the same color we danced together. Overall, green was a winner for me that night but that’s the fun as you may have stayed on blue or red longer in your music zone. Unlike the dance clubs of my youth, I left with my voice intact and despite dancing all night was not gross and sweaty. While there isn’t a local diner in the neighborhood, we found the next best thing, the pizza place (Pizzeria Paradiso for wood fired pizza) to enjoy an after dance snack and girl talk because some things never change with age.
To learn more about Silent Disco in Washington, D.C., visit the Silent Dance Society and The Embassy Row Hotel. I attended the Silent Disco on the Embassy Row Hotel Rooftop as a guest of the Silent Dance Society for the #BloggersTakeTheCity weekend. As always, all opinions and dance moves are uniquely mine.
So are you game to have fun at the Silent Disco?