I’m no astrology expert, so I had little to no idea what would characterize a “Taurus Season” for this semester’s Dance in the Pause. Flashing halos of colorful roses, jets of red and green smoke billowing from the ceiling, and student DJs bobbing and bouncing to an excitable crowd? It had elements of a classic Dance in the Pause with enough nuance to make it enjoyable for students.
“We wanted to use the feedback from the last Dance in the Pause,” Pause staff member Asi Sitinjak ’23 said. “There was a concern that the music wasn’t as diverse, that people weren’t attending because the theme didn’t interest them. So we wanted a theme that was not connected to any genre, especially as we get one dance per semester.”
How to make something specific, like a theme, unspecific? What could be better than the night sky — the one thing all humans share? The insinuation of constellations and light was a successful transfer. I looked around at students adorned in purple and black, some wearing glittery eyeshadow or cosmic accessories. At 10:15 p.m. only three dozen people were on the dance floor shyly swaying, but at 11 p.m., half the floor was filled. The songs were a range of 2010 classics, modern rap, R&B, and generic electropop. Despite the horrific revelations of the past month, the Programming Board and the Pause made the dance feel like a normal dance including close contact, strobe lights, thumping music, and waving hands.
Why did the dance happen one week after President’s Ball? Sitinjak explained that they normally occur on the same weekend, but students didn’t make the distinction that the Dance in the Pause is different from President’s Ball which causes poor attendance. Through posters and other means, the Programming Board wanted to make it clear this time that these were two separate events.
The Pause normally employs Pause security and external security. However, for Taurus Season, they brought in off-duty police officers, not only to provide support in situations where student security could not react, but to supervise the space and make their presence known. While police presence “might not be the most comfortable to all students,” Sitinjak said, “it is for our students.”
The Programming Board hopes to build on their inclusivity for next year. The success in diversity of music, magical and approachable theme, pizza and water stations, and additional safety preparations hint at the restitching trust between students and large campus events. With dedication, student involvement, curation, and transparency, Dances in the Pause will continue to provide students safe entertainment and community down the road.