Black Lights in the Night
On September 7, 2019, TL held its annual Black Light Dance in the main gym. The countless number of glow sticks and vibrant neon paint made for a simple yet extremely fun and energetic dance for every minute of its three hour duration.
The decorations for the dance were relatively simple, but entertaining. Tarp walls with neon paint splattered over them surrounded a large section of the gym. There were a few chandelier-like fixtures made with brightly colored slinkys which students had a lot of fun pulling and breaking even though they weren’t even supposed to touch them, which was a bit of an odd rule. And along with the slinkys, there were dozens of glowsticks littered across the floor, mostly from people collecting huge bunches of them and throwing them in the air, even though we weren’t supposed to do that either. Senior Pavee Aswanetmanee had this to say about the rules: “I didn’t really like those rules. I think they should’ve let us go crazy and pull and break the slinkys and throw the glow sticks everywhere. It wasn’t gonna hurt anyone and it would’ve been a lot more fun that way.”
For about the first hour of the dance, we had student DJ, Altered Soundz (aka Senior, Victor Melendez-Temnikoff). He’s an experienced DJ as he’s already done a Black Light Dance for TL and even performed at the DNA Lounge concert venue in San Francisco. Victor enthused, “Yeah, it was a lot of fun to DJ again at the black light dance. It was a great learning experience for me and I hope to DJ at homecoming as well.” He energized the crowd with a variety of hip-hop/rap, hardcore EDM, and even some Latino rap/reggaeton from artists like J Balvin and Bad Bunny. After that point, DJing duties were left to ASB students Ronzel Deleon, Chris Tan, and Devin Williams. They kept the party rolling for the rest of the night, adding more pop and anthem-like EDM into the mix.
The dance only escalated as the night went along. All the students together formed a giant mob of constant jumping and mosh pits for every single song played–bit of a sweaty mess, but everyone enjoyed it. A few people lucky people were lifted up to go crowd surfing, even if it meant that they would eventually be dropped onto the hardwood floor. Sophomore Sean Crabtree experienced it himself: “Since I’m a smaller kid, it was easy for people to pick me up and toss me around. But it was a really fun and thrilling experience, and I got a huge adrenaline rush when I fell to the floor.”
Overall, it was a decent dance, but far from a perfect one. Some of the rules that we had to follow regarding throwing the glow sticks and pulling the slinkys down were a bit ridiculous and took away from the fun of the dance. A couple students had some suggestions of their own: Senior Matthew Li said “It felt like a sweatshop in there. They should get some AC or fans in there for the next dance.” Senior, Johnathan Ly added “I think it would be cool if next time they threw out some neon shirts or bandanas or something for people to wear.” But other than that, the dance was a success, and it served its purpose as a dynamic, non-formal dance that everyone could enjoy.