One of a Kind Experience: Dancing in the Dark

Thursday, December 21st, 2023

Pictured Above: Dancer from a previous event at West Windsor Arts.  Photo Credit: Contributed. 



Princeton Junction, NJ – Dancing In The Dark is a one-of-a-kind dance experience designed to eliminate the barriers of self-consciousness and social judgment. The dance party takes place in a dark, dimly lit room, and is an exclusively chat and socialization-free zone. Participants are welcome to socialize outside the dance room, but once you’re on the dance floor, it’s dance time only!  The combination of the darkness and removal of any pressure to socialize frees participants to fully immerse themselves in the joy of their body’s movement to the beat. There’s no set choreography or steps to follow; participants are encouraged to dance in any style or form that the music inspires within them. Occurring on February 9th, 2024 from 7pm – 9pm at West Windsor Arts located at 952 Alexander Road Princeton Junction, NJ, 08550. REGISTER HERE

West Windsor Arts will ensure that folks are given enough personal space to be able to express themselves freely and safely, and after the first ten minutes, your eyes will adjust to the dimly lit environment comfortably. The aim is to create an inclusive, safe, and liberating environment where participants can fully express themselves through the art of dance, unburdened by the discomfort of being perceived while getting their groove on. 

The room is dark and the rules are simple: No talking, no circle-forming, no wall-flowering (as in, no stepping off the dance floor to watch others). Brief water breaks are allowed, but then you jump back in: Outside the room it’s cool to talk and hang out but if you’re in the dance room, you’re there to dance! In a dimly lit setting, individuals have the opportunity to embrace uninhibited expression in a friendly, non-threatening atmosphere. Participants can dance without concern for appearances, completely losing themselves in the music. Dancing in the Dark celebrates the sheer joy of dancing without an audience, making it a unique and liberating experience for everyone involved.

Host Shira Gregory: Shira states, “When I first started attending this practice in NYC, it was because I wanted somewhere where I could try to feel less self conscious when I moved my body, and where I could wear sneakers instead of heels and no one would look at me funny. Dancing in the dark was structureless, the music was danceable and fantastic, and most importantly: the near total darkness facilitated safety around my self consciousness. I sometimes darted my eyes around the room…some were looking at their feet, shuffling slowly, clearly at odds with their own self consciousness issues, others were dancing “badly” and boldly–I was clearly in excellent company. It wasn’t long before I was counting down the days to sweat to the beat each week, and before I knew it, at a $5 donation I was calling it “the cheapest, best therapy in New York City,” and I wasn’t being hyperbolic: After years of internalized bodily trauma, this was starting to heal me in ways that I never expected. I felt more alive and whole in that room than I had in a long time. I miss this practice badly, and I miss the kind of people who were drawn to it. My hope is to attract anyone who has ever wanted to dance but felt entirely too self conscious to try, or anyone who wants a safe, fun atmosphere to move and dance in. This transformed my self esteem and confidence, and my hope is to both bring this to the community, but to build community around it as well.”

Snow date is Friday, February 16, 2024 from 7 to 9pm, intended for audiences age 16+ and adults, all levels of experience including none. 

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