'Silent' Dance Party Turns Subway into Traveling Nightclub
MIDTOWN — These straphangers aren’t dancing on the subway for money — they’re doing it for fun.
Quiet Events, a year-old company that organizes "silent" dance parties at clubs in the city, is now bringing the same experience to the city's subways, distributing wireless headphones so participants can be part of exclusive parties held in plain sight.
“It’s a mix of a guided tour, flash mob, dance party and a pub crawl, for those that are native [New Yorkers] to those just visiting,” said William Petz, founder of Quiet Events.
Despite the company's name, the only thing quiet about these monthly City Party Tours is the music. The 100 participants descend on the subways as a group, singing, dancing, clapping and shrieking to songs only they can hear.
“People have no clue what’s going on when [they see] 100 people with headphones singing and dancing to music as if they were in a karaoke bar or dance club,” said Petz, a 34-year-old College Point resident who works in finance technology.
The headphones have channels that tap into different playlists — including Top 40, '80s and '90s music, hip-hop and R&B — and they light up with a designated color for each playlist so participants can easily tell what other members are listening to, Petz said.
“It makes it much more social,” Petz said of the parties, which started in the fall and usually take up three subway cars. “Someone in the group will scream when a song starts playing and you’ll see everyone switching to her color. It’s almost like a virus.”
The headphones are also synced to a tour guide's mic — so the guide can share interesting subway facts, practical instructions about where to go and fun orders like telling everyone to jump at the same time.
“I like that you don’t have to stay in one spot, and you have all these people looking at you funny,” said 41-year-old Astoria resident Kerry Duston, who’s attended the subway tours twice since they launched. “You just become uninhibited. I get kind of crazy and jump onto the seats and dance.”
The dancing flash mob lasts for three to four hours and costs $35 per participant. The tour begins with drinks at Amigos bar, at 2888 Broadway, near the 1 train's 110th Street station. The tour then hops to several subway lines, making stops at Grand Central, Penn Station and Bryant Park, Petz said.
“Sometimes we’ll turn on line-dance music and we’ll do a promenade through Grand Central Station,” Petz said. “We also usually take an unsuspecting homeless person or someone playing music in the subway and surprise them with tons of people giving a dollar.”
The next City Party Tour will take place on Jan. 25 from 8 p.m. to about midnight. Tickets can be purchased online at quietevents.com/event/subwayparty_jan.