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Something Different: Danceworm

Tired of the 601? Been to every ball? Looking for something different? The Saint brings you the highlights from St Andrews' weirdest and most wonderful events.

On the evening of Sunday 9 October, I trekked through the rain to Bell Street for ‘Danceworm in the TARDIS’. As someone who has never watched anything to do with Doctor Who, I was undoubtedly a bit nervous. This was furthered by the fact that all I knew about the group was their Facebook bio: “danceworm likes to dance”. Snappy, but uninformative.

Located in Aikmans basement, the space was decorated according to the theme ‘worm’. Numerous hand-painted, silver cardboard worms dangled from the ceiling; multi-colored lights were draped across the walls; a rainbow sequined board spelling out ‘WORM’ with a drawing of (you guessed it) a worm dominated; and, most importantly, there were lots of bubbles.

There was much more reference to their moniker than the theme, which - as someone with no knowledge of Doctor Who - I enjoyed.

The overall vibe of the night was reminiscent of a high school garage party. In contrast to the large-scale club nights and balls that the societies of St Andrews love so much, this was cozy and smaller than any other event I’ve been to here. The atmosphere was intimate: although a few people were dancing to the music, most hung around appreciating the student talent and chatting to friends. As the night continued and the venue became more crowded, the same energy remained. I enjoyed the event more than I thought I would, largely due to this atmosphere and the fact that I’d expected to be the only one not in some sort of Doctor Who-themed costume.

In conversation with The Saint, Danceworm described themselves as “a small group of students trying to put on immersive and silly club nights in St. Andrews”. So far, they’ve hosted five successful, sold-out events. These ticket sales are undoubtedly helped by their hardline commitment to never charging more than £5. Tickets for ‘Danceworm in the TARDIS’ were only £3: a price that’s almost unheard of in this vastly overpriced town.

Accessibility to dance music being at the heart of the collective, they ran the event as an open decks night which sought to “provide people who have been learning to mix the opportunity to play in front of people or in a venue for the first time”. Moreover, the group is committed to “creating spaces for female and non-binary DJs in St Andrews to perform and learn as the majority of DJs in St Andrews are men”. They are currently working with other local collectives to organise a free introductory workshop for interested students to take a free introductory lesson on DJing.

At the end of the day, my primary criticism of the event would be the advertising. Although it’s always fun to have a theme, I think this particularly niche one drew away potential attendees, despite the fact that at the end of the day there weren't any obviously clear references to anything beyond Danceworm. I initially ignored the Facebook event because I didn’t think I was part of the demographic that would want to go. Regardless, the event itself promised an exciting year ahead for Danceworm. Especially considering their goals to help foster a new generation of DJs on campus, and to host cost-accessible events, I’m sure their presence will continue to grow, ushering in a new wave of talent.

Illustration: Danceworm

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19 nov. 2022


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