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Szentek: We Dance Again

In February, this paper released an ode to Szentek, where the collective’s plans for the digital semester were explained in detail and the lingering question of ‘when will we dance again?’ was once again posed. Now, after more than a year behind the curtains, this semester appears to usher in a long-awaited return to normal student life. Or at least as normal as St Andrean student life can be. The vision of an ecstatic dance floor which seemed like a fever dream came back to life on the 28th of September.

Szentek followed the tradition of holding launch events in September to provide a teaser of the main event in November. The Vic Bar and Kitchen served as this year’s venue and decoration did not disappoint. Floor to ceiling artwork welcomed attendees to a vivid mix of music, art and dancing until the lights were turned on.

Rather than using both bar areas of The Vic, Szentek limited the party to the main dance floor and smoking area. This maintained an intimate atmosphere reminiscent of a gathering of old friends with a common goal; waking up with blisters from dancing and a ringing noise in their ears due to the loud music.

The atmosphere was also made possible by the myriad of tapestries and art pieces hanging on the walls, turning the Vic into a truly Szen space. Colours and shapes had a relevant role in the night as much as the music did.

As a focal point of all Szentek events the music, which ranges from disco to techno, once again lived up to its goal of being a night unlike any other in St Andrews, bringing unique beats via sets by resident DJs. As a known staple for students that got to experience St Andrews pre-pandemic, the Szentek crowd was mostly composed of students in third and fourth years; although hopefully, after such a successful night, younger students will be seen at the future events.

As a committee member, it’s safe to say that the energy behind the scenes mirrored the joy of the event itself. Scenes one hour before the doors opened reminded the committee of the chaos that is organising memorable events. Members and representatives were frantically running around the bar trying to find the best way to hang art pieces on walls, ceiling or the bar itself. Attempting to create an atmosphere as close to the one planned for the main event was a true team effort. Video projections with the team’s craziest creative outbursts were being tested and, of course, our residents’ sound check had already begun to set the mood for the rest of the night.

All in all, Szentek tried to run from the common label of ‘just another Vic night’, and according to attendees, it appears that it has successfully done so. As a night of music, art and dancing in November still seem rather far for party-goers that waited so long for this, hopefully, other nights like this one can be seen in town before the main event. But for now, Szentek has started to dance again.

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