Want to go out dancing but don’t want to drive far and pay money? For those who like to dance the night away without worry, the perfect place is a parking lot.
Impromptu dancing has brought relief to students who don’t have the money or desire to go to a crowded venue.
Every other Thursday night from 10 to midnight, students gather for a dance called Own the Night at the empty parking lot on University Drive.
Over the course of just a few weeks, the dance has become increasingly popular among students, bringing in more than 120 Crusaders this past Thursday.
Using only a couple of speakers and a dance-worthy playlist, students grooved to the music in one of the most unlikely places.
As the night progressed, dancers synchronized their steps to the remake of “Footloose” by Blake Shelton.
The scene was an uncanny resemblance to one of the secret dances that take place in the 2011 remake of the film with the same title, and the fact that the event itself felt like a secret made it that much more exciting.
While the majority of the music was country at the UMHB event, a few hip-hop songs and dance grooves were thrown into the mix to give the night more variety.
Senior sociology major Mary Baucom loves the fact that the dance is so casual.
“You don’t have to dress up; you can wear whatever you want like a T-shirt and shorts, and outside you have so much space,” she said.
With the low-key atmosphere and familiarity of the crowd, many feel this is a safer and more fun option than some others.
Sophomore international business major Jonathan Kendall believes this is a great alternative to the party scene in bigger cities.
“We put this on because we just don’t feel like it’s worth the money, time and effort to go other places like Waco and Austin to go dancing,” he said. “Here, there’s no alcohol, no smoke. It’s open air, and all the people here are your friends.”
Sophomore Donavan Catron’s first visit to the dance was this past Thursday, and he definitely plans to attend the next one.
“There’s a lot of people having a lot of fun, and it’s very enjoyable. Everyone should come out here and have a good time,” he said.
Baucom thinks the dance will grow in popularity and become even more successful.
“To be able to have a community like this is so exciting,” she said. “This is going to be a new tradition without a doubt in my mind.”
If the dance continues to grow in popularity, it could become the first regularly occurring event of its kind.
Sophomore environmental chemistry and business administration double major Ryan Sewell is one of the founders of the event.
He believes Own the Night may find its place among spontaneous campus events.
He said, “It has the potential to become a tradition.”