Haphazard highlighter graffiti? Check. Convenient make out couches? Check. Throngs of awkwardly gyrating partiers? Double check. Welcome to Alpha Delta Phi’s notorious Blacklight Party. Every bit the eager freshmen, we hasten down early into the basement and find ourselves surrounded by a blast of electro-beats. The bar in the back is stocked—unfortunately, only with glow sticks and highlighters. A quick survey of the contents of plastic cups disappoints (just water). A thinly-veiled air of awkwardness permeates the dance floor for some time, a few dozen brave souls scoping out the scene while nonchalantly busting a move in the eerily lit grotto.
Luckily, their (and our) patience with the party pays off and the crowd thickens after midnight. DJs Bastille, Crook$hanks, and Flammenwerfer skillfully interweave everything from LMFAO to The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (an inspired choice in these reporters’ humble opinions), transforming those once dolefully thrusting alone on the dancefloor into a human fusion of sweat and enthusiasm. The action heats up: a fellow freshmen girl gets drawn on with a highlighter by some random dude. “What the f*** is this? My shirt!” she wails, calming down as soon as she realizes that this is classic highlighter-based flirting, a time honored social practice.
As the dance floor fills with neon limbs, a line appears outside. The Grotto only has a capacity of only about 100 people, so Alpha Delt’s security patrols the doors, playing God with the social lives of many as they grant and deny access to the heaving mass of underdressed underclassman. A triangular roaming route between Eclectic, Beta and Alpha Delt materializes as a scattered pattern of intoxicated bodies paints High Street. As the scene inside gets more and more intimate—or, when we could not move without interrupting a passionately raucous dry hump—we decide it is time to make moves.
After a crazy night at Eclectic’s Trap Haus, the smaller scale in the painfully sweaty Grotto didn’t quite match up—and if you came armed with any dreams for the evening besides a chance to rub up on someone else, you might have found the scene slightly lacking, as we did. That night, the Grotto with its painted walls and neon accoutrements was a haven for all those with a fondness for dirty dance beats and the sheen of a stranger’s skin—and who among us hasn’t once been that person?
by Hibiki Mizuno and Alexis Moh