Fish House dance party a flash from the past

DJ+MA+and+DJ+Maxx+perform+in+the+Fish+House%3B+Photo+by+Daniel+Hickey.

DJ MA and DJ Maxx perform in the Fish House; Photo by Daniel Hickey.

Students poured into the Fish House on Friday night to dance with friends to hip-hop, soul and pop classics. The “Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them” dance party gave students a fun way to kick of the first weekend of the semester.

The Fish House was no normal coffee shop once Martin Avila and John “Moose” Williamson arrived on the scene. Avila and Williamson, who appeared as DJ MA and DJ Maxx, came prepared with headphones, track jackets and milk crates full of their go-to records. They weren’t kidding around. The floor was cleared, party lights were brought out and dual turntables were set up, all in preparation for the evening’s all-vinyl dance party.

The room was packed for most of the night and the records kept spinning for nearly four hours’ worth of old-school pop, funk, soul and hip-hop. Students danced and sang along to hits like Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror,” Run-DMC’s “It’s Tricky” and Charles Wright’s “Express Yourself,” at times breaking out into large-group line dances and even some brief dance-offs.

Williamson, research and program coordinator for the Student Activities Office, said he was happy with the “great crowd” of students who came to the event. He also commended their willingness to really have fun and enjoy the music, even though he assumed that not all of the songs would be familiar to everyone.

Avila, the coordinator of multicultural student programing and intercultural student development, said he was happy with the turnout and that he has plans to host more DJ events in the future, hoping to play different types of music he didn’t have time to play during “Fantastic Beats.”

Junior Elyse Hill said, “I wasn’t expecting there to be so much old school,” but she added later, “It was still good.”

Sophomore Taj Smith said she appreciated hearing some older music as well, but wished some of the selections would have been more danceable.

Both Hill and Smith felt the event did well with serving different student audiences who likely have different tastes in music, providing a fun atmosphere for a variety of Calvin students.

“It was nice to bridge two groups,” said Hill, in reference to SAO and MSDO-affiliated students who attended the event. Their one recommendation for next time: mix in some newer music to balance out the old-school.