SCA Student Programmer Anthony Bohr Zhu Talks Silent Disco History, Planning, Fun

A few times each year, you might come across a large group of students dancing quietly in the Rotunda of Powell Library. If you do, you’re not imagining things – they’re participating in one of the Student Committee for the Arts’ Silent Disco events! During Silent Disco, students dance to music played over wireless headphones. It’s a great way to relieve stress and have fun with friends and classmates.

We talked with Anthony Bohr Zhu, one of the students who organize Silent Disco, about the history, joys, and challenges of putting on the program.

Can you tell us a bit about the history of Silent Disco in Powell Library?

Silent Disco was started at UCLA by the Student Committee for the Arts (SCA) during the Winter quarter of 2013. It is usually held once per quarter as a creative way for students to relax and de-stress. The event showcases the talents of one or more UCLA student DJs. The event was created as a unique alternative to the events that we usually program, while still sharing music performance and the arts with UCLA students.

The Student Committee for the Arts is dedicated to promoting music and the performance arts to the student body of UCLA. The Powell Library Rotunda was chosen because it provides an environment where students can conveniently gather during 10th week. We were also excited to make artistic use of the space within the library and put it in a different light. The Powell Rotunda acts as the perfect venue for Silent Disco. Since everyone who participates can only hear the music through their wireless headphones (we provide these to students in exchange for their Bruincard), Silent Disco contributes very little noise to the library and yet is still very entertaining. We also use this event to publicize our organization and promote messages like mental health and well-being.

How did you get involved with Silent Disco?

I got involved in Silent Disco the quarter I joined SCA. I had been to a few before, and I wanted to help contribute to an event that many UCLA students look forward to every quarter.

What do you think has been the biggest challenge in organizing Silent Disco?

The biggest challenges in organizing Silent Disco have been securing wireless headphones for the event (they aren't cheap!) and marketing the event. Since SCA is a small committee, we get spread pretty thin when we try to market events to the UCLA student body.

What's your favorite part of Silent Disco?

My favorite part about Silent Disco is seeing students stumble upon other students dancing in the middle of Powell Rotunda without knowing about the event beforehand.  We get a lot of questions about the event at the event, and after students ask about it and learn more, a lot of them get very excited and end up asking for a pair of headphones so they can take part!


Thanks for talking with us, Anthony! We’re looking forward to the next Silent Disco.


Curious about what Silent Disco is like? Click here to check out this video from a past Silent Disco and see for yourself!


Check the Powell Library events page for details about upcoming events.