I Wanna Go Out Dancing: Celebrating Birthdays During A Pandemic
Growing up, I’ve always considered music to be a huge part of my life. I used to sometimes joke about how I’d leave my current city and one day become a popular DJ in Miami or Atlanta. While my dreams of being a DJ haven’t clearly panned out into a serious decision, social distancing, COVID-19, and virtual parties have re-sparked my interest in creating playlists and having people dance to tunes. Throughout COVID-19 I’ve celebrated/held down the music on birthdays for myself, family members, and friends. This was all done through folks coming together to decide on a time, wishing the individual happy birthday, and jamming to tunes so loud that my neighbors sometimes knocked.
When my friends first suggested that I have a “Virtual Birthday Party,” I was shook. As my birthday got closer, I began to take the option seriously and how it was a low-level activity where no costs were involved. Considering that we were all advised to stay at home, I continued to ask myself “Well, what are people going to be doing at 8PM on Thursday anyway?” We quickly set up a webinar link, sent a calendar invite, and spread the word on social media.
To see my family members and friends on several screens and webinar apps showed me how it was probably in my best interest to virtually celebrate with people. For instance, if I were going to have a party in person, most of the people that joined wouldn’t have been able to come anyway due to locations, etc.
As weird as it may have initially seemed to host a virtual birthday party, and now DJ for others, I’m reminded of my passions: community and dancing. No matter what here’s what I’ll always remember that during this time of social isolation: the beat goes on.