Choate DJ Association to be Recruited for SAC Dances

Illustration by Chandler Littleford/The Choate News

SAC dances host both student and professional DJs.

There are many elements that need to be present to make up a good SAC dance – a big crowd, creative lighting, and the theme of the dance, to name a few. However, the most critical part of the dance is the music. The crowd can flip moods quickly when an unpopular song comes on, and it can be extremely discouraging to see streams of students leaving the dance floor. DJs at Choate often encounter a tough crowd; though it may not be common knowledge, there is a process to picking who DJs at SAC dances.

On this process, Mr. Jim Yanelli, Director of Student Activities, said, “The first thing that we try to do is work with the club that is sponsoring the dance to see if they have any music or DJ preferences.” With most sponsored dances, the club chooses a theme and bases their music choices off of that. For example, the dance hosted by the Hispanic Latino Forum (HLF) was able to produce their desired theme by playing both Spanish and popular mainstream music.

After considering the preferences of the club sponsor, the next step in the process of picking the SAC dance DJ is a hotly contested topic on campus – should the DJ be a student or a professional? Ahmed Wise ’20 commented, “Student DJs, such as Kid Lacey [Matt Lacey ’18] are much better than the professional DJs they bring in.” Mr. Yanelli shed some light on the topic: “We obviously prefer student DJs, but sometimes, when there is a low population of student DJs, we have to employ a professional.” He continued, “Generally, when we are looking to employ a professional, we have a company that provides us with a choice of around half a dozen DJs.”

When selecting student DJs, Mr. Yanelli explained that he is going to start working with a new club, the Choate DJ Association, to provide DJs for the SAC dances. “As the club really only started to get active around September, it was hard for us to slot in DJs with them in the fall term, but the leaders have already scheduled a time with me to work out the schedule for the winter term dances,” said Mr. Yanelli. The Choate DJ Association has already fielded three different DJs in a dance sponsored by The Body Project last month. Additionally, the Choate DJ Association helps students prepare and train for actually DJing at SAC dances. “We usually want to have an experienced or professional DJ with a new DJ if this is their first time, in order to help them field questions or sort out any sort of technical issues,” Mr. Yanelli said.
Michael Li ’18, a president of the Choate DJ Association, explained that the mission of the club is to “train the interested Choate community on how to DJ and eventually how to DJ SAC dances.” On the training of new DJs, he added, “Choate has a pioneer DJ Deck, and we make our members download the Serato app to familiarize themselves with DJing.”

With the inception of the new Choate DJ Association, more members of the Choate community will be able to learn about DJing, which will in turn hopefully lead to the production of more student DJs.

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