Last night was the Halloween party.  Halloween is not my favorite Twin Oaks holiday, but this year I really enjoyed it.  We have a new holiday manager who used to be involved in haunted houses, and she did a wonderful job transforming ZK (our dining hall) into a party space.  Many people don’t like having parties at ZK (traditionally the dance parties at Halloween, Anniversary and Validation Day happen there) because the building feels “institutional,” the dance floor is too big to ever feel “full,” and the layout of the building encourages people to section off such that one feels as though the party is less attended than it actually is.

Halloween at Twin Oaks consist of a costume presentation and a dance party.  During the costume presentation, people come to the front of the room and do a little skit about their costume (alone or in groups).  My favorite skit was a rewriting of the story of King Solomon testing the maternity of a baby by offering to split it in two.  In this clever skit, King Solomon does split the baby in two, and one of the women tells him that his wisdom will go down in history.  People often work Twin Oaks culture into their skits.  For instance, the person dressed as Amelia Earhart said that she was surprised to find herself on a commune in Virginia in 2013, but that she had been accepted into the next visitor period, and, until then, she would be a guest of Paxus.  In another skit, two communards dressed as Ernie and Burt.  Ernie tells Burt that he’s got an idea for his next community meal: a tiki bar.  Burt tells Ernie that this is a bad idea for a community meal because there’s no real food, like “grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein.”  Ernie says he’s already thought of that: “There will be fruit punch, bloody Marys, and beer made from fermented grains.”  The humor in this skit was that the person playing Ernie captured well both the essence of Ernie and stereotypes about himself. (He is a dinner honcho and a bar tender.)

The dance party starts immediately after the last skit in the costume presentations.  The first DJ started playing music as people were still moving the chairs off the dance floor.  At a typical Twin Oaks party, the line-up of DJs starts with the person with the most “accessible” music and transitions to someone with music more reminiscent of a club / bar (me this year) and ends with a person who plays electronic / trance music.  I didn’t stay for the third set, but I really enjoyed the first DJ’s set, and it seemed like mine went over well too.  To give a sense of what a Twin Oaks dance party is like, here are some songs I remember hearing during the first DJs’ set:

The Commodores – “Brick House”

Amy Winehouse – “Rehab”

The Weather Girls – “It’s Raining Men”

Destiny’s Child – “Jumpin’, Jumpin’”

Kanye West – “Gold Digger”

Justin Timberlake – “SexyBack”

Christina Aguilera, etc. – “Lady Marmalade”

and here is my playlist from last night:

The Ting Tings – “Hands”

Wynter Gordon – “Til Death”

Black Eyed Peas – “Just Can’t Get Enough”

Nicki Minaj – “Va Va Voom”

Vassy – “Desire”

Afrojack – “Take Over Control”

Selena Gomez – “Slow Down”

Lady Gaga – “Starstruck”

Dev – “In the Dark”

Lady Gaga – “Telephone”

Macklemore – “Thriftshop”

Will.i.am – “Scream & Shout”

Ke$ha – “Die Young”

Black Eyed Peas – “Dirty Bit”

Azealia Banks – “212?

Stromae ft. Kanye West – “Alors On Dance”

Missy Elliott – “Get Your Freak On”

Nelly Furtado – “Promiscuous”

Nicki Minaj – “Pound the Alarm”

Psy – “Gangnam Style”

Melanie Amaro – “Respect”

The Cataracs – “Top of the World”

Flo Rida – “Whistle”

Kanye West – “Stronger”

Cleopatra & Hakim – “Walk Like an Egyptian”