Pocket Disco is an ongoing series of impromptu dance performances for the pandemic times, and beyond.

Pocket Disco by Jody Oberfelder

A 10x10 ft. (3x3 m) square is drawn on the pavement with silver tape. A disco ball hangs over it from a fishing pole or is set on the ground in the middle of the perimeter. A sound system plays dance music.

Two “seeder” performers start the performance. Signage invites passers-by to join the dance. As one person signals that he or she wants to join, one of the performers steps out and lets the newcomer in. The dance / dialogue continues with the new couple. When the newcomer steps out, a new one can replace them, and so on. Both “seeders” can at some point step out and let two strangers dance and relate independently.

A sign is placed in front of the perimeter with the following text along with a brief description of the project and the group:

Step into the silver space.
Leave out your thoughts and affiliations.
Talk to me in movement.

Pocket Disco Kit

Pocket Disco may be reproduced in a public space with very simple means:

  • Battery-powered disco ball. This is an unequivocal symbol of the dance club culture and cannot be missing from the performance. A DIY light is the Holy Grail of disco illumination.
  • Silver tape to define the perimeter. This is important to claim the extent of the “special” space used. Aluminum HVAC repair tape looks great. Even better, reflective tape can give the perimeter a supernatural glow. For soft ground, reflective ribbon of the kind that’s sewn on emergency vests works well. Expensive but reusable.
  • Sound system. Battery-powered, cordless speakers are ubiquitous nowadays and can play music from a smartphone.
  • Two performers are needed to “seed” the action. Other participants can step in one at a time, as one of the performers leaves their place.
  • A sign (self-illuminated if at night) describing what is happening, a reference to this website, and an encouragement to send documentation pictures to the DDB email for publication. Documentation for this piece is best crowd-sourced.