Silent Disco Night
Credit: Otterbein Senior Life

Residents at Otterbein SeniorLife Community in Lebanon, OH, danced the night away last month at a silent disco party. Although it was no “Saturday Night Fever,” participants enjoyed the opportunity to groove out all the same.

“I had a great time and I’d love to do it again,” said one resident who wanted the event to become a monthly occurrence.

At a silent disco, partygoers listen to music through their own headphones, instead of through room speakers. This way, each person can listen to whatever he or she likes while still being in a group setting and being able to dance with other people. Besides the sound of dancing and moving, the room is actually very quiet.

At this particular event, residents were able to listen to hits from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, as well as other songs chosen by the DJ, who controlled the music.

The staff at Otterbein decorated the dance floor with neon glow tape and glow sticks, which complemented the bright neon headphones and flashlights provided by the DJ.

The event was planned by Otterbein SeniorLife Program Director Ronda Hammermeister, who in the past has organized ziplining, ax-throwing, and hot air balloon events for the community.

She wanted to host a silent disco at Otterbein because music is so important to the residents.

“Music is such a big part of our residents’ lives because it brings back so many memories,” she said. “We do a lot with music here.”

At least 50 residents attended the party, including individuals in the healthcare unit, independent living and assisted living.

The silent disco gave residents a chance to let loose for the first time in a while, organizers explained.

“That was the most dancing I’ve done since my husband passed away,” one resident noted.

The Otterbein community in Lebanon is the flagship location for Otterbein SeniorLife, a not-for-profit that has been in existence for 112 years. The organization has multiple locations across Ohio and Indiana and covers multiple levels of healthcare and senior living.

At the Lebanon community, Hammermeister is well-respected for her constant contributions to senior entertainment. 

“She’s always looking to see what’s trending or cutting edge and bring it here,” said Otterbein Senior Life Director of Marketing Anna Gallagher.

Next up for Hammermeister and her team is putting together an Otterbein Olympics this month, which will bring residents from every location together in Lebanon to compete.