2nd Annual Donna Summer Memorial Roller Disco Party
Friday, 6-10 p.m. Free. City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Square
The Deal: Are you ready for the ultimate funky flashback Friday? Break out the sequins, because the City of Boston is hosting its second annual roller-disco party in honor of the late, legendary diva Donna Summer. Once again, City Hall Plaza will be transformed into a giant dance floor for a party that’s free and open to the public, with skates for rent and refreshments available. The event brings together local luminaries including DJs Bosq and Caserta, Boston’s roller-derby team the Boston Derby Dames, and Elisa Hamilton, creator of Dance Spot Boston. “Donna is such a treasure of the Boston area,” Hamilton said. “It definitely seems like a celebration of the city and its people, as well as its emblematic diversity.”
The Music: Whether you skate or dance your way through City Hall Plaza, you’ll find Boston’s own Bosq and Caserta in the DJ booth playing a steady stream of disco and funk music to serve as your soundtrack. From “Hot Stuff” to “Last Dance,” you’ll be sure to hear all of disco queen Summer’s most popular hits.
The Dance: “I create dance floors in unexpected places,” said Hamilton, who is known for sidewalk chalk art that outlines her dance moves. “I’m creating an eight-count dance that’s inspired by ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Bad Girls.’ I found that I want to do a circular dance spot to keep the momentum going for both rollerskaters and non-rollerskaters. It’ll incorporate a lot of signature ’70s moves.” Learn Hamilton’s accessible disco moves, or improvise your own: “It’s really just a fun free-for-all.”
The Crowd: Last year’s roller disco didn’t just garner a huge crowd of nearly 400, but also brought together a diverse group of people. Cutting across lines of ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation, the party drew disco-era veterans, families, and young adults — all looking to celebrate an iconic native.
The Dress: Leave the platform shoes at home and grab a pair of roller skates to embrace the nostalgic vibe the event is looking to target. Stuck for what to wear? Look to Boston drag queen Frieda Fries, who will be modeling some of Donna Summer’s signature styles.
The Tip: “If you have your roller skates, bring them, because there was so much [demand] to participate in the roller rink that people were waiting in huge lines to rent them,” Hamilton recommended. “Aside from that, just have fun and dance!”