By Emma Jones
A vocal music student, an English graduate, and a European Studies major: usually, sisters Simone Hogeveen and Esmé Hogeveen, and childhood friend Maddie Kingston play the part of Halifax university students.
But stick on some face rhinestones, toss in a little Leo Sayer and hang two plastic flamingos, and DJs bigPURP, pinkySWR and PetroleumNelly emerge “honey glazed” in the ethereal fog of a pink smoke machine.
On Friday night, the women, known as DJ VI PINK Collective created a unique “grooviance” in the University of King’s College Wardroom, bringing silliness and sparkles to a packed student crowd.
The all-female DJ collective performed its first official set, a vibrant compilation of disco classics like ABBA with contemporary hits including Mapei and Beyoncé. DJ VI PINK Collective pulled together generations of positive vibes, crafting a friendly and fun space for its audience to dance and have fun.
“Silliness was key,” said Esmé Hogeveen after the event. “It was important for us to take everything so over the top that people could relax and have fun to whatever level they want. By setting the scene to a 10 of intensity, then people can approach it in their own way.”
The group encouraged letting loose by dressing up in colourful outfits and handing out prizes for the wildest dancers of the evening.
The last song of the night was met with objections from the enraptured audience. As the Wardroom lights turned on, the collective’s instant fan-base of old friends and new supporters cheered for more.
The audience couldn’t get enough of the collective and its special feel, a feel described by some as particularly feminist.
All three DJs were surprised that the audience had derived a feminist agenda from their show.
“It’s kind of strange that just because of who we are, that had to be the way we were identified. We had never called ourselves a feminist collective,” Maddie said.
Even though each member identifies personally as feminist, DJ VI PINK Collective maintains that its aim, as a group, is strictly apolitical.
“Obviously the point is to make a space that’s comfortable for women to dance in, but never having used that term, it’s interesting. Our goal is to have a fun and funny time,” said Esmé.
“Dancing is this really great, usually wholesome, aspect to our lives. We all did FYP in different years and all have different friends, and dancing was really integral for all of us at that time. It still is,” Esmé noted.
“Our King’s crew is really open to have fun,” added Simone, describing the close-knit and supportive King’s community all three women belong to. “It’s really special to Halifax and to King’s that we could do something like this. We don’t really know what we’re doing, but we know that we want to try it out, and it’s really special that we have enough of a community here to support that.”
The next event for DJ VI PINK Collective is not yet locked in, but the group is confident its future will be glitzy. Simone, Esmé and Maddie are hoping to refine their technical skills and understanding of DJ equipment in the near future and create a monthly event for friends and fans to come together and have fun.
“We’re trying to sync up with our periods. We want to have an event called ‘Aunt Flo Comes to Town-That Time of the Month’,” laughed Esmé.
“It’s kind of a fun learning curve. Now it’s fun to think that we can actually refine our DJ-ing. It was our first time using actual speakers and that equipment, so now we can really mess around and have fun with it.”