Evacuate the dancefloor: Cambridge students share their wildest Cindies memories

Don’t think I can listen to Mr. Brightside again without bursting into tears

They say all good things come to an end, but honestly the announcement that Cindies was closing was not one that any of us were ready for. How can we possibly say goodbye to such a defining staple of the Cambridge experience?

We’ve made our own little attempt here with a compilation of some of your favourite and most memorable Cindies stories. We hope it brings back some of those dearly cherished memories of standing in a queue for two hours, and screaming ‘Come on Eileen’ at the top of your lungs.

A throwback to a June 2019 Rumboogie with the man who dealt us the toons (credit: Ballare via Facebook)

Cindies then a holiday?

Most of us can barely manage the cycle back from Cindies, let alone remember where on earth we parked our bikes. And yet somehow, we’re kicking things off with a story about someone who boarded a PLANE and “woke up in Norway after Wednesday Cindies with my friend”. How anyone would have the mental clarity to make it to an airport after a night out is truly beyond us, but if you want to know more about what happened, there’s a Tab article with the full story.

Making friends 4 life 

Of course, there’s no place for socialising and/or “networking” quite like the Cindies smoking area. On a typical night out you might find yourself developing a hopeless crush on some random, extremely generic-looking bystander, and have someone you’ve never met before compliment your top, deciding approximately ten seconds later that they’re your new best friend. 

Ah, I’ll miss the feeling of other people’s sweat on my back (Image credit: Author’s own screenshot)

However, we’ve had some more abnormal submissions related to Cindies-born relationships, such as someone who once “got kicked out by a bouncer, wrote and delivered her an apology card, and now we’re mates.” That’s certainly a success story in our books, since most people we know who’ve been kicked out of Cindies go on to complain about it endlessly even though they were clearly behaving unreasonably and frankly deserved to be booted out. 

Friendships, founded, consolidated (featuring one of thousands of coats that lined the walls) credit: Genevieve Holl-Allen

Gross get-withs and big regrets

Another key feature of the smoking area is of course, the rather unappealing sight of people swallowing each other’s faces – this is especially annoying when it’s your mate who’s pulled and there’s no one to get hyped with when ‘Love Story’ comes on. These smoking area get-withs very rarely lead to long term meaningful connections, but we’ve had one person write in to say: “Two of my friends first got off at Cindies and now they’ve been dating for like a year, which is not very scandalous but quite wholesome!” Honestly, we love that for you guys. At least we can finally confirm that true love isn’t dead. 

Marry me, Juliet 

Speaking of ‘Love Story’, we of course must address the numerous college marriage proposals that have taken place on the eternally sticky Cindies dance floor. One of our editors, Charissa, was herself proposed to at a Halloween Cindies. One wearing cat ears and one wielding a prop samurai sword, the pair slow-danced to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (at the request of the latter to a very accommodating DJ) before the surprise engagement ring was pulled out. Screams ensued, followed by much hugging and a lost wig somewhere in the chaos. A truly unforgettable moment.

Explaining the engagement to the family was, of course, an experience (Image credit: Charissa Cheong)

Taking a nap in the toilets?!?!

Truly one of the most baffling stories that was sent into us was from this person, who told us: “I fell asleep on the floor of the cindies toilets for an hour. Yes, you read that right. The cubicle floor. For an HOUR. I have no memory of how I got there. All I can say is, it was a 10/10 nap. Highly recommend.” This is GROSS beyond comprehension. We don’t think that that floor has been dry since the club opened. And now that Cindies is closed, we really hope you’re back to sleeping in your own bed. 

Accidental promo-poster children?

Waking up the morning after Cindies and realising that your mates posted many, many tragic photos on their Instagram stories is never fun. One pair wrote in with a slightly more amusing and related experience – waking up to find out that you’ve become a star of promotional advertising overnight! Nik and Isobel were enjoying a typical night out in fancy dress at a Cindies event. “I was dressed as Ali G and Isobel was dressed as our pal Charlie Newton. We were just living our normal VK life and the paparazzi were loving it.” The pictures that were taken of them quickly made their way onto a drinks ad that read, “These guys know / three VK for £5 every Tuesday”. That’s BNOC energy if we’ve ever seen it. Hope you get nominated next term, guys x

Say goodbye to bright orange tongues, everyone (Image credit: Nik Sharma)

Hangovers, headaches and hand vomit??

We all know the feeling of that dreadful post-Cindies hangover, wishing you didn’t order that last round of tequila shots but did take your gross clubbing clothes off before collapsing into bed. Getting through the day with this kind of monster hangover is a skill that some of us have sadly never been able to master. One student shares an embarrassing memory of being “so hungover that I had to leave my 11am five minutes in. The entire lecture hall laughed at me walking out.” We feel for you – although – try making it to a 9am lecture on a Thursday morning. It’s truly such a shame that we didn’t get to make the most of ONLINE lectures after heavy nights out. Guess my lecturer’s actually going to see me without a half-face of last night’s make-up on from now on. 

9 am who? (Image credit: Genevieve Holl-Allen)

It really wouldn’t be Cindies without someone you know throwing up – before, during, or after you’re actually in the club. While we’re sure there are endless grim chun-related tales to be shared in this segment of the article, we’d like to give a special shout out this submission: “I threw up in my hands at Johns Bar after tequila, dropped it on the floor, then ran.” We have so many questions for you, and also many Fs in the chat for the person who inevitably stepped in that vomit. 

The mark of a good night out? (Image credit: Charissa Cheong)

Adding injury to insult

Other than slipping on vomit, there are certainly a huge amount of unfortunate injury-stories from Cambridge students who were clearly just having too much fun (shock horror). One such story was: “On a netball kit night I fell over on a broken bottle in Cindies and cut my leg open, I had to go to A&E and get stitches in my leg 10 days before the Varsity match which was quite traumatic!” Serious side-eye right now to all those people who see a VK off in the middle of the dancefloor and then just (not so) subtly chuck it on the floor afterwards. We can all see you. Perhaps with one of the Cambridge clubs closed, Addenbrooke’s might hopefully get fewer drunken visitors in the middle of the night. 

A post-Cindies dissertation submission!!!

This one well and truly speaks for itself, and also of course involves alcohol-related injury. Henry from Emma shared this story about his dissertation: “It was the night before my dissertation hand in. Everything was going not well. I had not finished writing the body let alone the references. 

“Yet fear not. It was a Wednesday evening which meant only one thing. It meant cindies bindies tequilies. While it was decided not to have a wild one, it ended up just that. 330 pounds (spent) on a fuck off (bottle of) grey goose later, and a little accident meant half my tooth chipped off on the bottle.”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimised by a Cindies jaegerbomb (credit Ballare via Facebook)

He described to The Tab what must have been the mother of all hangovers: “Woke up the next day: no tooth, no money, no diss. Banged out the ending to the diss in two hours and handed it in still reeking of chun. Got a first.” Well played Henry, well played.

Cindies in the 80s – alumni submissions 

We thought we’d finished off by looking back to earlier glory days, when Cindies was not called Ballare, or even Cinderella Rockerfeller, but back in the 1980s when the club was called Ronelle’s. 

We personally know very little about what Ronelle’s was like, but this insight from an alumnus who matriculated in 1985 seems to say a lot: “The response [from my peers] so far suggests that most can’t remember it, and those that can would prefer not to.” 

Another alumnus shared a different, much more, um, colourful story: “Four of us girls went on a Saturday night, full glad rags. We decided it would be a good idea to do tequila shots all night. We were rather drunk so the bouncers suggested we might want to leave. Once outside we wanted to carry on dancing (as you do). We could hear the music coming from inside, so decided to dance up against the external wall. We were having a great time until the police passed by and thought we were soliciting! We were then put in a police car, brought to the station and cautioned!” And we thought our Cindies stories were wild, we seriously have a lot of stepping up to do. 

Cindies, we’ll never forget you 

That ends our emotional round up. There are countless moments and memories that we of course don’t have time to get into. Cindies is nothing short of an icon, and there are not enough words to give it the goodbye it deserves. But if you can forgive us for this extremely tacky, but very Wednesday-Cindies-appropriate reference, we think that ABBA said it best with “Thank you for the music” (which was probably a cult favourite back in the Ronelle’s days as well). So Cindies, we will never stop missing you. Thank you for the music. The cheesy, unforgettably terrible, but beautiful music. 

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