A friend posted Judson Laipply's six-minute "Evolution of Dance" video to Facebook this morning and I can't remember when I've laughed quite that hard. I was an avid high school dance attendee from eighth grade until I graduated, because it was a small town and that's what you did about every third Friday night during the school year. The band kids frequently dominated the dancefloor for everything from Bob Seger to AC/DC to Morris Day and the Time...I can (and did, at my best friend's wedding reception) still do the entire routine to "Jungle Love".
Yes, there's video, and so help me, I hope this doesn't inspire her to post it online- although the finest moment of the evening came when the best man, who was drunk as a skunk, did a high, flailing kick and tripped coming down. We bridesmaids scattered like flock of starlings as he crashed down on his butt in the middle of the floor.
Some dances refuse to die, like the Chicken Polka and the Electric Slide...I'll show my age here and reveal that the Electric Slide was known as the Watergate in my day. Others should be quickly forgotten- I'm getting a headache remembering what they did to Billy Squier's 'The Stroke' in junior high. One of my personal favorites, though, is 'Shout', from the Animal House soundtrack; I can honestly say that I 'gatored' to it at my senior prom, up to and including lying down on the floor in a five-bone hoopskirt as my mortified date, Joe, remained literally the last man standing. That may have hastened our breakup a little bit, but hey, a little mortification is good for the soul!
A few years ago, post-broken engagement, I ended up at a gay bar in the Big City with some of my friends. Part of my gay bar logic has always been that as a straight, biological female, I should be able to dance without having anyone pressing their attentions on me. That night, I was on the floor in the disco, doing my thing, when some man just reached out and grabbed my chest. My friend David slid in between us wearing his best "I Will Now Rip Your Still-Screaming Soul From Your Body" expression. The excuse I received was, "Well, you danced too well to be a real girl. I thought you were a drag queen!" Well, I am a drag queen trapped in a straight woman's body, but that's another story for another day. Being manhandled by a gay man in full sight of about two hundred people on a dancefloor is just a little weird, if you ask me.
This weekend will mark the annual Beaux Arts Ball in the Big City, a charitable masquerade sponsored by the School of Design at my dear old Alma Mater, State Flagship U. . I will most likely not be attending because one of my two friends has pneumonia and the other's partner just didn't want to go. I have, as always, a fabulous costume and a burning desire to shake my booty. I just can't bring myself to go alone.