Monday, February 22, 2010
Youth Dances: Then and Now
Allen and I were asked to help chaperone a youth dance for our church last Saturday.
Can you say: awesome?
First off, I will admit that it has been nearly 2 decades since I have attended one of these functions as a youth. Since that time, the dances have seen their share of changes. These are my observations...
THEN: Popular radio DJs were hired to play the latest dance music and a small fee of $2-$3 was charged to cover the bill.
NOW: A local church member was hired to play the latest 'jump' music (more on that later) and admission is always free.
THEN: Chairs lined the walls of the gym and girls sat in groups, waiting (hoping) to be asked to dance to every song - slow OR fast. Occasionally there would be a group of brave girls who would dance together during the fast songs or a crazy girl (me) who would tear up the dance floor all alone if 'Dancing With Myself' was played.
NOW: No chairs. The teenagers are all either dancing or standing around in groups on the dance floor. If dancing to fast music, for the most part boys are dancing with boys and girls are dancing with girls. If dancing to slow music, boys are dancing with girls - but sometimes girls are goofily dancing with girls, too. When approached and asked whattheheck? I was told, "Boys are stupid." (Translation: WE LOVE BOYS!! But they didn't ask us to dance so we're doing this to get some attention. Kind of like that crazy girl who danced by herself when I was a kid.)
THEN: Everyone used the same dance moves for fast songs: either Rowing The Boat or the even more popular Step, Touch, Head-Bob. Occasionally we were graced with The Sprinkler or a breakdancing dance-off.
NOW: There is one dance. It is called jumping. If you are a more advanced dancer, it will include a bit of arm-flailing or fist-pumping. At one point, however, a wide circle was formed and there was something similar to the dance-offs from back in my day.
I would like to add that I loved being at a dance where my teenage kids were. It was such a blast to observe them from the sidelines and just fall in love with them all over again. They have some great friends and they all know how to have fun.
I would say that my proudest moment of the night was when Thriller was played and Coolister led the group in the Thriller Dance that he and his friends concocted and practiced until they had it down. My friend ~j. was there chaperoning as well and I think I told her no less than 10 times how much I loved watching my oldest boy do that Thriller dance. (Thanks for letting me gush, ~j.)
Another happy moment was when I finally found ElemenoB (it seems as if I was searching all night!) and wowed her group of friends with my amazing dance moves. She had asked me earlier that night to 'please not come dance near me' but because I am fluent in teenager language I knew this meant 'please come and dance near me so my friends can see what awesome moves you've got' and I did not want to disappoint.
My conclusion? I am totally available to chaperone these dances whenever needed.
Or even if not needed.
Until then, I'll be practicing the Jump-Dance and teaching my kids The Sprinkler. You know, bridging the gap and all of that.
Want to read more about it? Go see what ~j. had to say.