I Could Have Danced All Night
The following is some of my favorite dance memories. These are meaningless little tidbits, but to me, they were the greatest events of my adolecence.
* The first "dance" I truly attended was a ward "manners night" where we learned all things that were appropriate for us to do. We were dressed to impress, so at 13, you KNOW I was looking good. The thing I remember most was THE dorkiest boy in our ward asking me to dance on a fast song (WHAT? A FAST SONG? I KNOW!)and I said, "One second." Went over to JP and said, "WHAT DO I DO? I don't WANT to dance with him!" JP reminded me that you should say yes, even if you don't WANT to dance with them. So, I went back, with pain in my voice agreed to dance with him and really just ended up standing there staring at him as he gyrated. It was frightening.
* My first "offical" dance was marked with sadness that 1) no one asked me to dance (tear) and 2) I thought the way the kids DID dance was utterly RETARDED. I KNEW what real dancing looked like at that was NOT it. I think it was the first time I thought, "Stupid Mormons!" in my head. I've been saying it in my head ever since. You will know I've gone over the edge when I start saying it out loud.
* When I was 15 I became fast friends with the CUTEST BOY I HAD EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE whose name was Aaron. We only saw each other at dances, and he ALWAYS asked me to dance and told me how wonderful I was. Did I mention he was DROP DEAD GORGEOUS? I seriously thought he was put up to it by his freinds, some cruel joke or dare. But, no! That was not the case! He thought I was funny and charming, and danced with me at every single dance for years. To this day I hold a soft spot in my heart for that boy. (sigh)
* Sometime in my seventeenth year, we had a rash of Theme dances. My favorite of these was the "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up" Dance. Essentially, you were supposed to dress in style of what profession you wanted to be someday. So, I went in my pajama's and slippers that looked like gorillia faces (foot inserted into mouth) with a handmade sign on my back that said, "Pulitzer Prize Winner." I can't tell you how many DOZENS of stupid Mormon's came up to me and asked, "Um... what's the Puliter Prize?" Seriously... IDIOTS! But really, it was just an excuse to wear my pajama's... I'll do anything for comfort.
* The weekend afer Kurt Cobain died, there was a casual youth dance. There was a FLOOD of Nirvana t-shirts and people requesting their rather undanceable (and mildly church house inappropriate) tunes. Once again, the thoughts of, "WHATEVER YOU POSERS!" Screamed through my head. I mean, how grunge can a 15 year old Mormon kid actually be?
* To this day, whenever I hear ANY song by Erasure or Ace of Base, the song "Somebody" by Depech Mode, "Love Shack" by The B-52's and the LONG version of Bryan Adam's "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" I am transported back to the Saturday night dances of my youth. Those moments of wondering if someone, ANYONE, was going to ask me to dance, of laughing at my friends, at the way we felt in that moment, and feeling like maybe this WAS fun after all.
There was something kind of magical about youth dances for me. The magic, sadly, did not continue onto Young Single Adult dances, but I think A LOT of that had to do with the fact that toward the end of my singleness, I was getting baby announcements from people I had babysat and really, there is SUCH a level of desperation at YSA dances that it taints the whole evening. There wasn't any of that at a youth dance because you weren't (or really SHOULDN'T have been) worrying about getting married, and ticking biological clocks. It was a time of innocence, of bad hair, too much make up and learning how to be YOU. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.