A song came on the radio while I was driving home the other night that I can only remember ever hearing at church dances growing up. Brought make some interesting memories… (my church had monthly dances and I went to almost all of ‘em in spite of, . . . well. . . just keep reading.) In fact it got me thinking about stuff I learned/remembered from those hours of stress interrupted by moments of exhilaration and/or extreme embarrassment. Here are a few things that popped in my head from my teenage years at church dances (and I note that a few my readers are actually girls
crazy kind enough to have danced with me at some of these events, so you can call me out for stuff that’s not entirely accurate):
- It’s very important to show up late . . . at least an hour late. Or else you’ll end up in the gym alone with 20 chaperones and some lemonade (great name for a rock band). It’s guaranteed that no one in the gym will physically move until 30 minutes before it’s over – no matter how loud the music plays.
- Whenever it was a “bad dance” you blame it on the “crappy music they played”
- Girls actual do
sweatperspire – I really had no idea until I went from MC Hammer (fast-dance) to Alphaville (slower than slow-dance) with the same girl
- No matter how hard you stare at the back of a girl’s head she won’t walk over and ask you to dance
- Bad dancing is really, really contagious. It should be like a wicked cough – you gotta just cover that stuff up with a huge towel or something. But instead, we would fast dance in large groups and mimic each other. Guess it’s easier to jump off that cliff when everyone else is doing it.
- Some of the worst church dance moments were when you realized, perhaps through no fault of your own, that you were standing all alone without a friend in sight. At this point you just start walking, determined, . . . with a purpose that you really didn’t have.
- The metal chairs lining the walls of the gym are REALLY hard and they get even harder as you contemplate your next “move”
- Success at church dances was very binary – either you bonded with your new forever soul-mate OR it “sucked” (again, blame the music)
- There actually are people who are TOO COOL TO DANCE. I’m not sure how they got that cool, but they’re out there.
- I am not able to spontaneously make myself stop sweating after a frightening display of non-coordination to an Erasure song. AND this skill was particularly lacking when the girl who’s head I’d been staring at all night actually did ask me to dance.
- Has there ever been anything more important than who you danced with on the last song?
- I never really did learn how to dance, despite some energetic, and sometimes violent, attempts. I pretty much just kinda “get my wobble on.” But despite my total assumption – most of the girls really didn’t know either. I just assumed they were born with that, kinda like how guys are born with an uncontrollable urge to laugh at the noises their bodies make.
So I probably made it all sound a bit worse than it actually was. Thank goodness for patient friends who perhaps brought me along for entertainment purposes while they contemplated their next “move.” (yeah, I know I already used that phrase, but it works) And there were even girls who said “yes” – which never ceased to leave me stunned for a few seconds. A couple years ago I stopped by a church dance, and I found that pretty much everything I had observed hadn’t changed a bit. I did totally enjoy those nights though (except when the music was bad of course) – so here’s to church dances!