Friday, March 6, 2009

And We Danced

Remember when you were very young and you would spin and spin and spin until you couldn't maintain your balance anymore and you would fall down, preferably into a big pile of sofa pillows, and watch the world spin while you laughed at nothing in particular? If you were a little girl, perhaps this feeling was enhanced by a wonderfully twirly skirt that made you feel beautiful as well as carefree and dizzy. I've often said that most of us who indulge in alcohol or drugs when we get older are just trying to recapture that feeling of spinning and spinning and spinning. (Then, somewhere along the way, most of us decide we don't really like that feeling very much at all. But that's another story for another day)

I have always loved to dance. I have never been any good at it. Grace is not my stronghold. I have rarely cared. Dance like no-one is looking was never just a platitude for me.

I remember Jr. High dances. Sitting with the girls on one side of the room while the boys lined the other. Maybe awkwardly dancing with girlfriends for a little while before dissolving into giggles when we realized the boys were watching. Tentatively swaying with the boys during slow songs. Beth? I hear you callin'. But I can't come home right now...

I don't remember high school dances as much as I remember going EVERY weekend in high school to the underage disco, The Glass Diamond. Now say what you want about disco. You'll probably be right. I've probably said it too. As a musical genre, it was deplorable. But as a scene? Honey, even the underage scene was on fire. I remember putting on my deep scoop necked Danskin and a black wrap skirt and ridiculous heels and heading to the diamond. It felt so sophisticated and grown-up to enter that disco and say, "Hold my purse. I love this song." And then proceed to boogie ooggie oogie till I just couldn't boogie no more. I remember practicing steps and moves diligently in girlfriends' basements to get ready for that one night a week. Saturday Night Fever was not entertainment, it was a How-To-Guide.

College led to dancing on beer-sticky basement floors in frat houses then small apartments with the furniture pushed back, then finally, senior year, in clubs. College was dancing like Belinda Carlisle. College was trying to learn the "Thriller" dance without the benefit of a VCR. Or, you know, the aforementioned grace. And, if any of my college friends are reading, it's 10:00. What song is on the stereo? (Godzilla) And where are your feet? (not on the floor)

Post college involved a lot of dancing and clubbing, too. At least twice a week, quite often a lot more. DJ, VJ, live band - it was all good. And it was all an opportunity to dance. For inspiration.

Then dancing became something I only did at weddings. Celebrate good times, come on!

Then dancing became a lovely form of synchronous reciprocity when I danced with my babies and they responded to the gentle rhythms.

And I thought maybe that was it.

Every now and then I'd dance around the house with the kids. Every now and then at a concert or festival I'd feel my shoulders start to move. Even more rarely my hips would become engaged. If I thought no one was looking. On rare occasions I'd headbang a little. Which is, as everyone knows, the same but different.

Last night I got a gift.

The pizza shop had karaoke night.

From a business standpoint, it was a complete failure. But the very thing that made it a failure for the business made it a resounding success for me. It was like a private party. A private party for girls. The only folks there were myself, my two girls, my sister and her daughter, our friend, one other waitress, and her friend. Everyone (but me - I have my limits) took a turn on the mike. That was fun. But more fun than that? We danced. I mean we DANCED! No little shoulder dancing, no shifting weight from one hip to the other, full on dancing. We forgot we were too fat or too skinny or too old or too young or too any darn thing at all and we danced. Me? Who has spent the last couple decades trying to be invisible so no-one will have to be offended by the ampleness of my behind? Child, I was doin' the butt. I was a brick house. I p-pushed it real good. And I did all of this with women I loved who were doing it too. And we laughed. We laughed so hard and so well. And every bit of it was laughing with, not at. (ok, the young boys who were working at the shop might have been laughing at. But if you're not living your life in a manner that is amusing on some level to adolescent boys, you're probably not living it right.)

Moving like that felt AMAZING! I felt like that little girl swirling in my pretty dress till I couldn't swirl any more. That was cool. But cooler still was that I was sharing this experience with my girls. This wonderful, multi-generational girl power feeling was just palpable. I hope they never forget it.

I know I won't.

82 comments:

SQ said...

wow Tammy.....LOVED this one!! Touched me to the core, because I LOVE to dance, but don't know how and I could just picture myself doing the same exact thing with you all and laughing until i cried!!

WISH i COULD have been part of that beautiful dancing experience!!

LOVED it and thanks for sharing!!
: )
keep it coming!!!!

Gibby said...

How awesome for you! Good for you! I admit, I am jealous, because I haven't danced like that in a long, long time. You described the feeling of dancing perfectly.

(And I laughed out loud at "Beth...I hear you calling..."
Why did every jr. high play that song?)

Swine said...

Sounds terrific! For me it was going to Bogarts on all-ages Sunday. I was beyond bad at dancing and would hit the floor only one time the entire day: When Born To Be Alive came on, the fog machine kicked in and the strobe light turned the place into a flashing nightmare. Nobody could see me shake my bony ass! You took me back to that moment. Cheers!

Bass Is Life said...

There's only been a couple of times when I've been uninhibited enough to dance to anything but the slow songs. One of them was at our wedding. Any other time would have required copious amounts of alcohol. I guess I need to be drunk on booze or elation to allow myself to be that free.

Housewife Savant said...

Coolest EVEN, is that you shared this with US.
I LOVE this post.

InspiredDreamer said...

Happy SITS day!!! What a fabulous post. I completely know what you mean about wanting to recapture that childhood abandon, and how sometimes you just need to dance like nobody's watching. I take a latin-dance-based fitness class and girl, I just decided I may as well shake what I got (and boy, does it shake)

Have an Extraordinary Day!

Jessica said...

Good for YOU! I am DEF not a dancer so i can imagine what it felt like to actually be free and not care and just DANCE!

Lani said...

This is a great post.. I wish we could all always "dance like no one is watching"!

The Redhead Riter said...

That's sweet. I think my daughter would pay me NOT to dance...LOL

bluecottonmemory said...

What a great musical synopsis. I also love the dancing review - I miss dancing with my babies the most - when they were babies. However, dancing with my son at his wedding was quite a moment! I loved your post - it was perfect!

http://bluecottonmemory.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/are-you-ready-to-twirl/

marfmom said...

OH I totally hear you! I am a dancer. Not a professional dancer, not a good dancer, but in my soul, I am a dancer. I'm the first one on the dance floor, the one my friends tease. If you ever get the chance, go to Brasil. There, they dance on the beach, they dance in the streets. There is no "too" anything there when it comes to dancing. I think you'd fit right in!

Mary said...

Dance like nobody's looking!

Happy SITS Day!

Just Playin' said...

Great post! I used to dance with my middle school sons in the kitchen. I would sing, "By The LIght Of The Silvery MOon" from my mother's generation and they would stand on my feet and I did the stepping. So fun! Go Zumba dancing girl... you will love it.

Alexis said...

I loved your post!!!! It makes me want to go out with my gfs and enjoy these days right now and just dance!

Thanks!

Yours Truly,
Lady Lex
ineedprettythings.com

Amy said...

Back again. Happy SITS day.

I especially enjoyed the line: if you aren't living your life in a manner that is amusing to adolescent boys then you aren't living it right. (something like that). I love that!

Cheryl said...

How fun!! Congrats on your day.

Serendipity said...

The spinning thing - I still do that!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Sounds like you had a great time. It is always fun getting to do something you really enjoy and how nice your girls liked it too! I'm not a dancer, never was, but I remember that disco era.

Happy SITS day!

Yaya said...

FUN! I love to dance!
And don't you wish we still had the stamina from the days we could go clubbing several times a week?? If I did that now I'd have to stay in bed for a week to recover!

Elizabeth a.k.a. Type A Mommy said...

That sounds like such an awesome time, and I can so feel what you're talking about, about dancing throughout most of your life...until now. Dance was a big part of my life growing up, but since becoming old and all, I've kind of stopped, for fear of knocking someone over with my lack of grace. Sounds like I ought to try to check out a karaoke night somewhere... :)

lifeissweet16 said...

Sometimes, either in my office at work or at home in my living room, I just put on good music and dance. It's liberating (and calorie-burning).

sandy said...

How fun! I think we all need to bust a move once in a while!

singedwingangel said...

Wonderful post. You have a way with words that takes nearly anyone to right where you are in that moment of time.. ( I can't do the spinny thing anymore now I get nauseous lol) but I love to dance and I do it in PUBLIC without alcohol. Although not as often as I used to ..but I woulda had a ball with ya'll at that, I would have even sung a song or two lol..

Christine said...

That sounded like so much freakin' fun!
>I p-pushed it real good........OMG, that was too funny!
I can guarantee you that your girls will never forget it. What a great memory to cherish!

The Mommyologist said...

Sounds like such a fun night! It is so fun to enjoy the little things with your kids!

Pam said...

This post has me smiling ear to ear. I, too, love to dance and only have a chance at weddings now. Maybe I need to convince my local pizza joint to have a karaoke night. But, like you, I won't be singing. But dancing... You betcha!

Complicated Mama said...

Nights where you can let go and just dance like that are the best!! :)

Hope you have many more!!

The Dapper Darling said...

I am a lover of dance as well...also not good at it!

Charlene said...

I am a big fan of dancing and karaoke so it's all good! Love your style!

Holyoke Home said...

I love the freedom from body consciousness that comes from dancing like that. Ever tried Zumba? It's like that.

Lynn said...

Keep on p-pushing it real good! Never let the dance die lady!

My best, Lynn

Creative Junkie said...

That sounds like fun! I love to dance - I'm horrible at it but usually, if I've managed to get out on the dance floor, then I'm probably out of my mind anyway and I don't care what I look like.

A long way from my twenties when I survived on beer, mac'n cheese and dancing every night.

Kimmy C said...

I love to dance - around the house while cleaning! Turn up the tunes and have at it. :)

Happy SITS day!

Sincerely, Jenni said...

Ha- my kids just get embarrassed when I dance!

Gayle Jackson said...

Great article and so memory provoking!

Laura said...

I've always wanted to learn how to ballroom dance like on Lawrence Welk (oops! I just dated myself) But instead I just dance silly at home with the kids.

sweetjeanette said...

I. Love. This!!!!! I soaked up every word. No, really, I loved this post! You are my kindred spirit, or at least an alter-ego.

sweetjeanette.blogspot.com

Jenn said...

I always say the best way to dance is to do it like no one is watching. How freeing, eh?

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I dance around the house all of the time with my girls. In public I can tap my feet. I wish I had the nerve to dance in public.

Way to go!

Happy SITS day!

Eva Gallant said...

That was a totally awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Happy SITS day. I'm glad you were featured because I might not have found you otherwise! Now I have to follow you. I hope you find time to pay my blog a visit and sign my gueswt book! Hugs!

Eva Gallant said...

That was a totally awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Happy SITS day. I'm glad you were featured because I might not have found you otherwise! Now I have to follow you. I hope you find time to pay my blog a visit and sign my gueswt book! Hugs!

Courtney (AKA MommaRoberts) said...

LOVE it! I nvr get to go dancing :( My husband "doesn't" dance :) But on rare occassion I'll go dance with my MIL lol I know crazy) That feeling is awesome! You discribed the feel of dancing so well!

one cluttered brain said...

Love it! So funny. If you are not trying to get published as an author you should be. Crazy. Love this post, Karyoke--fun times! Thriller, Bleinda Carlisle...We must have grown up in the same era..thanks for the laugh..
I'm following U now!

Rook No. 17 said...

What a beautifuly articulated journey through life via dance! It brought back some fun memories that had been all but forgotten. Sounds like you and the girls had a wonderful, fun and liberating time together at the karaoke night. What a gift! Just yesterday I was marvelling at the apparently timeless appeal of disco, when my daughters boogied down to "Funky Town" and a few other songs that came on the cable music channel, while I was crafting. Who would have thought?

Lucy said...

I love dancing...when you completely let go of all self-consciousness and just blend with the music it feels so liberating!!

Tonya said...

It sounds like you had an absolute blast! I love dancing and I haven't danced in a long time. We should all dance more often...even if it's in our kitchens! :)

AmericanTribal said...

Wow, I really loved this post. I'm a professional belly dancer and I understand how free you feel when you dance, and how important it is to the soul. I would go insane if I didn't dance.

I hope you get many more opportunities to dance in the future!

Mandi Miller said...

Happy SITS! Sounds like you had a lot of fun!! Since having my baby I can't seem to spin in a circle anymore!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

I know the feeling well! Loved it and thank you for sharing! BTW, do we live in the same town??? Our pizza place has a karaoke night too. (they also have a singing pirate . . . but that's another story!)

Date Girl said...

That sounds like such a fun night. I love me some karaoke, but I do not dance enough. Getting together with a bunch of ladies and just letting loose sounds like a great night to me.

Happy Sits day!

foxy said...

Wow - what a great post. A spectacular stroll down memory lane... and then a priceless moment with your girls. That's ABSOLUTELY what it's all about...

Cheers to you today!

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

It sounds like a great night. I love to dance too - but tend to be too shy to show it off outside of my living room. I should get over that. I would totally have been singing my tuneless heart out on the karaoke machine though. Funny how I'm too shy to dance in public but will caterwaul happily in front of others. Glad you had fun.

Robin said...

Ah, so inspiring! I have a pizza place below my building and on Thursdays is our infamous karaoke night. Boy, do I wish I saw more of you there, and less of the drunk crazies instead!! LOL. I might feel a little more inspired and a little less crazy myself!

Keep on dancing!

-Robin

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

Oh I love to dance too! And am really no good at it. But it just feels so good. A few weekends ago I was at a friends house and we all started dancing to some good ole' fun college bar kind of music (salt-n-pepa, marky mark, mc hammer) and boy did we laugh SO hard. We need to do that so much!

Kim said...

That sounds so fun! I'm glad you were able to capture the moment(s) in words for us & you.
@cheapchichome.blogspot.com

Pricilla said...

There is so much freedom in not caring. Good for you and good for your girls.
Happy SITS day!

pk said...

Great post! Sounds like you had a great time.

pk @ Room Remix

Masala Chica said...

I don't know when I get the chance to "really" dance anymore. I try to talk my 2 year old into having "dance parties" with me, even if its to Laurie Berkner, but she's not having it.

Great post :-)

The Meanest Bean of Them All said...

What a great story! This sounds a lot like the evolution of my dancing...I'm not graceful, and often it's restricted to in my house, where no one but kiddo and the cat can see me :)

That story just left me with a big grin on my face!

Angry Julie Monday said...

I used to love to go to clubs and dance all night. I'm sad that I don't do things like that anymore. But seriously, there is no where to go around here to do that. Or maybe its because I'm not a size zero...

Anali said...

Oh, you touched my heart with this one! I was one of those girls who used to spin and spin and do cartwheel after cartwheel after cartwheel. Luckily no drug or alcohol problem though.

Anyway, I so enjoyed that you got to go dancing with your girls, because that's one of the best feelings in the world!

Happy SITS Day! ; )

Caroline said...

That is awesome! Dancing is so much fun!!

Jennifer Juniper said...

See? Dance like no one is watching, is a great motto for life. It makes you feel young and alive. I love that you got to do this :)

Two Normal Moms said...

OMG, you just took me on this really fast forward spin through memory lane. I love all the song lyrics you worked in there - and my mind played the melody of each one, not just the words. That was great.
Stopping by from SITS. Enjoy your SITS day!
***Ally

Zeemaid said...

yes it's amazing how we don't really like to do that spin thing anymore.

I miss dancing too. Like you, it's degenerated into the odd dancing around the house with the kids. Glad you were able to get out and have fun with your girls.

My secret fun though is I find slippery floors irresistible and attempt to do ballet steps and as long as there are no mirrors around, I can imagine that I am as graceful as any real ballerinas. ;)

Happy SITS day.

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

yay! I <3 to dance. I dance around my living room all the time and my baby has learned to dance before she's learned to walk.

youthinkyoucanblog said...

I danced like that on my 20th high school reunion after a few double shot margaritas! Woo!

Letting loose is hard to do. Glad you were able to do that. Way Cool!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

Sounds like fun. I think we need a lot more simple, innocent fun in life like dancing with your friends.

Chocolate Lover said...

Sounds like you had a blast!

LinLori said...

Oh, wow, that was such a wonderful post. I love dance, but haven't in a few years because where we live isn't, well, hip enough, haha! Makes me want to drive out to Reno now, just to find a club. That karaoke night sounds like so much fun!!

Amber Page Writes said...

Wish I could've been there dancing with you! I used to love my twirly skirts...still miss those.

Young Wife said...

Happy SITS Day! What a fun night. I love to dance, but with my husband's arthritis we rarely get to any more. Loved this post!

Unknown Mami said...

They won't. I LOVE to dance and I do not care if I am any good. I will get up and dance even if no one else is because then it gives everyone else permission to do it too. There is joy in dance.

Vickie said...

Ah...bar dancing is the best! The only time I felt okay to dance. Everyone is drunk and not laughing at me:)

Sara E said...

oh yea! I so agree! I love dancing with my boys (4 & 5) to music and also to Glee

I just suggested to another blogger that she needs to be carefree and child-like sometimes to make her soul smile :)

Missy said...

How fun! I like to dance, but probably do not do it often enough because I think I look like an idiot.

Stopping by from SITS.

Marie said...

Keep up the dancing, it lifts the spirits and it is probably good to move the bod around too. I do it every time I am making a cup of tea, thank God I am home alone when I do it though, hee hee!

Kristin said...

There is something about just letting loose with your girls and swaying with your significant other!

2busy said...

I used to dance. ALOT! When did I become so self conscious?

The Mom @ Babes in Hairland said...

Sorry I'm a day late - but stopping by from SITS! Hope your day was a great one. I've never been one to dance - EVER - but being with my kids, there is something that just makes me loose all normalcy and just let go! They won't like it when they are older, I'm sure, but for now we have fun! I love your description of dancing etc., cuz I could totally picture you having a blast! :)

Midday Escapades said...

Can you see me over here??? I'm grinning from ear to ear imagining I was there with you all dancing and pushing it, too. Loved this post. Thanks for sharing. Happy SITS day! (I wanted to wait until things got more quiet to come visit)

Meg said...

I should dance more! I love to, I just always clam up and feel self conscious in front of other people. Thanks for the inspiration!