Tag Archives: Dancing

Dance Hall Days

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I wish I had a photo to show you of this time in my life,
but,
even though my Mum had a camera in my youth the truth is we couldn’t afford
to get the photos processed ($13 for 24 photos back in the 80’s!).

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When I was fourteen or fifteen years old, I used to go to an underage disco in Perth. It was located right in the middle of Perth. Teens from the whole Perth metro area were welcome. I am completely unaware if it was privately owned or run by the Perth City Council. A decade before computers became prevalent and twenty years before the age of the internet, I can’t find any record of it.

I use to go with my best friend, B.

Music was such an escape for me back as a teenager. Like it is for so many young people. But mine was a different form of escapism from the norm – I was less enamoured with the words as I was with the melody. Actually, it was the beat that I was addicted to.

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I’ve talked before about how I feel music in my marrow. I feel it right inside of me. Deep. As a teenager who was exposed to a poisonous anti-male upbringing and with little or no love being shown towards me (or my siblings), who had no redeemable physical or intellectual features with which to excel in life and as a youth who was ‘plain’ to say the least . . . . music became my safe place.

Such a beautiful and remarkable safe place.
I LOVE listening to music.

But I LOVE dancing to music even more.

Now, I’m not a pretty dancer. I get right into it – if you know what I mean. I throw my body around in perfect tempo with the rhythm and beats of music. Quite often head down concentrating the efforts of my arms and limbs, to perfectly synch with the next beat that I know is coming. My torso is always moving, either swaying, twitching or convulsing. I told you – the music gets right into my marrow. Into the nucleus of every cell.

Unfortunately, this expenditure of energy does produce some fairly unattractive results . . . . . mainly a sweaty, red-faced girl. Can you imagine it?!? Not pretty, is it? It’s just one of those unfortunate inherited traits, where the red-headed Irishman/convict of my past, shows itself with utter regularity, whenever I am energetic.

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Put this together with a frenetic and not-altogether-scary vision of the contortions I make while dancing, and perhaps you can begin to see why boys never rushed to my side.

Being a ‘normal’ adolescent, I wanted to be attractive to boys. For boys to ‘like’ me. It wasn’t until a particularly nasty comment from one of my sisters in my mid 20’s, that I begun to become self-conscious of how I danced. I begun to care what I looked like rather than how I felt when I was immersed in dancing. But in my teens, I was oblivious.

My unattractive state while I moved was made even more glaring by my beautiful girlfriend, who was just swaying to the beat. Can I paint you a picture? Long, long auburn hair, thick as Rapunzel’s. Thick and dark lashes on cat-like brown yes. High cheek bones and a smattering of freckles. She already had a budding hourglass figure and developed boobs wayyyyyy before me. Long legs and slightly taller than average, my girlfriend was a boy-magnet. In fact, they swarmed.

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Looking back now I can see that this difference in our physical selves and how we were perceived by the opposite gender, had a profound effect on our friendship over the coming decades. Not by design, envy or malice, purely because of human nature.

What do I mean?. After only a few visits (a few Saturdays in a row), a young deaf guy called M, started to really fancy B. As I said, she always had boys around her but there must have been something about him that she particularly found interesting. Thankfully, the 1980’s were still innocent enough days, where a bit of snogging was the ‘most’ that could happen at an underage even. Well for the majority of kids anyway.

B’s Mum was usually the one who picked us up at the end of the evenings, as (I now realise) mine wouldn’t have been in a state to drive. I was always so embarrassed and apologetic to B’s Mum that she had to be the one to pick us up. I fretted and felt so painfully guilty. I remember one night she was a bit snappy and seemed annoyed at having to pick us up. From that night on, I was always so anxious to be on time whenever she was picking us up.

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Another night that sticks on the tracks of my memory train, is a Saturday only a few weeks later, that we went to Angels. B & her beau M, were dragging their feet even though the music had stopped and lights were on. I was just so anxious to not keep B’s Mum waiting. But B had other priorities and of course we never treat our own Mum’s how we treat others, do we? She was happy to make her Mum wait.

It seems weird doesn’t it!?! The three strongest memories I have of those juvenile hedonistic dance nights are
* how beautiful my girlfriend looked when she danced
* how unattractive I was compared to my girlfriend
* a severe anxiety at making other people wait for me, even when the situation is controlled by others.

My strongest memory isn’t of my own love and joy of dancing. That’s a bit sad wouldn’t you say? And what of my girlfriend B?

She is as remarkably beautiful a woman, wife and mother as she was as a teenager.

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Lastly, I just had to share this utter classic from the 80’s.

If this video clip doesn’t make you fucking lose it laughing – then your soul is dead.
I’m sorry, but it’s true!

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This video just made me smile

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I’m a sucker for music + dance.

I LOVE dancing.

But I don’t do it anymore as I live in the bush
and I don’t know anyone who would go dancing with me anyway.

I mean OUT dancing,
like to a club or something.

Anyway,
check out this link to a fun little dance,
as choreographed as part of the
Urban Dance Camp in Germany.

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