Saturday, January 7, 2017

Jr. High School Dances...The Horror

Tonight, my wife and I attended a dance recital that turned into a ball (not, "ball" as it "lots of fun" although that works too, but ball as in formal dance...). My daughter's dance academy put it on so we got to see several of the student's dances and afterward, the floor opened up to everyone to kick up their heels a bit. They played Boot Scootin' Boogie, The Macarena, and other songs, many of which we knew.

My wife and I hadn't planned on doing a lot of dancing. In fact, we thought we'd not stay long because of the storm--didn't want to not make it home, but it stopped snowing so we stayed while our daughter did a little dancing. The event was held in a community recreation center that doubles as a jr. high school gym.

And, boy, did it take me back--roughly forty years back--to the aging (even back in the 1970s...) gym at Kaysville Jr. High, home of the Knights. Just thinking about those afternoons when everyone in the school knew a school dance was scheduled sent shivers up and down my spine.

And not in a good way.

No, as if the overall experience of jr. high school wasn't bad enough, they had to twist the uncomfortable knife even deeper. It's like the final piece of the crap puzzle that was jr. high school. You throw hundreds of socially awkward kids together and then you tell them to dance. The most successful jr. high school dances were the ones where my friends and I snuck out through the back of the gym and caught a #70 bus home.

Tonight's dance was not like my childhood nightmares. Families, little kids, jr. high and high school aged people were on the floor. And the fact that it was put on by a dance academy meant the kids could actually dance. Still, sitting in a darkened jr. high school gym watching people dance while listening to poorly acoustically delivered music, those memories came flooding back. Those were tough times--glad I got through them.

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