Writers Workshop: Slow Dancin’

That is a great song for slow dancing. Too bad it wasn’t out until 1977, a little late for me at those eighth grade dances (not that late).

When you’re in grammar school (nowadays eighth grade is “junior high,” but they hadn’t quite invented it in 1969, at least not where I came from), those dances were something to look forward to, mostly because, for the guys anyway, it was a chance to get close to one of the female classmates and put your arms around her for a while while you turned slowly to a song like Mercy’s “Love Can Make You Happy”…

Problem was, the girls wanted to dance to fast songs, like any of the million songs that had been put out by the Jackson 5…

…and they ran the record player. One time, we thought we might be able to get one of them to play “Never Can Say Goodbye,” since the record had a Motown label and it was by the Jackson 5 (at least Michael), and it was a perfect slow-dance song…

It didn’t work. It’s still a great slow-dance song. So was Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which the girls seemed to like, even if it was a slow song.

I know, “Why didn’t you guys just learn how to fast dance and dance fast with us?” Because most of us were total klutzes, being 13 or 14. Even at 140 pounds, I danced like an elephant with a broken leg. Plus, we thought we looked like idiots. Besides, being close to a girl and actually holding one in your arms was THE WHOLE POINT.

I don’t know when that changed. Now, I see videos these kids (literally 14 and 15 years old) put out where the guys are better dancers than the girls. Man, where do they learn those moves? Not to mention that, if a boy were to bust out moves like that fifty years ago, the other guys would tend to stay away from him, if you know what I mean.

Which might have been the problem. The fact was we could have learned to dance like that, but we were too “manly” to do so. So we waited until the girls took pity on us and played a slow one, like Three Dog Night’s “Easy To Be Hard”…

Youth is wasted on the young…

9 thoughts on “Writers Workshop: Slow Dancin’

  1. Delightful look back that resonated with me. I remember dances when I was in 8th grade which was called middle school where I came from. I didn’t like them… because the boys wanted to slow dance and I wanted to get my ackward groove on. Ha!


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