I love dancing, but I don’t do enough of it. My daughter has Just Dance for the Wii or XBox or whatever, and I haven’t really taken advantage of that. As I get older I have to be in the “mood” for it, whereas during college I was always up for it when our group of friends went out partying.
This post is not about the “best” dance songs, or even my “favorite” songs necessarily. It’s about special moments I remember involving dancing — in particular, dancing with a girl. 🙂 As you will see, romantic love is not always a part of it, yet obviously for me dancing is best done with someone I really really love!
I heard Carole King’s I Feel the Earth Move as I drove home tonight, and that song is like a sledgehammer for me — it always makes me think of the first time I can remember dancing with a girl. No, it’s not what you might think; she was a distant cousin, I believe. A bunch of kids were at a large party of some sort, probably a family get-together, and we found ourselves in a halll with a dance floor and a sound system playing tunes, but no adults were around. Carole King’s hit song sounded so good, and this girl and I were free-style dancing to it. I don’t know how old I was. The song was released in 1971, so I had to be at least eight years old, but I don’t think it was a brand new song at the time. Maybe I was more like ten years old? That’s all I remember. I didn’t even know the girl, and I doubt I ever saw her again, but we were best friends for part of an afternoon, just enjoying music and being young! So, here is a video tribute to that memory…
Another great blast from the past comes from those wonderful college years at the University of Dayton. My group of friends worked hard and played hard. We took honors classes and got good grades, but we definitely knew how to have fun! When we went out, we usually went as a big group of (mostly) platonic friends, and we danced for hours and worked up a sweat. It was a blast! Places like The First Stop, Alexander’s, and Flanagan’s. One of the popular songs of the early 80s was Start Me Up by the Stones, and everybody sang along while we imitated Jagger’s strutting.
I find it pathetic that this song was used in commercials and that some people remember it for that. It will always remind me of something very real — good times with good friends!
In a romantic vein, what I remember most about my wedding reception are a couple of the songs. I spent a lot of time selecting a play list for the DJ (some of which he ignored but a lot of which, I am thankful, he actually played!) Our first dance, we agreed, would be Only You by The Platters — just a heart-wrenchingly lovely valentine of a record.
The big hit song at the reception was Conga by Miami Sound Machine — nothing original, as most wedding receptions of the time and many modern ones included it, but a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. Yes, a whole mess of people formed a conga line, with Karen and I at the front. Yes, we have pictures, and yes, it was tremendously fun!
We got married, and we had two kids. The younger is Lara, our daughter. Some of the highlights of her youth, from my point of view, were the father-daughter dances we attended when she was in grade school. We made a dashing couple! It’s funny how many of the songs played at these events are “oldies” from when I was growing up. A staple of most any dance is, of course YMCA by the Village People. It’s such a stupid song, embarrassingly dated, so I can’t say I “like” it; however, as I said, this post isn’t about my favorite songs. I asked Lara what songs she remembers the most from those dances, and this is the one she thought of first. So, here it is…
Blah, that song makes me want to listen to just about anything else! For the last video, I’m going to cheat a bit. Although I can’t remember a specific time I danced with a girl to Vogue by Madonna, it’s a great dance number and a great video: