Date: March 22, 2023 08:36PM
Growing up in the 1950s was the best growing up I ever did!
My first formal lesson regarding dancing came in grammar school, probably in 7th or 8th grade. No explanation was given WHY we were being taught to dance; it was forced upon us in gym class. Instead of 'dressing for gym,' we were told to keep our clothes on and to gather in the gym with the girls, something that had never happened before in gym class.
And they proceeded to teach us the box step. (I wonder what the teachers gossiped/speculated regarding their immature charges?)
First, we did it by ourselves, just standing there, then taking a right step forward, left foot forward, left foot sideways, right foot sideways towards the left foot...
The rest has faded from memory, but I recall that changing directions was also taught!! It boggles the mind!
I cannot conceive of how the girls were expected to keep pace with the male's spastic herky-jerkings! But they did! It probably has something to do with brassieres. Someday maybe Gladys can explain it to me.
Learning the box step served me well all the way through high school, and Gold & Green balls until it was time to go on a mission. The two-year no-dancing rule was no hardship for me.
After that, 99% of my dancing was 'fast dancing.' I was noted for stellar renditions of the Twist, the Mashed Potatoes, and the Bristol Stomp. But boogie-woogie was totally beyond my abilities, though there were attempts to teach me.
None of my marriages involved a reception, much less a First Dance. I don't recall ever dancing with my first wife. My second wife was an enthusiastic partier. We had many a gathering at our house where I tried to combine dancing and molestation, which wasn't that hard given that "the bump" (and "the dirty bump"!) was (were) popular.
Here's a quick humiliating video of kids doing the bump: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHqdZSNZ01k
The partiers were much more mature but surely a lot more salacious.
My most socially outgoing period followed my second divorce and lasted seven years. A lot of socializing was done, but not much dancing.
There was only one dance event during the third marriage, a wedding extravaganza involving a relative of my wife's. I had a lot of warning, so I had time to train for it and I got a lot of polite exclamations of awe and wonderment, but there were reports back to me that many thought me crude and vulgar. So, success!
That last dance would have been around 1999, so I have not danced this century.
What stirs these ruminations is the word I've received of a granddaughter's upcoming wedding in Orem in July of this year. Another granddaughter reported to me that it's going to be a really big deal, meaning a reception AND dancing!
When was the last time you danced? Any stories to share? No one will make fun of you!! Well, I won't unless your first name is Gladys, and then it will likely only be to get even!