Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Siren call of the Slow Dance

Gentle listeners, in the past you may have heard my ode to the dances I attended while in the tender years of primary school - 'Blue Light Disco, Green Light Romance'. Ah yes...the heady days before the whole issue of popularity or sexual appeal really kicked in under the mirror ball. With advancing years though, and the onset of body hair and pheremones, school dances became increasingly fraught with tense undercurrents, dimly understood body language and much second-guessing of self and others.

When the slow dance number played, were you filled with hope or with despondency? Did you feel the gentle warmth of a much-desired partner, or the moist, clamminess of someone you simply didn't know how to say no to? Did the genders divide like the red sea, each clinging like barnacles to the safety of the gym wall? Did you indeed know how to dance, or did you perform the preoccuppied shuffle that passed for dancing when all you were really looking for was a quick pash and maybe a stolen cigarette out the front before your parents came to pick you up?

...oh the memories...

It is experiences like these school dances that can shape your reactions to dancefloors (particularly those at weddings, where the lack of a partner is most obvious) for the rest of your natural-born life. As a long-time denizen of the dreaded 'singles table', I can tell you that there are a few songs whose opening chords still make my heart sink. Watching happy couples shuffle around, stepping on each other's toes and giggling, or lightly stroking each other's buttocks, I heave a heavy sigh, but deep down I know that Billy Idol has the right of it:

"When there's no-one else in sight
In the crowded lonely night
Well I wait so long
For my love vibration
And I'm dancing with myself"

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