Dance This Mess Around

Not sure why I'm smiling so aggressively here. Nerves?
Not sure why I’m smiling so aggressively here. Nerves?

A memory inspired by The Daily Post: Daily Prompt-Let’s Dance. In answer to the question, “what are your earliest memories of dance?”

Middle School Gym 1988

Jodi Watley-Looking for a New Love

Boys and girls file in staring at their shoes and instinctually separate. Boys on this side, girls on that side.

Keith Sweat-I Want Her

Several empty dance songs play in succession as the two sides size each other up and work out their butterflies.


Girls hit the dance floor on this one. Shaking it proud with sideways glances at the boys who are gawking in disbelief.

U2-With or Without You

First slow song drops like a bomb. Girls scurry back to the ladies side of the gym. The alpha of the popular boys singles out his long time girlfriend. They just celebrated their 3 week anniversary! They sway back and forth as a few others couple up and oh so awkwardly embrace each other. The closest physical encounter with the opposite gender ever.

Lisa Lisa Cult Jam-Head to Toe

Gives both sides a chance to exhale and compose themselves as they compare notes on the experience. “He smelled so good,” “His hands went where?!” “He slow dances too fast.” I wonder what the boys were saying.

Debarge-Rhythm of The Night

Restarts the cycle.

Terence Trent Darby-Wishing Well 

This one confuses everybody, is it a slow dance or a fast dance? Better wait it out.

Nu Shooz-I Can’t Wait

Brings the girls back out on the dance floor, everybody sings along in unison, “My love, tell me what it’s all about, you got something that I can’t live without…”

Bangles-Eternal Flame

“Last song of the night guys and dolls,” says the DJ, “Grab that special someone!”

No WAY is he looking at me. He’s looking right at me! Oh my GOD here he comes, he’s walking over to me! He holds out his hand and looks my friend right in the eyes before pulling her out onto the dance floor as I rush to the girls bathroom to cry it out.


32 replies to “Dance This Mess Around

  1. Oh my goodness, how many times did we call the radio station to get them to play “Eternal Flame” that year? It was always in the “Top 5 at Ten” countdown those nights.

    Rocking the acid washed look…totally rad! 🙂


    1. Acid washed baby! Even the oversized glasses are back in. Have you noticed all the cropped tops that are in the department stores? Cringe. Eternal Flame and what was that INXS song…Never Tear Us Apart. Loved those two songs!


      1. “Shake Your Love” – I always wondered if Mrs. Gibson was getting a joke over on the listeners with that one.

        Trust me we can go toe to toe on the 80’s music. “Cruel Summer”, “Rock The Casbah”, “Don’t You Want Me”, lol


  2. Wow- the memories this brought back! I was always the wild one that wouldn’t wait to be asked and scared the boys. There were two reliable ones that went with it. I stayed friends with them for a long time. They should have thanked me– they were the only boys who could brag the girl dragged them to the floor 🙂


      1. I am in the last year of my thirties— I didn’t know I could access those old memories as I am entering the dreaded 40’s 🙂 The older I get, the younger 70 sounds! I need some ideas of what to do as a countdown to my birthday. Any ideas amiga? This is definitely not a bucket list since I don’t plan on kicking it soon 🙂 Can’t wait to hear your ideas 🙂


      2. Estimada Estelita, I was born in 75, you too? Are you thinking along the lines of a 40 before 40 type of countdown? LIke the 12 days of xmas? I love it!


  3. I was in my awkward years a long time….it took a long time to grow into these teeth and ears. I am still waiting for that last growth spurt. Should be along any day now. I find it hard to believe that you have not been a beautiful swan all your years 🙂 If you weren’t, all those early blooming swans are surely wishing they hadn’t peaked so soon!


    1. You are a sweet beauty! Nothing awkward about you as far as I can tell! You’re such a kind friend.

      I had some crazy hair on top of my head, a horrendous overbite (which has mellowed into just an ordinary overbite), and giant 80s glasses. A vision only a mother could love. I think with age comes a confidence that only time and wrinkles can inspire. And a who-gives-a-damn attitude doesn’t hurt either.


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