The Evolution of Dad Dancing
03/15/2013 1:00 AM
03/14/2013 10:45 PM
My oldest daughter sent me this video last week. She wrote: This is you dad.
When do you move from that guy in high school coolly laying on the floor during the song "Shout" to this guy?
I can almost smell Elizabeth Hall, my high school sweetheart, in the fellowship Hall at Highland Methodist Church at a Friday night dance in 1982. A mix of sweat, Polo by Ralph Lauren and Jean Nate. Veronica Jamiachello and Dale Angel, the King and Queen of the party, dancing in the middle of the room. Ebo, as we called her, and I, snuggled close nearby, barely swaying back and forth. My hands awkwardly propped on her hips.
She actually wore knee highs under her formal prom dress. What a cool chic.
Uncle Jesse, my wife's brother, is a good dancer. He's cool - with lots of rhythm, and he's confident enough that he doesn't seem to care what everybody else in the room thinks. I wish I could dance like him.
I don't think I'm as bad as the guy in the video, but I'm certainly not smooth. I do alright on the shag, a waltz or a slow dance. But turn on the music and throw me in the middle of the floor, expected to coordinate both arms, both legs and spontaneously choreograph my moves and I'm in trouble. I call it "free dancing." Yea, free to make a fool of yourself.
Last weekend my dad was inducted into the Fayetteville, NC, Music Hall of Fame. After the presentation, we joined 2,000 others for a Kool In The Gang concert. Interestingly, there was no one on that stage older than me and the Gang was popular in the early 1980s. I think we really saw the Grandchildren of Cool In The Gang. After five songs my dad had to leave - said it was "Too Loud. Just too much for him. He couldn't take anymore."
It's too loud? This coming from a man who blares the television at 140 decibels because he's going deaf! My mom and I have to step outside to chat during the nightly news.
Before my dad evacuated us from the Crown Coliseum, I looked to my right and noticed an older man standing near the back row. He was tall and slim, wearing a brown tweed overcoat and newsboy hat. Jungle Boogie was cranking from the stage. This dude was bobbing his head up and down and slightly moving his body. Although his motions were modest, you could tell his entire being was oozing soul. Sort of like the band leader in Dirty Dancing.
Now that's how I want to move. I'm not looking to be Mikhail Baryshnikov, just a little Tito Suarez.
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