When I was thirteen and started to learn social dancing at school, my parents arranged for me to have piano accordion lessons, the music lessons were a life changer for me and I loved playing the accordion. The year was around 1964 and Beatle mania had erupted in the UK, suddenly all other forms of music seemed out of date and my accordion also seemed very old fashioned, but I never stopped playing my accordion and just added the guitar and singing to my musical skills, and my accordion lessons ended when I was fifteen.
This brings me to my next challenge at dancing. Being a teenager is difficult enough but now add to this, dancing with a girl, to the most popular music on the planet. There are no lessons, no method you just do it, shake your hips and hands to the beat, and you know that you look stupid, but just hope that the girl you are dancing with doesn’t mind, and that she is looking into your eyes and not watching your moves.
It comes to the end of term dance of my final year at school, and I ask a girl to be my partner for the dance, I can’t remember her name but let’s call her Katie and we do some of the social dancing that we learned in the gym together, but at the interval she disappears, so I now talk to a girl who’s name I do remember and it’s Marion, she was gorgeous. The music starts up again but now it’s the hit songs popular at the time and Marion asked me to dance, we’ll I couldn’t say no and I tried my best to copy what she was doing, then we did a slow dance which was easy. After this dance she went away with some of her friends, so I now thought to myself, “you’ve tried your best but now I’ve lost two girls in the one night” and now I’m feeling just a little depressed, is my dancing that bad?
A little later some of my school pals come over to me very urgently and told me that Katie and Marion are having a fight over me at the back of the school, when I got there Katie had gone but Marion was there looking a little shaken but not hurt and it was more like an argument that than a fight. I walked Marion home and she assured me it had nothing to do with my dancing but they were arguing over me and that was my last day at school. I have never seen Katie or Marion again since that day.
There are two lessons in this anecdote, 1..Never be afraid to have a go at dancing, if the person likes you enough it won’t make much difference. 2..Give your attention to one girl/boy only, no matter how confident you feel.
In the next blog dancing is now very popular and the dance halls are all very busy and you could visit three or four in the one night within walking distance, but have I learned the lesson from my school dance?
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