They call me Elaine

A dear friend of mine asked me to go line dancing with her, and I’m going!  I love to dance.  I think I’m a decent dancer.  Problem is, most of the people I know, may not necessarily agree.  My huge extended family has broken me in to the world of kickin’ it up on the dance floor from a very young age.   I can remember gathering when I was a very young kid for first communions and weddings hopping right up there on the dance floor with the rest of the crowd. I jumped up and down so much, I looked like a just ran a marathon with all the sweat pouring out of my body.  Don’t know how much I was actually dancing.  I can remember in particular grabbing another little cousin, locking our hands, and then spinning around each other as hard as we could until we made ourselves dizzy.  I don’t know if that could actually be considered a dance move.  But.  I can tell you I was having a ball, and had no qualms what so ever about making a fool of myself in front of the whole party.  The most important goal of all was achieved–I was having a great time.

My love of dancin’ to the rhythm of the music was not limited to big parties and gatherings.  I can remember regularly putting on shows for my parents with their old 45 records on the record player, our most favorite song of all–Wipe Out.  Now if you are not familiar with that song, it’s an old beach classic that’s essentially a drum and guitar riff that goes on forever. Quite perfect for jumping up and down and burning off tons of kid energy.  I can almost see the groans and rolling eyes of my parents as we begged them to get ready for the “show”.   They were probably thinking to themselves, “This show again?”,  as we must have put on pretty much the same show dozens of times.

As I grew older, this love of music did not slow down much.  My friends and I started to attend dances at one of the nearby neighborhood church halls when I was in 6th grade.  We had a ball.  We got to start mingling with boys, and hanging out away from our own hood.  I can tell you not too much changed with respect to my dancing prowess, as I pretty much jumped up and down to music.  I’d like to think that I had some rhythm, and actually could dance to the beat of the music, but I’ve never quite seen a video, so I have to rely on my own memories.  Back then, all you really had to do anyway was sway back and forth to the music in some near approximate of a one, two, and voila!  You were dancing.  We also loved to circle together and sing some of the popular songs back then–songs by Meatloaf come to mind.  I think every girl back then knew the words to Paradise by the Dashboard Lights and enjoyed nothing more than singing the lyrics at the top of their lungs. Even back then we started SLOW dancing with boys.  It was very innocent and sweet.  All that was required of you was to lean on your dance partner and sway back and forth in a circle.  How hard is that?  Of course some of the kids were into boyfriends and girlfriends and snuck in a bit of smooching here and there, but I think really we were all just there to gather and have fun and not have to worry about wandering around the neighborhood.

This trend continued into high school.  I went to an all girl school, so it was a great opportunity to gather together with your friends, hang out and meet some interesting boys.  Still, the main attraction was socializing and dancing.  It didn’t change too much from when I was kid.  I still jumped around a whole lot, and sweat about as much as a full blown aerobics class.  This was also about the time frame when break dancing was part of the dancing scene.  Although I didn’t personally partake in this trend, it was awfully fun watching some of the kids, who were really pretty good at it.  I’m actually betting that I probably stood and watched what I didn’t know then was my future husband, as he attended the school where the dances were held, and it’s been rumored that he could break dance with the best of them.

My joy for dancing continued into my college years.  I was a frequent attendee of community dances and dances at my commuter college.  To me, gathering together with a group of my friends to dance and have few laughs was a great way to spend an evening.  We still sang songs at the top of our lungs, and also added a couple new boyfriends into the picture, too.  I’m sure some folks don’t think I have all the appropriate moves, but I can tell you on more than a handful of occasions, my stepping out onto the empty dance floor with a friend or two was enough to persuade the rest of the crowd to get up off of their laurels and move to grove.  I never had a problem being the first person to get up onto the dance floor as I know, more than likely more people will likely follow.  As most people will concur, the more the merrier is the word when you are up stepping to the beat. As far as when I earned the Elaine nickname?  Who knows. If you aren’t familiar with Elaine, she was one of the characters from the old sit com Seinfield.  My dancing ability has been compared to episode where they discussed the inability of Elaine to dance.  In fact, her dancing looked more like she was having a convulsion than swaying to the music. I know my husband has pegged me with the Elaine nickname for some time.  Am I the most coordinated lady out there?  Noooo.  More than likely not.  Do I raise my hands and whoop to the music?  You bet your ass I do!  Am I afraid to draw attention to myself on the dance floor in the interest of having fun?  Not in the least.  Why? I guess I can say I’m a faithful follower of that classic adage, Dance Like No One is Watching.  I love that saying because it’s so true.  If there’s something you enjoy,  it’s not hurting anyone, and it makes you happy in the process, why not?  Living life is all about grabbing the bull by the horns and savoring every moment that you can, as you never know when you won’t have the opportunity to do so…

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