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Featured Article

Dirty Dancing

By: vkimo
I want to write about my experience in my first school dance. Y'see, I was kind of duped into it.

What makes the break dancer groove? Courage!

In elementary, we seemed to have numerous themed dances throughout the year. I dodged them all. We'd get flyers for Noche Tropical which I could only assume was when all the boys would wear Hawaiian t-shirts and get down to Men at Work or something. There was also Sock Hops where the girls would come to school dressed in neat looking Poodle dresses. I kind of regretted not attending the Sock Hops after first seeing Back to the Future. My repressed James Dean lives on. The point being, I always had a fear of dancing.

Kevin Bacon ain't saving me on this one.

Hit the FF button on the ol' RCA and I'm an awkwardly budding 7th grader. It's was late May and with summer vacation around the corner I walked with my friends to the gym for PE, the last class of the day. There was a girl standing sentry over the door, I thought it was a little odd but proceeded into the gym. The darkness was the first signal that sent off the alarm-o-tron in my head, the next might have been the DJ setting up on the stage normally reserved for talent shows and plays. Once my eyes acclimated to the darkness I noticed pockets of kids scattered around and one of my teachers tying balloons off. I went over and asked what was going on. "We're having an end of the year dance for the 7th and 8th graders!"  It took about 3 Vulcan lifespans for the words to stop reverberating in my head. Once I recollected myself enough to move my legs I let my survival instincts take over and the next thing I knew I was heading towards the boy's restroom.

How we think we walked in, compared to how we actually walked in.

Crap. Apparently those meddling kids on student council thought it would be fun to throw a surprise dance during school hours. There was no escape. Volunteer parents guarded all the exits. I sat in a stall and pulled out some middle school contraband in the form of a Game Boy. It was more of a physical diversion for my shaking hands as my mind pondered the horrors lying just beyond the bathroom door. I could hear the rising murmur of voices outside as more people crowded in. Around the time I was probing the ceiling for vent shafts that would accommodate an eighty pound twelve year old, I heard the door bust open and raucous voices of my friends. Playing cool, I flushed the toilet and went to wash my hands just as they noticed me. I had to play it cool. If they sensed even the remotest sense of anxiety I was done for. They seemed pretty excited and gabbled about the salacious preteen drama unfolding on the dance floor.

Not even the throne could save me now.

After a few more minutes we exited my sanctuary of plumbing and were back in the dark gym. That was one thing I had going for me. The darkness concealed things. The nervous convulsions I experienced as I walked may have been mistaken for a well executed truffle shuffle. I surveyed my environment to assess the dangers. The DJ was testing the sound and the music would begin at any moment. I gathered with a group of my buddies and we discussed pertinent matters, namely, the girls. Despite my social issues with parties, I was rather flirty with the ladies. One in particular, Lilly Sorenson (Names may have been changed to protect identities) who had the title of prettiest girl in the class. I knew she liked me, but not to what extent. And my answer to that came very shortly.

I would have given my prized mint in box Boglin for an ounce of Marty's charisma.

In middle school, there was a complex parley system. You like a girl? You don't tell her directly, you have your friend tell her friend to tell her. As me and my fellow wallflowers set the mood, two emissaries walked over and told us that Lilly wanted to dance....with me. I never danced a step in my life, and now my dream girl wanted to cut the rug. Everyone must have sensed my reluctance and I could feel the goading coming on, so I had to contain the situation. After several minutes of tense negotiations, we came up with terms; I'd dance with Lilly when the next slow song came on. I figured slow dancing was a lot easier than the fast stuff and I was less liable to botch things up.

Swayze has a few cameos here.

Now this was the 90s so I'll leave it to your keenly whetted pop culture knowledge to ascertain the musical selections. My stomach felt like Mt. Vesuvius and my boxers must have been Pompeii as I listened to the current pop song ending, dreading a slow love ballad. A Pepto Bismolic wave of relief came over me as the next song came on, I never thought I'd be so glad to hear Ice Ice Baby. I watched my friend Greg dancing with a girl without a hint of fear. He was executing a brilliant Pulp Fiction hand across eye salute and then transitioning into a Michael Jackson leg-kick-crotch-grab. How could I compete with that?! I think the anticipation was too much for my classmates and I saw 2 kids approach the DJ. After Vanilla was done waxing chumps like candles, Whitney's melodious voice came on and provided the soundtrack to my encounter with destiny.

Take it away darling.

I slowly approached Lilly's group. The blockade of girls surrounding her parted and allowed me entrance. Lilly was looking positively gorgeous which only compounded my hysteria. I said something very 7th graderish and tentatively placed my hands on her hips the way John McClane might when diffusing intricately designed explosives. I wasn't ready for what happened next. Lilly leaned in and whispered into my ear, "Come closer", and with her arms around my neck brought me into a tight embrace. Being on the precipice of puberty, I couldn't help but become aware of the feelings we talked about in Sex Ed and the sensations that would come to dominate a boy's life for the next ten years. Lilly and I were locked together, gently swaying from side to side as Houston's vocals serenaded the gym. I looked and saw all of my friends had joined in and were dancing with the other girls. Lilly smelled wonderful and she had her chin snug against my shoulder. We were both in a trance it seemed, contently lost in adolescence. I knew the song had to end and when it did we reluctantly separated. I was swiftly whisked away by my friends who wanted to know the play by play.

We were the envy of the entire student body.

Still basking in the glow of my Penguin Waltz with Lilly, I settled with a group of friends and observed the dance. I did my part and wanted to relax and savor the emotions coursing through me. I didn't even realize it until it was too late. Two annoying girls from my class dragged me back on the dance area during a high octane hip hop song. One was behind me and the other in front. They then proceeded to "grind" on me. I was frantic, I didn't know what to do. After about 30 seconds of being violated by Salt n' Pepa I just couldn't take it anymore and literally stepped over the girl in front of me as she carried out her hoochie dip.

Dirty dancing, it ain't for everyone.

I lost myself in the crowd
and kept a wary eye out. The rest of the dance went without much fanfare and finally ended. Although the horrid experience with the dancing gang bang put a sour note on things, my dance with Lilly was still overpowering my head. It would be a memory I'd revisit many times over the summer. Looking back I wish I'd attended more of the school functions and didn't worry so much. Thanks for reading and remember to always keep it Foot Loose!
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retroboy Posted on Oct 08, 2018 at 06:11 PM

why would you day that

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 20, 2015 at 07:19 PM

@vkimo: Sounds like an episode of the Twilight Zone! LOL. Boy has huge crush on girl... girl obliges boy... girl gets fixated on boy... boy fears for his life because girl won't leave him alone... EVER.

Ruespieler Posted on Mar 20, 2015 at 06:13 PM

Good job! Especially for one on the go, a nice bit of storytelling. That unmistakable vkimo voice shines through. I definitely have my work cut out for me now!

Ruespieler Posted on Mar 20, 2015 at 06:11 PM

Reminded of the first time I went to a teen club and tried to pick up girls. Yeah. I'll just leave it there.

Ruespieler Posted on Mar 20, 2015 at 06:05 PM

Dun...Dun...Dun... The plot thickens.

vkimo Posted on Mar 20, 2015 at 05:38 PM

Well we continued to talk and flirt in class, but I was so young and mom was pretty overbearing so I couldn't do much outside of class. "Lilly" used to call me almost every single night, almost to the point of irritation. It got to the point where my folks would answer and say I wasn't there haha guess the ladies couldn't resist yours truly!!

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 20, 2015 at 05:25 PM

No, no, no, no, no, no... NO!

It can't end like this. You danced with the girl of all girls! What happened after this? Did you call her? Did you see her again after that? C'mon man... don't leave us hanging!

Cliffhangers aside, I can only wish I had a story like this to relate. Well, I suppose I have had dances like that (just Proms though) where I was thinking, "Wow. This is really happening right now." But not when it was a girl whom I had this overbearing fancy for. That's just... childhood magic.

No... most of my dances were spent sitting on the bleachers, watching others enjoy themselves. Typically I was focusing on one girl in particular, hoping she would show up. Not to dance with her, as I had no guts to ask and she was WAY out of my league, but to just watch and take in her beauty in whatever nice dress she'd be wearing. Yeah... it was pretty pathetic to be me sometimes. LOL

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