It’s not every day that you get taken back to a time that you forgot. Brought back to a memory that you would never muster the desire to remember on your own. I participated in my first daddy daughter dance and couldn’t help but feel like an oily faced pre-teen standing nervously on the side at his first middle school soiree.
The only difference between then and now is the years of experience and the bit of wisdom that time allots. I am sure my dancing is as bad now as it was then, perhaps a bit more spastic, like a rooster chocking on kernal of corn. I do sometimes attract drunk women or gay men that want to hop on my loose knee that must give off the impression of wild horse. Something I’d rather not inspire among the current audience and certainly not anything I want my daughter to see.
I wasn’t the only one with this awkward feeling and fear of getting on the dance floor. For the first hour it was only girls dancing while the dads circled around the dance floor and refreshment stands chatting it up, as not to flounder any harder than they already did. Occasionly a dad who had been there before would bust a move with his daughter when their favorite Taylor Swift song came on while I tried to make small talk with my date.
Right on cue, someone started a train that got most of the girls and a few more dads out on the dance floor. It got us out on the floor and lucky for me, since it was my daughter’s first dance she remained in the train until she made it to the front. Which was when all the other girls eventually gave up five songs later. I think she thought it was game which made me feel even more awkward standing on the side of the dance floor, wiggling my legs and kicking my feet like a five year old that has to go to the bathroom.
Now I have to be honest, the dying rooster stripper dance moves of mine are not the only ones in my arsenal. I have got this other dance I concocted which was my interpretation of how people were dancing in the movie Road House when I was a kid. Picture a western style honky tonk, southern rock music, maybe a bar brawl and a dance floor with a bunch of drunk cowboys. Not quite ‘Grab your partner dosi-do’, but not too far off.
What I have learned is that this dance will work with a traditional rock & roll or a blues progression, but leaves me hanging with a hip hop or latin beat. Which is what the DJ, who apparently doesn’t have a daughter or dance himself, was playing at the daddy daughter dance made up of predominatly middle aged white dudes and their elementary school aged daughters.
The older kids, or the dads that have been there before, were a bit more bravo than us freshmen. They all had beers in one hand and their camera in the other making videos of their daughters dancing in line to Beyonce. I tried to fit in so I grabbed a beer, but couldn’t help feeling creepy taking videos.
Fortunately for me, my date was fine with the train and her daddy’s drunken sailor two-step, she could have been with Patrick Swayze himself and wouldn’t have known the difference. I snapped a couple of picts to remember I was there and tried my best to participate when a song without a back beat came on.
I know that soon I will be one of those dads with two daughters at these events, dancing to Miley Cyrus and showing off my lame-dad dance moves. I realize that this is why boys feel so odd at their first middle school dances while the girls all take to the floor like a performer on an MTV award show. Some of these girls have years working out the kinks while the boys have no idea what they are in for.