Sunday, February 01, 2015

Not on my grave!

This week's picture at Magpie Tales brought back a few memories!

Dancing is a funny old business when you think about it isn't it? You are kind of walking or jogging without actually going anywhere. You just jump or shuffle around on the spot, vaguely in time to some unnecessarily loud music. Why?

I’ve never been one for dancing myself. My first memory of dancing was when it was forced upon me at school  and it left an indelible smudge in my teenage mind which is there to this day. You see, it was awkward. I was at an all-boy’s school, and we had compulsory dance lessons in 'preparation for adulthood'. I ask you, can you imagine anything less romantic than doing the waltz cheek to cheek with a Spotty Simon or a Stinky Stuart? Then a year later we had to join up with the girl’s school next door once a week. The boys would line up in height order on side of the gymnasium and the girls would similarly arrange themselves opposite. I can still remember counting along the line to see which of the lasses would have the misfortune of being gripped by me before we given the order to forward march. You have never seen so many blushing cheeks in one room as you did back then. One two three one two three one... ‘whoops, sorry about treading on your toes’  And one two three one two three...‘no I didn't mean to touch you there, honest!’ (thinks...but you do have a lovely bum!) And as for the annual school dance..... no pop music there, just fox trots and not-so-quicksteps. If there had been tango, then maybe, just maybe it would have had more appeal, but nope!

I lived in London when I was in my early twenties It was the 60’s and we all know what went on then don’t we! But that’s another story. Thing is, I shared a flat with two other lads and none of us liked dancing so we did the next best thing and started a mobile disco. That way we could enjoy the parties at other peoples flats but could watch rather than participate. Clever eh?

A few weeks ago I went to my mates daughter’s eighteenth birthday party. A big do it was, complete with a live band. I was dragged up for a dance. I tried my best, but apparently flailing arms and hopping from foot to foot was not what was expected of me. Nor was the moment when I banged into the food table and sent sandwiches and iced buns flying across the dance floor. Nor indeed when I spilled my beer over not just one, but several other partakers. What a waste! Well, I wasn't going to leave my newly acquired pint on the table for someone else to steal so I kept it with me.

Dad dancing they called it. Dad dancing, I ask you. Bloody cheek. When I depart this life I’m having a fence around my little plot in the cemetery. There will be no dancing on my grave!


  1. Love the story! More important: you did try. I believe we can dance virtually...smiles

  2. Dad Dancing is an honor. I'm proud of you.

    I dance better when I drink or is it I look better dancing as others drink?

  3. fun time reading your post! Growing up we all thought that we were the only awkward ones- but in reality we were all the same..............just thought everyone else was cool....

  4. Wonderful story! I love the ending. Everyone is self-conscious when they dance. Back in the teen days, we all thought everyone was cool, but us.

  5. Dancing keeps catching up with you despite your best efforts to avoid it !

  6. Beautiful prose Keith! It is a rewind to days of old, of innocence without all the destruction of the drug scene! Thanks for the memory!


  7. Whether we like it or not, we have to to the tunes of the Lord & life :)
    Nice tale.
    Best wishes!

  8. Ah, teenage awkward dancing years. I went to just regular old public schools. However, in middle school we had to learn what I believe was called "The Virginia Waltz." I'm from Virginia, so that may just be a Virginian name for another dance. I do know we learned one where we stood opposite the boys, each partner at the end met to link arms, then moved down the line linking arms and spinning with each person in line, then at the end meeting up with our partners again. It was rather embarrassing and I have to say after 30 some years, I've never been anywhere that people danced that way. lol. I did learn over the years to not be so self conscious of myself, and believe it or not, dancing isn't really hard. Your story is funny, yet relatable. Born in '76, I missed the '60's. Thinking I was born to the wrong era. I loved reading this, and the ending was perfect! Just a thought that popped into my head; Have you ever listened to Phil Collins singing "I Can't Dance?"

  9. I loved reading this. It made me smile and I`d bet you a tenner you're a good dancer! I simply cannot imagine life without music and dancing. I once won A Twist competition (1965) and I remember they cleared the floor whilst my boyfriend and I twisted the dance away. I didn't marry the boyfriend but we are still friends although thousands of miles separate us. I have danced my way through life and tomorrow will do so at a wedding. Sore toe ain't stopping me!! Latin dance is a favourite!