When I was young, I used to love to hit the clubs to go dancing. I loved getting lost in the beat of the music until I was out of breath and needed a rest. A glass of water, another cocktail, and I was back on the floor. My friends and I often stayed until the lights came on and the music stopped, not wanting to miss one minute of shaking our booties.
Then I got married, bought a house, settled down. I should add that I married a man who doesn’t dance. This went against the advice of an elderly woman who used to attend the adult day center I worked at when I was 15.
She told me, while wagging a finger, “Never marry a man who won’t dance.”
I love my husband, but I now see her point — more on that later.
In our 30s, a couple of friends and I attempted to revive our youthful pastime and went to a dance club. It wasn’t pretty. We were the oldest people there, except for a couple of middle-aged guys who looked pathetic gawking at the young women. It was clear we no longer fit into this scene.
Yet, we longed to dance. After doing some research, we found two potential places for people our age to go dancing. One was a biker bar called the Free Spirit. The other was a Holiday Inn bar. We decided to check out the former.
I have nothing against bikers, but this place was rough. Many of the patrons appeared to be hard drinkers. A couple of the guys were missing teeth. The women looked like throwbacks from the 1980s with bad perms and Dirty Dancing style shirts.
We didn’t bother trying the Holiday Inn, especially after one of our friends told us that her mother, a narcissist who lives in New Jersey, went dancing there on weekends.
It seemed our dancing days were over.
Now if, as the elderly woman had advised, I’d married a man who liked to dance, I might at least be dancing in our house with him. Instead, like so many middle-aged women, I must rely on the occasional wedding or things like Zumba or JourneyDance to get my groove on.
A couple of years ago, my mother (who looks and is amazingly youthful in her 60s) and I were in a bar at a restaurant in Florida when the band broke out with KC and the Sunshine Band’s Get Down Tonight. I was screaming to dance.
We hopped off our bar stools and headed to the dance floor, but then my mother stopped short. Her eyes were fixed on an elderly woman who was dancing while holding a walker.
“No way am I going out there,” she said.
I begged her to change her mind. Who cared if half the people on the dance floor had walkers or canes?
She wouldn’t budge.
On a hopeful note, my sister-in-law’s mother teaches line dancing at a place called the Cadillac Ranch. My mom and I are thinking of giving it a try. At least there’s dignity in it.
And who knows, it might be fun to get our cowgirls on.