Observations From A Middle School Dance

Somehow, my son is now in middle school.  Which, among other things, means he is now almost as mature as I am.  He recently attended his first school dance, an event that I had the sheer pleasure to chaperon.  What follows is my report on the evening.

  • No matter how old you are, you pulse will quicken when you find yourself staring down a feral pack of tween girls.  They are like hyenas.  They make noises like laughter, and you’re pretty sure that one on one you could survive.  But when there’s ten of them?  You’re fucked.
  • Seventh grade appears to be the cutoff age for when girls stop wearing shoes.
  • The physical differences between an 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy are staggering.  The emotional differences?  Not so much.
  • There’s line dancing a-foot! (See what I did there?)  The lyrics of the song being simply the move you need to be making.  A good 80% of the kids were out there doing it.  The whole thing reminds me of the “Not Another Teen Movie” line “Who would’ve guessed that everyone in school was a professional dancer?”
  • One of the moves was “How low can yo go?”  I bring this up because it allowed me to witness the looks on the faces of several 8th grade girls realizing that with a short skirt on, the answer to that question is, “Not very.”
  • I find middle school dances immensely more entertaining now than I ever did when I was in middle school.
  • Jesus, this line dance song is still going!
  • There is no good way to aptly describe the look of confusion on an 8th grade boy’s face when the song stops telling him how to dance.  I imagine it must be the same look that Charlie Gordon had in “Flowers for Algernon” when he realized he was about to be stupid again.
  • Even in 2013, middle school dances are gender segregated.  How nostalgic.
  • There is a girl here who has memorized every move from Just Dance for “Party Rock” and is doing them perfectly.  She may be my favorite person here.
  • There is one black kid trying to teach 4 white kids how to do the Running Man.  Is there anything better that real, live stereotypes?  No, of course there isn’t.  Don’t be stupid.
  • Holy crap, another line dance!  This one is “Cupid Shuffle” and since its lyrics aren’t as explicit in what move you’re supposed to be doing, the dance floor is 98% girls.
  • There is no more angst-filled noise than a gym full of tween girls screaming the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s “Trouble.”  As Inigo Montoya said, “That is the sound of ultimate suffering.”
  • Seriously, they are loud as fuck during the “ohhh!” parts.
  • Not sure if the girl who showed up wearing what appears to be her mom’s prom dress is awesome, an outcast, or both.  I’m voting for both.
  • 48 minutes into the dance and we now have our first slow song.  I assume that keeping the slow songs to a minimum is way to keep hormones in check.
  • Not many couples “dancing” (more on this in a minute).  Most of them are, as Sister Anne Hannah would have put it, “leaving room for the Holy Spirit” between them.  A few 8th graders are not so inclined.
  • There are two girls “dancing” with each other right next to their friend who is “dancing” with a boy.  They are cutting up with her and keeping her engaged with them instead of paying attention to the boy.  Nice to see cock-blocking start at such a young age.  Haha, that kid is pissed!
  • We are one hour in now, and the shine is clearly starting to wear off.
  • Is this…..is this house music?  Yikes!
  • 8:30, an hour and half in.  Second slow song of the night.  Awkwardness abounds.  A few more kids “dancing” this time.
  • On this “dancing.”  Look, I can’t dance.  Period.  But this is fucking sad.  Most of these kids have each other at full arms-length away.  If you didn’t know better, you’d think they were pushing each other away.  And when did the “sway and spin slowly” turn in to the “stand perfectly still like your feet are glued to the ground and sway slowly?”
  • I think it’s sad that this generation doesn’t seem to have that one signature, generic, shitty dance move to make fun when they’re older like in the 80’s when all the girls did that little shuffle-kick move to every damn song.
  • Uh….they are playing “Baby Got Back.”
  • I am wondering if the school administration here is so white they don’t understand this song.
  • Dear Jesus, thirty 12-year-old girls just screamed “my anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun!”
  • It occurs to me that having been a bouncer  in my youth has done absolutely nothing to prepare me for chaperoning a middle school dance.
  • 8:51, slow song number 3.
  • Holy shit.  Now they are play “Time Warp” from Rocky Horror.  I will crap my pants if these kids start doing the dance.
  • Pants are crap-free.
  • Slow song number four is Journey, “Faithfully.”  I cannot make this up.
  • It is surreal to watch my son dance to the Journey song I used to.
  • We have a new favorite part!  Some poor kid’s grandparents came to pick him/her up.  They are now fucking killing it on the dance floor as only white grandparents can.  I am delighted.  All the kids are doing the “stand and sway” while these two mother fuckers are spinning and twirling all over the place.  My joy is increased by my knowledge that somewhere in this crowd, their grandchild is absolutely mortified.
  • That seemed to have been the last song.

Good times, my friends.  Good times.

The next day, I ran into a parent who had intercepted an email floating around some of the students.  The email was about who “scored” at the dance.  She quickly explained that “scored” in this case, meant that they had slow danced with someone.  As a man, I can proudly say that my son “scored” several times, and with two different girls.
*Fun fact:  I misspelled “chaperoning” and spell check suggested “chaperon gin.”  Next time, spell check.  Next time.