Remember moshing? Or slam dancing if you’re from the pre-grunge era. That was a fun time. My introduction was during high school at a Daddies show, in a cramped venue at Mission Mill. I jumped into the pit with my friends Taryn and Dawn, my green Rit-dyed jean jacket getting smeared with others’ perspiration. After that, I don’t think Taryn and I missed any local all ages show. The craziest pit I was ever in was when we saw Violent Femmes, which probably shouldn’t have had a pit in the first place. But it’s just what you did at any live concert even bordering on punk music in the early nineties.
Once grunge music slid into its watered-down aftermath, my college friends and I had to find new avenues for cutting a rug. Mostly it centered around a loose Disco Night that Nancy, Debbie and I advertised on their dorm room door. I had a disco hits CD and a few ugly polyester duds in orange, yellow and puke green. We’d groove out with a small number of other residents filtering through. Eventually I acquired some current dance music via the Columbia House scheme. My roommate Sheetal loved the Haddaway album, going nuts in the hallway. I preferred The Shamen. I can move, move, move any mountain…
During this time period, a nearby bar called The Cavern allowed minors from our residence hall inside one night for a private party. This guy named Ed, who it seemed like everyone had a secret crush on, but with whom I’d never interacted, suddenly whipped me onto the dance floor and led me through a whirlwind swing dance. I don’t recall ever interacting with him again after the song was over.
A couple years later, still in college, my friend Kristina asked me if I’d take a ballroom dancing class with her for school credit. We went the first day and learned to waltz, foxtrot. But the instructor wouldn’t let us be partners – only mixed couples, no women with women or men with men. We decided that sucked and both dropped the class.