A couple of musician friends were talking a while back about some of the gigs they played. They spoke of the dynamics of the crowd and the charged atmosphere.
One of their observations was that they don’t see men dance anymore. It’s usually women dancing with other women or alone.
After what transpired yesterday, I imagine there’s dancing going on somewhere, men and women. But that’s beside the point.
The question is, why don’t men dance anymore? Men have danced all the way through our history except recently.
I can answer for myself. I don’t know any of these new dances and I’d date and embarrass myself with my still-intact but fragile disco dance moves.
At family gatherings I still do a ‘70s dance called the “Cabbage Patch” to the amusement of my younger, more hip cousins.
It’s an easy sort of twisting dance where you coolly swing your arms as you twist with minimal stress on your joints.
When disco first came out I was living in Denver. The Orange Crush fanfare was sweeping the city then as the Broncos were headed to the Super Bowl.
When I moved back to St. Joseph, the disco craze was everywhere. “Saturday Night Fever” was playing in the theaters. We had disco places like Kowalski’s, The Green Pepper and Aspen Annies. And if you wanted to pick up a date, you had to learn to dance. That was how you met girls.
Dance continued into the early ‘80s with the “Urban Cowboy” fad, which replaced disco. Maybe male dancing ended after that.
Dance began in India around 6000 B.C. We’ve created various dances throughout our history. We’ve had dance crazes. We had dances like the tango and the waltz early on where men danced. Those older dances were replaced by ballroom dancing, folk dance, the jitterbug and the Twist. When disco appeared, it changed everything from dress to attitude.
Sadly it even took over jazz, with such luminaries as Herbie Hancock and Donald Byrd putting out disco albums.
I have no idea what the new dances among the younger crowd might be. I got lost in the early 2000s when dances like the Stanky Leg, The Krump and Gangham Style came into popularity.
I bet if you venture over to the Joyce Raye Patterson 50+ Activity Center you’ll see men dancing, line dancing, ballroom dancing and other classic dances.
I seriously doubt you’ll see any of them doing the Stanky Leg.