(Suggested music - YMCA - Village People)Four years ago we were talking with our next door neighbors, and we had the idea of doing a family dance. We have a private lane, so we decided to do it right out on the street, in our cul-de-sac, which is right in front of our house.
The first few years we hired a DJ, but then we went together with our neighbors and bought a sound system and we DJ our own dances now. The sound system has actually been quite valuable; we've used it on a lot of occasions.
Bruce rigged a platform for the lights from the rack that he used to put on his Ford Ranger truck. Peter is his right hand man when he sets up and takes down the equipment.
We do the dance every year on the first weekend after the beginning of school, to celebrate the end of summer and going back to school.
This dance is so much fun! Josh and I just wrote down everyone we could think of, and we remembered 163 people, although we didn't know the names of everyone. Those we didn't know, we put down names such as American Eagle guy, friend of American Eagle, no-shirt, Mr. Boxers, blond hair 1, etc. I'm sure there were more than we could think of. "No-shirt" and "Mr. Boxers" only came for one part of a song. I don't think they got the reaction they wanted, so they soon left. We were relieved, 'cause I was gonna have to go tell the one guy to get a shirt on and the other to pull his pants up. Awkward.
Bruce set up a movie in the backyard for the little kids with a projector and a big screen. They watched Alvin and the Chipmunks with blankets spread out on the grass.
We decided that for the next dance, Libby needs to be out dancing instead of watching the movie. When the movie got over and she came out to the street to dance, she was bustin' a move! I should have taken a video of her dancing to "Peanut Butter and Jelly". It was darling. Peter, on the other hand, ran away when we suggested he dance with Libby during a slow song. And I didn't see any dancing on fast songs either. He was just fine with the movie.
We had a special performance this year from Richie and three of our neighbor friends. They did a hip hop routine that was great!
We loved all the teenagers there. Afterward, Josh came and asked me, "Why don't we do this more often? Everyone's having a great time." We wished there were more adults there with their teenagers, but I guess that's par for the course.
The songs that were the most popular were YMCA, Best of Both Worlds, and some of the line dances like Men in Black, Cotton Eye Joe and Thriller.
The slow dances were also very popular, of course. Dads and daughters were the most fun to watch!
Hands down, though, the best time at the dance was had by Mary's age group. They actually DANCED most of the time, had no inhibitions, and weren't worried about the boy-girl thing, so they had a ball!
It was really fun to see families dancing also, like this fantastic family that moved here last Spring. The quote of the night is from Ralf. When we were voting on the last slow song to be played, Open Arms, by Journey, was one of the options. We were commenting on how suprising it is that the teenagers know Journey songs and like them so much. Ralf said, "There are two kinds of people in this world - those who like Journey, and those who are liars."
I danced like there was no tomorrow. Jesse came up, grabbed me and said, "Moooom. Please stop! Please don't dance anymore!" I just laughed. No chance of that. Poor Jesse - I embarass her to death. I didn't embarass Mary. She was right out there dancin' with me and learning some great moves.
This morning at the breakfast table, we made two new rules for the Street Dance next year.
Rule 1: When someone in our family asks another member of the family to dance, you have to dance!
Rule 2: When September, by Earth Wind & Fire, comes on (this is my extended family's favorite song to dance to) then all of our family has to come to the front and dance together. I'm looking forward to that!