Saturday, February 26, 2011
Remember Your First Real Dance?
My daughter just had her first dance. We were never told there’d be one. The kids were measured for costumes without parents’ consent and the next communication simply gave us the bill. I had the courtesy to ask my daughter what she really wanted to do with her life and she said she wanted to dance instead of getting a PhD in nuclear physics.
I figured she wasn’t being exploited or abused so I let her do the twist with her friends. They danced happily, oblivious to the world around them and even to their flailing, out of step partners. Despite the complete lack of synchronized movement and understanding for what they were doing, the kids managed to draw oohs, ahhs and wows from their captivated blood relations.
The older pupils who were required to dance upwards of the 60s didn’t fail to please their parents as well but the kids themselves looked like they were in mourning. These are the kids trapped between the internal tug of war between childhood and adolescence and who are incapable of busting a convincing groove if a song doesn’t contain “Baby, baby” every ten seconds.
One group dutifully pointed up and down to the tune of the 70s under the watchful eyes of teachers who probably included “grades” in every sentence to the pre dance pep briefing. That group forever redefined the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive”. Except for those who enjoyed the shiny costumes and the fake sideburns, the rest had the pained, unhappy expressions of kids under raw vegetable diets. I’m sure it got worse for some of them. Young parents under the spell of his royal geekiness Mark Zuckerberg will not fail to populate the web with photos that will forever defy “delete” or “forget”.
Seriously, why do we do this to our children?