Dancing at parties

Back in 2008, when I returned home one late evening from a college freshers’ party, I had a hard time explaining the events of that afternoon and evening to my parents. Since I returned home from a party at 9pm (this is in Bangalore, mind you), my parents assumed that I wasn’t going to have dinner but actually I was going to have dinner. They wondered why I hadn’t eaten at the freshers’ party and so I had to explain the purpose and schedule of a typical freshers’ party. My folks were flabbergasted to hear that I was not provided with dinner for the 300 bucks I had paid for the entrance to the party. They thought it was a rip off that I only got a welcome drink on the house. Now, I explained to them that the ticket covered renting the place, DJ, etc and hence, it was justified. Next up, I had to explain how I had spent 6 straight hours dancing – who I danced with, how long I danced, if I was allowed to rest if I got to tired from dancing, how frequently I took breaks between dancing, if everyone at the party was sloshed beyond their wits, if I’d taken to smoking (my clothes smelt of smoke because I was surrounded by smokers at the party), etc. Now, one thing that I was probably not very successful explaining was how we all danced on our own and that there was no need for girls and boys to dance together ball dancing style. At that point of time, I wondered why my folks hadn’t caught up to new age dancing styles and I found my answer just now whilst reading a case that explains the culture in the 1990s to put the case into context. Here’s an excerpt –

“Later in 1990s, techno music began making significant inroads into American youth culture. Invented in the 1980s as “house music” in low-budget studios of Chicago and Detroit, this beat-driven dance music became the lifeblood of dance parties called “raves” in places like London and the Spanish island of Ibiza. Raves quickly spread throughout continental Europe and beyond. Raves were all-night dancing marathons often set up in warehouses, exotic outdoor locales, and other improvised spaces. Raves attracted young people, mostly teens, who danced for hours at a time, not in pairs, but in free-form groups. The highly rhythmic music and long-winded dancing combined to produce for some fans an ecstatic trance-like state. The music was produced almost entirely by disk jockeys sampling records with tape loops and other electronic tricks.”

Now, the 1990s is a time when my parents were too busy raising two brats at home to witness the transition of couple dancing into free style dancing. Now, after almost 7 whole years, I get them. I am glad we had this conversation and I could help bridge the gap for them.


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