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Old 09-09-2019, 01:19 PM
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Have you ever attended a house party where there was dancing like in movies/TV?


in movies and on TV, it seems like there are always people dancing at parties that are being held at someone's house.

I have been going to parties for four decades, and I have never, not even once, been to a party where people were all gathered in the living room dancing.

I have been to parties where people were gathered in little groups, talking, drinking, eating, swimming, playing pool, watching sports on tv, and listening to music. But never dancing. Dancing goes on at clubs, weddings, and proms, but not at people's houses. Have I just been going to the wrong parties all these years?
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:23 PM
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I have indeed been to house parties with dancing. There was usually a lot of MDMA involved.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:40 PM
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Been to a fair amount of house parties, especially in the 80s, no widespread dancing noted, such as you described. Music, yeah. Alcohol, yeah. Most people in clusters doing their own thing.

Not very much at all like parties portrayed in most TV/movies. Never one did I ever hear others say or reference "the big party" as some must-attend, lest ye be ostracized event. The best get-togethers tended to be pretty spontaneous.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:45 PM
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Yes. Not by me, but I have definitely attended house parties and witnessed dancing, by like a whole roomful of people, sometimes the whole house. One New Years party many years ago they actually broke the floor (at least one of the main floor joists cracked/split).
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:48 PM
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At house parties I went to in the 1970s and 1980s there would be dancing if there was a room big enough for it. No idea if it's still a thing.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:30 PM
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Yes. But, I was in the band, but, yes, it was a house and there was drinking and dancing. Actually, I've been to many if you consider a frat-house a "house", which I guess you would.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:33 PM
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Never in my experience. You might have a few people dancing, especially outside if there's someone playing live music in the yard, but the house won't be packed with people all dancing the way you see in movies. Like you've seen, generally if people want to dance a lot they go to a club, a party mostly has people talking or doing some kind of party activity (like drinking games). I think some of the posters are missing the specific bit of "all dancing", meaning everyone is gathered together dancing in one room - it's certainly not uncommon to find some people dancing at a party, but the 'movie/TV' trope that I think you're referring to has most or all of the party dancing at the same time (aside maybe from someone passed out or slipping off to a bedroom).
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:38 PM
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Yes but then we are swing dancers having a party.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:53 PM
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I think some of the posters are missing the specific bit of "all dancing", meaning everyone is gathered together dancing in one room - it's certainly not uncommon to find some people dancing at a party, but the 'movie/TV' trope that I think you're referring to has most or all of the party dancing at the same time (aside maybe from someone passed out or slipping off to a bedroom).
I don't get that from the OP. He seems to be saying that no dancing at all goes on at house parties. In any case, I don't think it's a trope on TV shows or movies where everyone is dancing together in one room. Usually some people are dancing in the biggest room, while others are sitting around talking or gathered in the kitchen.

Last edited by Colibri; 09-09-2019 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:04 PM
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When I was in grad school, a large proportion of the house parties I went to had dancing as a major feature.

In at least one case, the beat of the music happened to be close to the fundamental resonant frequency of the floor, with the result that one could literally see the floor moving up and down from the people dancing on it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:06 PM
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I'd say it was common, when I was a Young Folk, to have a room at a party which was the dancing room, and pretty much everyone was dancing. But I hung out with a theatre crowd which was Chock Full 'O Extroverts so that might have something to do with it.

Last party I went to that had a dancing area was a fiftieth last year, where they hired a band. They have a big house, so they could get away with that
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:25 PM
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Yes but then we are swing dancers having a party.
Me too. The way to get a house party with dancing is to invite a bunch of dancers to your party and play music that they dance to.

In my experience, the majority of people won't dance in any context, and of the remainder, they'll maybe dance for a song or two. So any party that's not pretty narrowly focused on dancers isn't going to have much dancing.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:33 PM
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I remember a small handful in college where there was a sort of "dance floor" area where there were people dancing, but it was by far the exception rather than the rule.

Most parties involved people drinking and just sort of milling around between little clusters of people. Even the parties where people were dancing, it was like 5-10 people in the dining room, while the other 30 were in the living room, out on the patio, or in the kitchen talking.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:37 PM
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Not sure how many parties with dancing I've been to, but I remember one in particular back in college ..., ah yes. Definitely remember that one.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:47 PM
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Yes, especially if we're counting frat parties. But also others where bands or DJs were playing.

In high school, I went to a house party where a couple bands were playing. There were so many people jumping around that the floor started flexing which lead to more teenaged jumping. I didn't know the host but later heard that the damage was so bad, the house was deemed uninhabitable and condemned by the city. I never confirmed that but that house was gone with a new one in its place within a year.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:42 PM
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For the purposes of this discussion I wouldn't count a frat house as a "party". I mean, I was in a fraternity, and we were known for dance parties (with our own Bus-Stop-styled line dance). But after four years of "Party Every Weekend", it was back to reality.

And that's what I love about this thread... it's another reminder that reality as portrayed in the media isn't our reality. I grew up expecting life to be like TV and movies (okay, I was a sheltered optimist...)
BUT...
Those people we watch on the screen, their optimism, their witty remarks, even their struggles; it's all scripted. And if we expect our lives to be like that, we will be disappointed. And that's part of growing up, to deal with that, reject that and build our own life.


But the all-too-common portrayal of parties in the media make The Default Party as a wild dance party, with unlimited alcohol, loud music (sometimes with a band, or "one of the gang" as a DJ). And
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:16 PM
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Sorry about the "And"... didn't notice that til I finished some house stuff. Oh, and the first line should've read "I wouldn't count a frat house as a 'HOUSE' party". It's not a house where ordinary friends are going to have friends over to, post-college.

And... let's see, what was I...

And, of course, Something Significant always happens at the Archetypal Party. A nerd gets up the courage to dance with his crush, a jock picks a fight with the sullen outsider, or there's a fight between the jocks (oh, and one of them drunkenly breaks a glass coffee table), or there's a Meaningful Conversation with a soon-to-be-Significant Other on the couch (where the music is somehow muted just enough that you don't have to scream right in the other person's ear).

It did take me a while before I came to grips with the fact that I wasn't going to find parties like that. And that I could have a good future without my life looking like movies/commercials/TV shows.

Last edited by digs; 09-09-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:21 PM
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Have you ever attended a house party where there was dancing like in movies/TV?


nope.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:24 PM
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When I was in college most of the house parties with the track team involved dancing since it seems to be what young women like to do when there is space and music they like. The parties with the football team were much more of the standing around drinking type and the parties at the frat I hung out with typically had at least a room of people dancing. So in my experience the amount of dancing is proportional to the percentage of women at the party.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:32 PM
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I was at a party (I could pinpoint the year if I bothered to look up the song) where the entire party sang and did the choreography to the Macarena in the living room. Only at little bit ironically....

Last edited by carrps; 09-09-2019 at 06:35 PM. Reason: added the dancing location
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:35 PM
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Yes.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
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At house parties I went to in the 1970s and 1980s there would be dancing if there was a room big enough for it. No idea if it's still a thing.
Same same. Parties were either dancefests or make out events. You got to know which was which by who was hosting.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:41 PM
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Certainly.

Some Dopers will remember attending parties at my place where such occurred. Have a band in, they play. People dance in the living room or on the lawn depending on how we've set things up.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:47 PM
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No dancing, lots of drinking games.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:35 PM
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Yes.

And later me and my dance partner went and made out on the beach. And it was in LA! I was living the movie dream.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:25 AM
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I’ve been to very many house parties with dancing over the years. Numbers matter - noone’s going to dance if there’s, like, ten of you there. And drink. I find the dancing normally kicks off pretty late, once skinfulls have been imbibed.

Of course, I go to mostly gay-heavy parties. And the gays do love a wiggle.


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Old 09-10-2019, 12:48 AM
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But the all-too-common portrayal of parties in the media make The Default Party as a wild dance party, with unlimited alcohol, loud music (sometimes with a band, or "one of the gang" as a DJ).
Maybe the "default" party wasn't that, but the best parties were. I went to a number of parties in Boulder Colorado in the 70s. My housemate was friends with a guy who was a contractor and made enough money to put on a good party.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:55 AM
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No, but as someone upthread alluded to, a lot of times there isn't enough room in a single room of a house for everyone to dance. Even at parties where there was some dancing, there has never been everyone -- or even close to 50% -- dancing where I've been to, outside of weddings and proms.

But I have been to parties where all the other hijinks ensued, like alcohol, music, singing, poker, carrying on, flirting/making out, (although not always all of them at the same party): just not widespread dancing.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:10 AM
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At house parties I went to in the 1970s and 1980s there would be dancing if there was a room big enough for it. No idea if it's still a thing.
Same here. The last house party I remember attending where people danced was around 1983.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:08 AM
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Dancing like in the movies? No, because the dancing in movies sucks.

Our house is a Craftsman, with hardwood floors, and configured with a large dining room, living room, and an adjacent room, without dividing walls. So it's perfect for throwing large parties with dancing, once the furniture is pushed aside. But it's salsa, merengue, vallenato, casino, etc., not the crappy dancing in movies.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:19 AM
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Just to be clear, what I am talking about is like what happens in almost all movies that involve teenagers/young people: the pivotal party scene that is almost the same in every movie.

In the scene, the hero has to make his way through a big room full of dancing young people (and his rival) to met up with the girl of his dreams (who is angry with him) and her skeptical best friend.

I always say to myself "What in the name of John Hughes is this? Teens don't dance at parties." Well I guess they do, at least sometimes.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:13 AM
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Just to be clear, what I am talking about is like what happens in almost all movies that involve teenagers/young people: the pivotal party scene that is almost the same in every movie.

In the scene, the hero has to make his way through a big room full of dancing young people (and his rival) to met up with the girl of his dreams (who is angry with him) and her skeptical best friend.

I always say to myself "What in the name of John Hughes is this? Teens don't dance at parties." Well I guess they do, at least sometimes.
So you're not just asking if there was dancing, but also if this sappy John Hughes scenario happens?

No, because John Hughes movies are total bullshit.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:41 AM
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So you're not just asking if there was dancing, but also if this sappy John Hughes scenario happens?

No, because John Hughes movies are total bullshit.
No, my question is about whether or not people truly dance while attending parties like they do in the movies/TV.

Please don't talk bad about John Hughes movies. There is a place where all your John Hughes dreams come true. It is a magical place where Samantha Baker, Duckie, Jonathan Bender, and Ferris never get old.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:11 AM
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in movies and on TV, it seems like there are always people dancing at parties that are being held at someone's house.

I have been going to parties for four decades, and I have never, not even once, been to a party where people were all gathered in the living room dancing.

I have been to parties where people were gathered in little groups, talking, drinking, eating, swimming, playing pool, watching sports on tv, and listening to music. But never dancing. Dancing goes on at clubs, weddings, and proms, but not at people's houses. Have I just been going to the wrong parties all these years?
Oh you better believe it. I've been to waaay more than my share of dance parties and they are just like the movies, and then some. But I live in Southern California....
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:26 AM
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Yes, many times. Those are the best parties, IMO. It's just more. . . festive (as opposed to just standing around drinking).
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:37 AM
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It's pretty usual in my experience, at least when I was younger. I even remember an 8th grade birthday party (in the late 80s) having dancing. But, when I got older, certainly there was dancing at college parties, and when I hosted a number of parties myself in my 20s, there was always loud music and dancing in one of the rooms. Nowadays, most of the parties I go to (which isn't all that many) are much more subdued, so I'm not really remembering much dancing, but in my teens through twenties, yep.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:22 AM
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Sure, dance parties get less common after college, but then, parties in general get less common after college. Most adult social events aren't "parties"; they're "let's get together to do X". And then the primary focus of the event will be doing X.

Like, the last social event I attended was a D&D game. None of us were dancing, because we were playing D&D instead.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:57 AM
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Being a Burner,* yeah, complete with a DJ. The music is mostly EDM (aka Oontz).

*A participant of Burning Man.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:10 AM
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It was at just such a party in, I wanna say 1974, that I learned that I was NEVER going to be able to learn how to do the Hustle.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:32 AM
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All the time in college and none of them were frat houses. I can remember one awesome night of dancing on a table passing a bottle back and forth that's marred only by one of the other dancers being my ex-wife. Dancing at house parties largely went away with age. When all my friends who wanted to dance were of age to legally drink and weren't poor students, we'd just go out to a club.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:03 AM
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Dancing in someone's house? That sounds so dated, so 50's - where the teen gang rolled up the living room rug at Sherry's house, after school, had a little sock hop, sipping pop and eating chips. Those crazy kids!.....No, I can't say I've ever seen people dancing at a party in someone's house. Most houses are too small, and unless a couple were maybe demonstrating how to do the hokey-pokey for their friends' edification, or were little kiddies under the age of 10 - no. Maybe where I come from, they are more reserved and feel they would look stupid thrashing and hopping around in front of friends....Even in old movies, couples in formal dress, dancing at a soignee event in what is obviously someone's house, don't look right.

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Old 09-10-2019, 11:15 AM
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I went to college in Athens, Georgia in the eighties. There was always a band or three, with one memorable exception. Dancing, yes.

The exception was when three of my friends/co-workers, who were in a band together, moved to a new place with a big back yard and gazebo. The decided to have a housewarming prom. Everybody dragged out their formal clothes, or put together some outfit from thrift stores, and the music was mostly big band/classic crooners. One of the few moments in my life that ever seemed truly romantic was dancing to Nat King Cole, under the moonlight, with a friend of a friend. Like, dapper young Englishman in a tuxedo, me in a long gown and evening gloves and pearls, perfect mild evening.

But none of those parties was much like a John Hughes movie, nor Animal House.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:54 AM
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All the time in high school, and a bit at varsity.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:03 PM
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I don't get that from the OP. He seems to be saying that no dancing at all goes on at house parties. In any case, I don't think it's a trope on TV shows or movies where everyone is dancing together in one room. Usually some people are dancing in the biggest room, while others are sitting around talking or gathered in the kitchen.
Rereading the OP, I think the 2nd paragraph is what I was paying more attention to which reads as 'everyone in one room' while the 3rd lends itself to the 'no dancing at all' interpretation.

It's interesting how perception plays into this - I was going to use the "Jesse breakdown party" scene from Breaking Bad as an example because I remember it as a good example of 'everyone dancing in one room'. But when I pulled it up on youtube and paid close attention, I noticed that there are a lot of people sitting and standing around the edges of the room, it's just that the focus is on the dancers moving around in the center. 'Some people dancing, other people sitting/standing hanging outside of that' seems to fit the majority of the experiences here.

Here's the link to the scene I'm talking about (It's from Breaking Bad so there's drug use in the scene) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iolsny61IdE
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:12 PM
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When I was in college most of the house parties with the track team involved dancing since it seems to be what young women like to do when there is space and music they like. The parties with the football team were much more of the standing around drinking type and the parties at the frat I hung out with typically had at least a room of people dancing. So in my experience the amount of dancing is proportional to the percentage of women at the party.
My experience is that the type of activities and entertainment, including dancing and type of music, is directly related to the population and preference of the young women attending.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:52 PM
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Just to be clear, what I am talking about is like what happens in almost all movies that involve teenagers/young people: the pivotal party scene that is almost the same in every movie.
In high school? Even medium size "gatherings" had dancing. A party wouldn't be a real party if there was dancing going on. Usually with a DJ.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:59 PM
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Never one did I ever hear others say or reference "the big party" as some must-attend, lest ye be ostracized event.
We had one of those at our house.

Unfortunately my wife and I were out of town at the time.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:08 PM
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You went to the wrong "parties" Mesquite.
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