What was the first dance you ever attended?

And what was the first dance you learned to do?

My first dance was a sock hop at the high school my friend’s older sister went to. I can’t remember how I danced; I didn’t know any actual dances yet. But when a “bad boy” (greaser) in a leather jacket came up and asked me to dance I was out on that floor in a flash.

I suspect the first dance I ever went to was related to my grade-eight graduation, but I don’t remember anything of it. The first dance I remember anything of took place during grade nine. It was an awkward affair of standing around and not knowing what to do. Subsequent high-school dances were much the same. Then I went to university and left dances behind.

6th Class end of year social. We had dance cards and everything. It was great fun.

I’m pretty sure the first dance I leaned to do was the Twist but don’t remember ever doing it in public. By the time I started going to dances it had gone out of style.

Maybe 8th grade? There was a Friday night dance in the gym with a real band! I forced, yes, literally forced myself to get dressed up, leave the house, and walk up to the school all by myself. I was horrendously shy, socially awkward, and unpopular, but I was god-damned if I was going to spend Friday night in my room, I was going to GO and hear a real band. The band was awesome, they played “Louie Louie”! I stood with a couple girlfriends on one side of the gym and we looked at the guys on the other side of the gym.

Honestly, I don’t remember.

As a child, my parents, aunts and uncles were active in the square dancing community in our area. The dances were very family friendly, with anyone from babes in arms to great grandparents attending. I recall dancing in the junior sets before starting school. Several members of my mother’s family also played in dance bands. Whenever they played community dances, we were there.

As for other, non-family dances, the seventh grade spring dance at school. As salinqmind posted, there was much standing around and being awkward.

My First Dance is a sad, sad story. Well, mostly just disappointing.

The year: 1983.
The place: A junior high on the wrong side of Long Beach, CA (I’m pretty sure I went to JR Hi with Snoop Dogg). The student body was about 1/3 Black, 1/3 Latino, most of the rest Thai and Khmer, with a sprinkling of white kids - mostly, like me, bussed in for the gifted magnet program that they had there.

I was in 7th grade, a bookworm with no real friends who read far too many Victorian novels. I was SO EXCITED! I knew the dance would take place in the gym, and there wasn’t room for an orchestra in there, so I figured the music would probably be recorded, so that was fine. I could picture it - candles, tables, the girls all in elegant gowns, the boys in suits or maybe even tuxedoes. A boy would come up to you, bow, and ask you to dance, and the two of you would waltz away! I wore my best dress, a real Gunne Sax (!) that I had worn when I was in my stepuncle’s wedding that summer, though I was worried because it was only knee-length and not full-length.

Imagine, then, my disappointment when I got there. Everyone was in the same jeans and t-shirts they wore to school! Even the girls! The music wasn’t classical at all! It was just the stuff they played on the radio! They weren’t waltzing! There were no candles! It was HORRIBLE!!!

I stayed for about half an hour, then went out and took the bus home, greatly disillusioned with life and with my peers.

What I expected.

What I got.

Awww. I feel your pain, Maggie. :frowning: (I often felt I was born in the wrong century.)

If you want an outlier, that’s me. I have never been to a dance in my life, and I’m in my mid fifties.

Never went to any school dance, never learn any dancing.

In my early 30’s I went to 3 different nightclubs where there was dancing because of my volunteering. I tried to dance at one, but quickly felt foolish and stopped.
Haven’t bother since.

BTW: I’m 50

I don’t think I’ve ever attended “a dance”. The first event involving dancing I can remember is somewhat lost in the mists of time, a verbena (street dance) during Sanfermines - don’t ask me how old I was, though. The first time I can remember dancing while actually trying to follow the rythm was a wedding in which my 10yo self was the only person between the ages of 3 and 18; there was a large area set off for dancing after the meal, music was playing, I went there and started dancing before the couple was even back from photographs and didn’t bother go eat until the fish and meat were being brought out (it’s not as if I was particularly fond of the dainties being served before that - I liked the music better).

I don’t know any formal dances. In HS we learned two local folk dances, el baile de la era and la jota de Tudela. I can’t find a translation for “era”: it’s the field where grain is separated from straw after harvesting; the baile de la era was originally a harvest dance. Both the baile de la era and jota, as well as the Revoltosa (which is about as informal a dance, if you can call that* a dance, as one can come up with), are played/danced every day of the local fiestas about midnight. The jota is actually a waltz-jota: some fragments are waltz (and people dance them as couples), some are jota (people dance separated in round groups). I’ve danced merengues and other Latin American dances, but being female means I don’t really need to know them, I just need a lead who does :slight_smile:

First dance? Was either a Friday Night after game dance or the semi formal Harvest Winter dance. While I was going to High School at the dances the music was always with a band. And the last dance of the night was always Moon River.

Eighth grade graduation - June 1968. Craig asked me to go with him, altho that just meant that he’d buy the tickets and we’d meet at school. He wore a suit, and I wore a poofy pink dress, since it was supposed to be semi-formal. Like Maggie, I was disappointed to see that most of the kids just wore whatever, and I was horribly overdressed. :eek: And being an 8th grader, I spent more time giggling with my girlfriends than hanging with my “date.” I’m still embarrassed about that - I was such a dumb kid.

As an aside, this past year, I found Craig via Google - he has a unique last name, so it was pretty easy. We met for dinner, and after 43 years, there’s NO WAY I’d have ever recognized him!! :smiley: But it was nice to chat about our lives. And this summer, he’ll be joining my husband and me on our sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay.

I recall the junior prom, where I had my waist length hair up in a teased Dairy Queen sculpture, in a floor length blue chiffon sheath. The dance itself was…awkward. Everyone was dressed up. The worst part was we found ourselves in a fast-trotting conga line, racing around the gym! Some guy I couldn’t STAND was behind me, he had his hands on my waist and could probably feel my girdle! EWWW! :o

A girl in my class in 7th grade had a party at her house, at the end of the school year. She invited the entire class (there were about 30 of us), and most of us spent most of the evening dancing in the garage (her parents had cleaned out the garage, and they had a stereo and coolers with sodas in there). Nothing like a bunch of 13-year-olds groping each other during slow dances. :wink:

The beginning of my seventh grade year - fall of 1965. It was in the auditorium of the only school in town with an auditorium, and had only recorded music. Three old songs, played over and over and over . . . while we students milled around in groups and shot glances at the groups of the opposite sex and giggled and whispered. No dancing whatsoever.

To this day, Blue Velvet (“She wore bluuuuuu VELVET . . . dun dun dun”) brings back the smell of the auditorium and nervous perspiration.

I think my first dance must have been in 7th grade. We had it in the choir room and it was just in the afternoon, like an hour at the end of the school day. That was the first time I’d heard “1999” by Prince and “Atomic Dog” by George Clinton (and whatever his band was back in the day). The next year, for the big 8th grade dance, we got to have it in the gym. Woot.

Then, once I turned 14, I learned one great universal truth: Mormons don’t let you have much fun, but they are *all *about dances. So I went to church dances once a month for years and years. By the time I went to another dance in high school (probably homecoming), I’d already been to half a dozen church dances. The church ones were better if you actually liked dancing because the boys were all taught to ask each girl to dance at least once. And we were taught to accept every dance and not to play favorites. So you knew you wouldn’t be a loser/wallflower because at least the dorky guy following the rules would ask you to dance eventually. But the high school dances were better if you actually had some musical taste. The music wasn’t censored for purity there, so they played all the awesome New Wave and Rap (what they called Hip Hop before it was actually Hip Hop) that the mormon DJs weren’t allowed to play. That, and there was a lot more booze/smokes/drugs smuggled into the school dances. :wink:

Summer camp. The age group was probably 13-15. As expected, all of the girls were on one side of the room and all of the boys were on the other side. The space in between was crushingly scary and humiliating to cross. Occasionally you’d see a boy make the quest, often coming back looking horribly embarassed. But I made the trek a few times, and ended up dancing with some really cute girls. A few (this happened over a few summers) became my girlfriend for the rest of the week.

I didn’t go to any more until high school.

My boy scout troop hosted the big annual campout for all the girl scouts in Louisiana, with a dance in the mess hall on the last night. The boys were outnumbered by about 10 to 1, but I was only 12 years old and far too shy to enjoy it.

I went to a couple of 8th grade dances. It was the early 70s and people just shook around a little. There was a couple of slow dances and we just clung to each other and swayed. By ninth grade I was part of the counter-culture, and we didn’t go to dances.