You Can Feel It…It’s Electric! Boogie-Oogie-Oogie!


If you can’t figure it out, I’m the tall one. The guy to my left is Ricky “Ivan the Terrible” Roberts. Holtville High School Prom, 1986.

I don’t dance. There was a time in my life, many years ago, that I did. I danced with my wife at a formal dinner we went to shortly after we started dating and then I pretty much hung up the old dancing shoes. That would have been in 1995. If you had ever stood at a prom in a white tuxedo, white socks, and white shoes with a big red spot on the inside of your right ankle where your best buddy had kicked you with one of his white shoes while doing that Russian dance where you sort of sit on an invisible chair and kick your legs out alternately, then you would probably dance as little as possible too! (Yes, I’m aware of what a run-on sentence is.)

I had a conversation with a friend recently in which we discussed dancing. One of my issues with dancing is I never know what to do with my hands. I feel like my hands should be having fun and celebrating with the rest of my body but when I let them join in it makes me feel…well…less masculine than I care to feel. I told my friend that dancing for me now consists mostly of throwing someone the wave and leaving them with it. Always leave the crowd wanting more I always say.

Since we are talking about dancing, am I the only person in the world who is 40 or older who doesn’t know how to do the electric slide? Is it some rite of passage that I have missed out on? I ask this because every time I see a large group of people dancing and the electric slide breaks out, as it inevitably will, I’m certain that at least 80% of them are over 40 and a good percentage of them are probably several years older than that. Oh, and I am never one of them. Not knowing how to do the electric slide is only one reason why I don’t do it, but that’s another topic altogether.

Speaking of people “older than that” dancing, what is about age that makes a man so uninhibited about showing off his moves, or lack thereof, on the dance floor with his wife/lady-friend? I had occasion a few weeks ago to go and watch a band in which a friend of mine plays drums. At this restaurant that night, sitting right next to the dance floor, was a couple who appeared to be no less than 60 years old. When the band played Play That Funky Music, they danced. When the band played Red House, they danced. When the band played Gravity by John Mayer, they danced. They might have sat out one song but I honestly don’t remember it.

There are only a few moves that most dancing white people have, especially the men. You can probably count them on one hand and most of them involve clapping awkwardly(as I said before, none of us ever know what to do with our hands). This older gentleman had the same move for every song. We’ll call it the “geriatric hammer-fist.” His left foot would generally be his pivot foot and he would do a little semi-circle back and forth with his right foot. While doing this, he would move his right arm, elbow at his side bent at a 90-degree angle, up and down as if he were some sort of retired Little Bunny Foo Foo bopping field mice on the head. He did all this while looking around the room at anyone who cared to make eye contact with him. I’m not sure if he was doing this menacingly as a sort of threat to those who would scoff at him or if he was looking for pity. I made sure to avert his gaze every time he turned in my direction. I’m not sure why. It just made me feel kind of funny.

I’d like to say he had a bit of rhythm but I’d be lying. His move had little, if anything, to do with the music. If I had to hazard a guess, it had everything to do with the fact that he was with a woman who wanted to dance and no matter how silly he might have felt or looked, he didn’t care as long as it kept him in her good graces. Not unlike a husband holding a wife’s purse while she is in the dressing room at New York and Company trying on 371 separate articles of clothing. This I’ve done many times. At least I know what to do with my hands in that situation, though.

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6 thoughts on “You Can Feel It…It’s Electric! Boogie-Oogie-Oogie!

  1. So many things to post on, so little time . . . First, the white tuxedos! Love it! I hope you sent Ricky a copy of this pic today for his 40th birthday.Second, I remember that you used to dance, and I don't remember it as being anything worse than what the rest of us were doing! lol! I may be able to dig up some actual pictures of you dancing – I'll work on that.Third, The Electric Slide. I love the Electric Slide. I don't know why, but it's fun. I know a good dance teacher if you ever want to learn how to Electric Slide. Dancing the Electric Slide is like when I hear Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Lepard and for about 5 minutes I feel 17 again. I don't want to be 17 again, but it's fun to feel 17 for a few minutes every once in a while.

  2. I can not do the electric slide. There are two reasons I never learned. One is because I am not a good dancer and it seems to me that doing the exact same thing as a line of other people would just highlight my lack of rhythm and coordination. I'd be the girl who claps on the wrong beat or jumps and turns the wrong direction.The other is because any time I say "Ya know, maybe I should learn to do that, can you teach me?" the ONLY response I get is " YOU DON"T KNOW HOW TO DO THE ELECTRIC SLIDE?!?!" as if somehow, pointing out the absurdity of the fact that I don't know is helpful.

  3. That is exactly the reason why I didn't ever get into the line dancing thing. Well, one of the reasons. When you're taller than most everyone else out there, it only makes you stand out.I think that you may be the only other person I've ever known who doesn't know how to do the old slide!

  4. I'm a thirty something who can not dance. My problem with learning to dance it that when you go to dance classes even though you don't want to because you want to make your wife happy and make an effort to be a good husband someone take pictures of your awkwardness and you dancing with their mother in law and post them on the internet. Now that is a run on sentence!

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