Your First Dance

Everyone remembers their first time, right?  It was at a Nuuanu YMCA dance.  Remember those in the upstairs gym?  The band playing was Sounds of Innocence.

I was there with my friend Jay.  I think my mom dropped us off.  Must’ve been like 9th grade.  It took us all night to get the courage to ask a girl to dance.  And we were too shame to fast dance so it had to be a slow dance.

The night was getting old and it was the last dance of the night.  The song was “If I Could Reach You” by the 5th Dimension.  I distinctively remember because the last lines of the song were “See you next time, I’ll see you next time.“.  I told my friend Jay “It’s now or never”.  We knew two of the girls sitting across the dance/gym floor.  They went to the same school as us but were older.  But we figured since they know us, they won’t say no.

I told my friend “I’ll go as Wendy to dance and you can go ask (I can’t remember who the other girl was)”.  So we both walked across the gym floor and asked them to dance.  Wow, I’ve never been this close to a girl before, much less holding one!  Eyes closed, slowly swaying to the song, feeling her arms wrapped around my neck while I had mine wrapped around her waist, faces pressed side to side, smelling the aroma of Zen perfume…

And all too soon, the song was over.  Jay and I both thanked our dance partners and slowly disappeared into the crowds heading towards the exit as the gym lights went on.

Jay and I didn’t say much to each other after that.  Feeling proud that we were no longer slow dance virgins.  We went there with a goal and we accomplished it.  But those thoughts were secondary.  What was on our minds was how good it felt to hold a girl.  And to be held by one.

So… when was your first dance?

19 Responses to “Your First Dance”

  1. 4G says:

    Wow; never knew Square Dancing had racist roots. Was white idealists effort to battle jazz . . . . 🙁

  2. Keoni says:

    Eh 4G, they also taught some of us square dancing at Hershey. I still remember the girl I was partnered with at those dances – Carol Warrington! Funny what sticks in your memory from high school days, yeah?

  3. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    Lining up and doing the ubiquitous dance steps to this song at socials. LOL
    The Hustle – Van McCoy

  4. 4G says:

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself 😀

    Donna Summer, “Last Dance”:

  5. Rodney says:

    In sixth grade, we had our Last Year in Elementary School bash at a camp by Kailua beach. With a lot of activities going on (except swimming), the hall was for dancing. This must’ve been the hit song at the time because it kept playing over and over again.

  6. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    In my fuzzy recollection of Intermediate School dances, I remember this version of the song being played.
    Do You Wanna Dance – Love Society

  7. Seattle Gail says:

    First dance was at Kaimuki Intermediate during school hours. Always had dances at Kaimuki High during school hours too. I remember girls on one side & guys on the other. Imagine the guys had to cross the whole gym floor to ask a girl to dance! All eyes were on the poor guy! I sympatized with the guys, so I never said, no. Jeez, it was just a dance! I wasn’t going to be the one to embarass the poor guy.

  8. Seawalker says:

    Hehehe, LMPAO (pake)!

    Yeah, it wasn’t the physical act of finally getting to dance with your partner as much as to the anticipation of asking or waiting to be asked. I don’t know who had it worst back then. As a boy, rejection was the most embarrassing thing you could go through. Ho, da shame, she told me no. Which corner can I go hide at? Dang, if you no ask, you no get.

    Don’t know how the wahines deal with it. You have to make real coy to get asked. Mommy always taught us to wait, good things come to those who wait. That’s the nature of the mating game. But how you figgah? Seems like only the uji ones come around to ask.

    Ne’mind the women. I’m trying to think back what possess you to ask a girl or dance or not. Yup, it’s gauged by looks alright. You kind of know where you stand in the looks department. You surmise about yourself of how you might fall in the super-biased spectrum in terms of eye-candy meter. Then you apply it to the girls. Outrageous!

    We had those dance lessons in elementary school too. But heck, if you were paired up with another boy, no matter. Girls are not in the lesson plan! Then came the intermediate school years. Just before the Christmas break, we’d all walk over to the YBA for the school dance. It was in the gym. Yup, all the boys to one side of the gym and all the girls on the other side.

    Good training back in them days. It prepares you for life. It toughens you up to be a man. It determined if you had cajones or not. But good, good fun back then. As an old-fut now (not Jew-fut), who cares about getting rejected or not? Heck, if plan A no work, go on to plan B. Life is too short to always get your way. And the thing about physical looks. The makule years tell us that beauty is not just on the outside. It’s on the inside that is just or even more better.

    Aisoos, mongoose!

  9. dihudfan says:

    I went to a private school starting my 6th grade. It wuz kind like a prep school to get into the bettah private high schools. Island Paradise had 2 schhols back than. One wuz on Piikoi, K-6th grades… the one that I went to wuz located on a street that disappeared a long time ago… Kapena Ln, it wuz the old Mun Lon Chinese school. IPS K-9th grade wuz during the days and after school wuz out, wuz a Chinese school… I used to think our school wuz backwards cuz we only had one class rm that we learned everything, unlike public intermediate schools which you changed classes for each subject… during our 8th grade we were required to take dancing lessons. We learned all kind, Bop (swing), Cha Cha, Waltz, Foxtrot… so we were kind of forced to dance with all the girls in our class. We also had something like a prom, for the 8th and 9th grades. We could bring dates or go stag… 8th grade went stag, danced with some girls but don’t really remembah… 9th grade went on a blind date with a girl from Stevenson… had fun but that wuz all…

    • 4G says:

      Eh @dihudfan – long time no see.

      Haha – you right; I totally forgot about those dance lessons in elementary. So, I guess my first dance was actually in the fifth or sixth grade at Kapalama. I think we learned like maybe to waltz, but not stuff like Swing, Cha Cha, nor Foxtrot.

      Most of the time, though, it was square dancing. LOL – square dancing in Hawaii. Really a valuable life lesson, eh? 😉

  10. 4G says:

    Whoa – quite a topic, @Rod. It brings back a whole bunch of memories for me . . . .

    I can’t say that I can actually remember my first dance, but I certainly remember my first slow dance. LOL

    My actual first dance was probably in the seventh (maybe eighth?) grade at a canteen at Stevenson. It was in the cafeteria during school hours. The song was probably something like “Proud Mary” or “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”. I don’t even remember who that dance was with. 🙁

    My first slow dance, though, I remember much better. I was in the eighth grade. It was at a party being thrown by a girl I knew (I actually remember her name, but would rather not mention it). Her family was pretty well off. Her house was in Makiki heights, above Roosevelt. It was a good sized house with a swimming pool and a nice view. It must have been a Saturday night and I was dropped off by my dad. I had been to the house before, on a weekend, to swim with the girl whose house it was and one of her girlfriends.

    The party had been going on for a little while. It was evening, perhaps eight/nine o’clock’ish. I don’t remember the song. I dunno, the party must have been made up of a group of boys and girls, perhaps something like 12-strong. I remember the girl I first slow danced with. I knew her from school, but not very well. We shared like one or two classes together. She was really smart. I think I would learn later on in life that she became something like a professor.

    She wasn’t the same girl whose house the party was at. Again, I most definitely remember her name as well as the (*sigh*) slow dance experience. I know I was nervous. We did not dance “cheek to cheek” as in @Rod’s experience, but it was likely the closest and lengthiest time I had been to a girl of my age that I was attracted to up to that point in my life. LOL

    It is a very fond memory. I think it was the only slow dance, for me, of the night. I remember feeling really happy at a comment that my friend made to me, “That’s the closest that M_____ slow danced with a guy (that night)”. It was a thrilling, memorable experience. The party would end. I would see her in school up to the ninth grade. That slow dance was pretty much the end of our interpersonal interaction.

  11. sameguydifferentchannel says:

    Early in 7th grade at Kaimuki Intermediate, there was a dance for our grade level in the cafeteria. Lights were turned down. Boys were gathered on one side and girls were on the opposite side. For quite a while, there were only a few people dancing. Seemed none of us had the courage to cross the floor and ask girls to dance.

    Finally, it was announced something like, “girl’s choice,” and a lot of girls crossed the floor to our side. It was a fast song and a girl asked me to dance. I answered, “no.” (was too shame)

    I don’t remember when I actually asked a girl to dance, but I did…LOL!

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