Over the long weekend, I was out of town visiting family for my oldest niece’s high school graduation. Her graduating class was 11 people (my own was about 400!), and I think most of them and many more made an appearance at her after-graduation party, which doubled as her 18th birthday party. It was also a dance.
My sister hired a swing dance instructor to kick off the night – several members of my family as well as some enthusiastic young people all got out there and worked it: left, right, rock-back/left, right, rock-back. I danced with my mom and aunt and a twelve-year-old niece as we learned spins and cuddles and releases. My aunt, who has taken dance lessons for years, said some of the musical swing selections were more suited to a fox-trot; I don’t think very many people noticed.
After the swing lessons, the late-teen set turned out in droves and danced the night away – I don’t think I’ve ever before seen a group of young people so enthusiastic about dancing. My niece runs with a music theatre crowd, which doubtless makes all the difference. They had some choreography at the ready, and rarely took breaks, except reluctantly for the cake. We older folks joined in at the periphery, some more enthusiastic than others. I tried a cha-cha-slide, but it seems the version I remember has morphed into something else these days. Admittedly, I don’t get out to dance much at all anymore.
My uber-musical brother-in-law (AKA Father of the Graduate) played DJ – his combination of wedding dance standards and pop created a people-pleasing soundtrack for the night – Michael Jackson, Journey, The Village People, and even a little country – all the best stuff.
And, of course, I’m proud of the graduate – she’s off to college on a vocal music scholarship in the fall. Yes, they grow up so fast!
Thanks for reading.