My mother drove an Audi with a bumper sticker that proclaimed, “I’d Rather Be Dancing”. She was a mom to four kids and a high level bureaucrat within the state of Kansas Department of Health and Human Services. I am sure there were many days where she’d rather dance than deal with serious problems like child abuse and infant mortality.
My parents were avid ballroom dancers from as far back as I can remember. They took weekly lessons at a dance studio in Wichita and practiced faithfully in a DIY dance studio, complete with cement floors and a now retro turntable in our modest basement on Main Street USA. They mastered the Foxtrot, the Cha-Cha and the Paso Doble. They were not big fans of the waltz. They liked to move and do the quick step. And go to local clubs to dance as often as they could. Some of their favorite artists were Floyd Cramer, Boots Randolph, Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson, and Don Ellis. In the 1970’s Big Band Music was in a decline but artists like Chick Corea, Thad Jones and others tried to make it relevant and my folks ate it up. My dad had quite the jazz and big band album collection, then tracks and cassettes. I still have a few of them in my own collection. Dancing together helped them stay together.
On Friday, RM and I were invited to the Southside Preservation Hall in Fort Worth to listen and dance to Buddy’s Big Band. This 19-piece-band plays the first Friday of every month at the hall, admission is $12.50/person, opens at 7:30 p.m. for four sets of great big band sound with a female vocalist to boot. Oh, free popcorn too. BYOB. Great people watching. What pleased me the most was the variety of ages in attendance. There were a lot of young people grooving to the Lindy Hop, decked out to the nines, and having a really good time.
RM and I are hoping to catch some of the free dance classes offered every Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the hall for only $5/person. Our current moves involve a type of box step but I think we can do more with little bit of training. Bossa nova here we come.
Wouldn’t you rather be dancing?