Polka Dance

My First Forays into Dancing

So here’s some comic relief for those who feel they need some.

As a child growing up, I was, regrettably, taught that dancing was wicked. In fact, I was forced as a teenager to sign some ridiculous pledge that I would not dance, listen to rock music, or go to the movies. It all seems so incomprehensible and absurd to me now!

Ironically, my mother’s father was a very well-known square dancing sensation in the southeast, especially the panhandle of Florida. He won all kinds of recognitions, even as an older man. And a close friend of my father was a highly sought-after caller at square dances. He made quite a lot of money calling dances. Oh the fun those men must have had.

But, to save my mortal soul, I didn’t dance. I didn’t even go watch all of the hoopla and fun. Wickedness, you see.

Square Dancing

Square DanceBut when I was 20 years old, I was a camp counselor at Interlochen Summer Music Camp. What a blast! And that summer one of the staff members called square dances and held a large square dance for all of the staff. It was for beginners—people who had never been square dancing. My goodness, that was such huge fun! I had a blast.

I’m convinced to this day that this excursion into wickedness is what turned me gay. Pat Robertson would be quick to say so. Of course, I’m being ridiculous, just as he is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if mine were a cautionary tale.

Sadly, this was the only time they had square dancing at the camp. This was the only time I’ve ever been square dancing. But I’ve recently learned that square dancing is alive and well in the Atlanta area and plan to give it a whirl in the near future.

Dancing the Polka

Polka DanceThe next summer at Interlochen, an ad hock polka band formed, and they held polka dances every week. Since I had had such fun with square dancing, I decided to give the polka a try. This turned out to be a very bad idea—disastrous.

I will never know how it happened or even what exactly happened. The music began to play. We all began to polka. Then, somehow, my dance partner and I ended up near the bottom of a pile of people in something that must have resembled a huge game of Twister gone horrifyingly wrong.

The whole group of polka people collapsed into this horrid heap of humanity. The band was so taken back by this unexpected collapse of civilization that, in both shock and horror, they stopped playing mid-polka. (Aren’t there laws against that?!)

I came crawling from the mass of dazed and confused dancers with a huge rip in the knee of my pants. Everyone sort of meandered off assessing their wounds. Needless to say, that week’s dance ended early and marked the end of my splurge into wickedness. I’m sure the tale of the polka that went horrible wrong is oft repeated at Interlochen to this day.

But square dancing. Yes. I must try that again!