Dance Like No One Is Watching (Or Something Like That)

July 17, 2015

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When I was a little kid, my family used to host dance parties. From time to time, we would put on our best dancing socks and reserve the living room floor for a night of ’80s pop and freestyle. From an early age, we learned to express ourselves freely and openly — to embrace all and any new moves we wanted to try. From an early age, we learned to love dance, and we learned to love music.

Every family has their customs. Many of mine happen to revolve around my dad, and many of those happen to revolve around music. Year after year, we’ve made it a goal to see our favorite shows, and year after year, my radio-loving dad continues to surprise me with his ever-evolving tastes in music.

“Come listen to this,” he’ll say, pulling me over to his prized new laptop to show me the latest and greatest YouTube music video he’s found. It took my dad 60 years to discover the Internet, but he’d never part from it now.

The latest concert I went to with my dad was to see Dawes at The Cabooze. This past Tuesday, he and I met up after work for a beer and a burger and some music. The day went from hot and humid to wonderful, the sun setting over a beautiful skyline and shining lights.

My dad has never let his age get in the way of his entertainment. Even if he’s the oldest man in the crowd, if the singer up on that stage has one great song — that’s enough. Since the ’80s, he’s grown his collection of vinyl to become the best at-home DJ a girl could ask for. Every now and then, he’ll throw on a few songs, and we’ll get the grooves going like we used to — except now we’re old enough to make our own moves.

Being taught at an early age to not shy away from self-expression showed me a few things:

First, never be afraid to try new things. If it feels like the right time and place, it probably is. Second, listen to yourself. The course of action you choose to take any given moment (as you’re breaking it down on the dance floor, for instance) must be in accordance with you and your gut. And third, have some fun.

I think you’re never too old for music; you’re never too old for art. But above all else, I know this one for sure: You’re never too old to dance.