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The Chaperones

Last Saturday, Darwin got hooked into chaperoning for the spring dance at Nameless High School.

It all happened because of me, as you may imagine.  According to my contract, I have to chaperone or otherwise be involved in at least one after-school or evening activity per year, and I signed up for the spring dance.  A few days beforehand, I sidled up to Darwin and looked at his shoulder with overmuch bashfulness.

"Uh . . . would . . . wouldyougotothedancewithme?" I blurted.

"Yeah, baby!" he said.

The spring dance was supposed to be outside on the tennis courts, and more of a party than a dance, with hot dogs and other food and activities as well as music.  But Saturday turned out rainy and cold and nasty, and when Darwin and I arrived at the school, we learned the dance had been moved inside.  This set off a flurry of activity.  The tennis courts are easy to create a check-in station for--there's only one entrance--and they're easy to patrol.  The auxiliary gym . . . not so much.  We all whipped together a plan for chaperones to cover different entrances to make sure everyone who came had checked in properly and that students weren't wandering into the wrong areas of the building.  (A major high school dance competition was being held in the auditorium and cafeteria, and keeping the activities separate proved a bit of a challenge.)

Hollywood always portrays high school dances as something like a New York club--everyone is dancing and waggling like crazy, shouting and screaming and going nuts.  There's always a punch bowl in the corner that the chaperones have to watch in case someone pours alcohol into it.  The boys wear suits.  The girls wear cocktail dresses.

No.  Just . . . no.

Everyone dresses in a wild variety of ways.  Some guys do wear ties (but no jackets) and some girls do wear cocktail dress-y things, but most are much more informal.  A few even showed up in khaki shorts and t-shirts.  And almost all the girls take their shoes off and run around barefoot.  They arrive wearing high heels, but kick them off the moment they arrive.

And NO ONE dances.  Seriously.  The music plays, but nobody dances.  This is because at high school, everyone is terrified that someone is watching them and they'll be judged for dancing, especially of no one else is.  Since no one dances, no one dances.  Instead, they stand around and talk.  Since we were in the gym (and since there were supposed to be activities anyway), we set up the volleyball net and got out some basketballs and put up a frisbee golf thing and created a few other activity stations, which the students took advantage of.  But dancing?  No.

During the last hour, a few students did dance, and in the last half hour, the DJ played some slow songs and some couples danced.  And that was it.

Darwin and I mostly policed to make sure no one wandered into the wrong sections of the building.  We didn't separate couples ("Leave some space for Jesus!" No.).  We also didn't see any grinding--everyone was very well-behaved.  Darwin got to meet my principal, one of the assistant principals, the student activities coordinator, and a couple other teachers.

Darwin and I didn't dance, though I did introduce him as my husband to the various adults we ran into.  This is something we're both becoming used to now.

The dance was really quite pleasant.  Darwin and I people-watched and ate some hot dogs I bought from the concession stand at the dance competition downstairs and we chatted.  And Darwin got to re-live high school!  :)

Best part?  We didn't have to help clean up!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
delkytlar
May. 4th, 2016 05:40 pm (UTC)
Interesting differences between dances there and here. I helped organize and chaperone two major junior high dances, and at ours, everyone danced (I mean, for various definitions of "dance", from full-on break-dancing to kids taking turns in teh center of a circle to feature their hottest moves to standing in place with fists pumping the air).

Everyone dressed up, and I mean dressed UP - suits and ties (some tuxes) for the boys, dresses and heels for the girls. Pretty much everyone treated it like a prom, though it wasn't.

They were very much like every high school dance I ever attended. My high school held a dance every month, all of which were packed with kids dancing, to the point they had to put a DJ in the cafeteria and a live band in the gym to handle the crowds and differing musical tastes.

As a product of Catholic schools, it's "leave room for the Holy Spirit". Which is sort of ironic because, you know, It's a spirit. Jesus would just politely ask to cut-in, and who would tell him "no"? I suppose Moses would just raise his staff, and separate the couple himself. :)
spiziks
May. 4th, 2016 09:17 pm (UTC)
Homecoming gets like that at Wherever Schools, and so does Prom, but the other dances don't, for whatever reason.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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