In my earliest memories of dancing, I’m under my auntie Nancy’s dining room table, (which had been pushed off to the side of the room), watching my mom, dad, aunties, and uncles all dancing on the hardwood floor to a never-ending stack of 45 records, dropping one after the other. I remember foot-high stacks of 45s all around the record player. The song that I remember playing most? Twistin’ the Night Away by Sam Cooke. Every time I hear that song, I remember auntie’s spontaneous dance parties. What are your earliest and fondest memories of dance?
My earliest memories of dancing, are of me as a child. There isn’t one that stands out on it’s own, however, I just remember that most of the time when I was a little kid, if I wasn’t outside playing, I was inside dancing. I distinctly remember when I discovered music video shows like Video Hits or Rage and seeing music videos for the first time, and I would bounce and twirl around the lounge room like an idiot. As I got older, that became a staple of my weekends. I would usually be awake on a saturday morning at 6am in time to watch the following 4-5hours of cartoons, and then after that, I’d spend another 3-4hours watching music videos. It got to a point where I couldn’t stay over anybody’s house on a Friday night if it meant I couldn’t watch Video Hits the next morning (unless we were playing video games, then I really didn’t care).
I remember a couple of times I slept over at a friends place, and they didn’t have a games console, so I got mum to set up the VCR to records a full three-hour video of music videos, and then when I got home, I’d spend the afternoon watching that. Sometimes, if for some reason it wasn’t on, I’d pop the same video in and watch it again – I clearly didn’t mind.
Music and dance became a very important part of my life from a very, very young age, and even to this day, they are just as (if not more) important to me.
I also have memories of when I was a little kid, and I got a Cabbage Patch Kids tape player. I’m pretty sure that the first album I got on cassette was by The Bangles, and some friends of mine would come over, or I’d take my tape over to their place, and we’d put on the music and dance around the bedroom, or the living room, and lip-sync our little hearts out, putting on ‘concerts’ for whoever would care enough to pay us any attention.
Now that I think about it, I realise that I was perhaps one of the campest children in the history of… well, ever purely because of that fact. I LOOOOVED The Bangles. I think I kept that tape on repeat, until one day it got stuck in the tape player and had to be cut out. I remember when that happened, and I cried and cried and cried because my mum couldn’t buy the tape anywhere.
I remember when I was a bit older, probably about 7 or 8, and I got Paula Abduls album ‘Shut Up And Dance, and I had been doing private Jazz lessons at a local dance school. We had been working on a routine to one of the songs on that album, and I was so obsessed with it. I think that was the next cassette that I kept on repeat. It was also the first album that introduced me to the sound of ‘remixes’ and I recall being completely fascinated with how they could take a song, and make it sound so different.
Ah, the innocence of youth!