Junior High Dance

“Junior High Dance” is the name I chose for this image because that name was just more inclusive and straight-forward than something more factual. It was actually taken at a father-daughter Valentine’s dance last February that I covered for the paper I shoot for. The dance was put on by the Parks and Recreation Department here in this county—a bunch of really sweet, devoted people who do a very good job.

The little girl who is silhouetted in the center was a tireless and fairly accomplished dancer for a person her age. It was also quite evident she liked having her picture taken—somehow she was in front of my lens now matter where I moved in the room.

When I was this age I would never have had the guts to go to a dance and if I had somehow ended up at one, short of being forced at gun-point, I would never have had the nerve to ask a girl. I remember my son, who is now a senior at George Mason University, going to his first dance at his school (They call them middle schools here.)

I could tell he was anxious as I drove him to the school. I dropped him off—waited a bit then snuck in to see how he was doing. I observed him talking with a group of boys and girls—not dancing. I came back about an hour and a half later and again snuck in. I watched as he finished dancing with a girl. He spoke to her for a bit then went over to a small group—probably the same group he was with earlier.

I waited for him in the car for him and as we pulled onto the highway and headed for home I asked him how it went. He said he was nervous at first and didn’t ask any girls to dance for some time. Finally he got up the nerve to ask a girl—and made some sort of break through because he said, “…there was nothing to it Dad. After that first girl I went around and asked almost every girl there to dance and they all did.”

He’s definitely NOT a “chip off the old block” I’m delighted to say.

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