Dancing has always been important to me. I know that is a pretty broad word, though. There are so many different types of dancing. One of my earliest memories is of my Grandmother laughing and appreciating my dancing as a pre-school kid. I also have fond memories of dancing with my cousin, Mary Griffin at the Candy Shop in Palouse when I was about 12 or 13. We did the twist and I could do a backbend, practically to the floor. In 1964, I remember going to dances in Escondido. The Gay Disco Seventies was a decade of disco dancing. In the eighties, I frequented Page Hodel’s club called “The Box” which was located on Divisadero Street in San Francisco. Through the rest of my life, until the present, I still love to go dancing. This is one of the things I enjoy so much about gay cruises. There is a Tea Dance every afternoon and a dancing party every night. I still visit various gay clubs in San Francisco to dance. Badlands, on 18th Street, in the Castro is the most consistent for being a place with decent dj’s that play decent music for dancing.
When I say “decent music for dancing,” I mean “disco” and it’s descendent which is now just called “dance music.” Of course, different people would have different definitions of what “decent dance music” consists of. For me, 9 out of 10 songs for dancing should have vocals. Instrumentals, electronica, and techno are boring. Most techno is interchangeable and just drones on and on. A lot of D.J.’s seem to love techno. I haven’t quite figured out why. Maybe D.J.’s like it because it is probably easier to “mix” as it is all very similar, with similar beats per minute. Nobody really notices where one song ends and another begins. Songs with vocals may require a little more creativity from D.J.’s to mix one song into the next.
A friend has told me that you have to be on drugs like ecstasy to enjoy techno. Maybe that’s true. My friend says that people on ecstasy like the predictability and lack of variation of techno. I personally hate techno.
When I was young, I did try some modern jazz dance classes and tap dancing classes but didn’t follow through with either but do love seeing modern jazz in musicals like “West Side Story,” or tap dancing in so many classic musicals.
Milton and I tried “country-western” dancing with gay groups but counting 1-2-3, 1-2-3 and trying to stay in time was a little more difficult for Milton so we quite going to the classes. Sometimes I think it would be fun to take ballroom dancing but have never got around to actually doing it.
In 2011, I was determined to lose a few pounds and so I started yet another diet and started exercising yet again to burn off calories. My favorite form of exercise is dancing. I have found that if I go to a gay club and dance for a couple of hours, I could lose a couple pounds in one night. Probably most of it is water weight but some actual fat burns too.
When I started my New Year’s resolution diet January 7th, 2011, I thought it would be helpful to take a little video so, when all the fat started melting off, I could look back and see where I started. Sadly, the fat never quite all “melted” off but I still have this video as an example of what an old man looks like when he dances. Me in my sixties.