#931 Intergenerational dancing

Have you ever felt too old or too young on the dance floor?

Maybe you and your husband signed up for a Saturday morning ballroom dancing class and noticed everyone else arriving on a shuttlebus from the old folk’s home. Or maybe you surprised your wife with a romantic date night on your ten-year wedding anniversary and accidentally stumbled into a local college hotspot full of white baseball caps, bead necklaces, and Jello shooters. Or maybe you just find out the hard way that All-Ages usually means All-Under-Agers.

I mean, if you’ve ever found yourself saying “Man, I feel old here,” or “Does anyone else smell Ben-Gay?”, then you know what I’m talking about. It’s not that people of different age groups don’t socialize, it’s just that they don’t often groove to the same beats is all.

I think that’s why wedding dance floors are a real sight.

They’re a breeding ground for that amazing intergenerational dancing that’s just so rare and beautiful to see.

You’ve got grandmas slow-dancing with their five-year-old grandchildren to What A Wonderful World, old men crowd-surfing over a pack of sweaty teenagers, snaking conga lines of all shapes and sizes, and circles forming around anyone who happens to be doing something interesting — whether that’s a father and daughter team waltzing in circles or a slightly inebriated bridesmaid shaking her booty with a ninety-year-old great grandpa in a wheelchair.

Yes, intergenerational dancing is a rare and wonderful thing. It’s a magic moment where boundaries are broken and the thumping power of music sort of sweeps us all together into a tiny little place where everything’s just cast aside in favor of living for the moment.


Photos from: here and here 

38 thoughts on “#931 Intergenerational dancing

  1. I read the headline as “intergenerational dating” and had an awesome comment for that topic. Unfortunately, it would appear that my double vision got the best of me. I got nothin’.

  2. Just a great observation… I love the term – add it to the dictionary. If you could upload photos to this thing it would be funny to see the submissions you would get. I am going to petition for an “upload your intergenerational moment” button…any one in?

  3. This is one of the best things about a wedding, period.

    Sadly, you don’t see it very often anymore because uptight snots don’t want kids invited.

    Screw them. It’s a family event; what are the kids gonna do, spill a pop and ruin your Martha Stewart moment?

    1. My daughter got married in May (2010). There were 8 kids there, from babies to 8 year olds. They were noisy, running around, and had a great day. Added something to the photos too (an innocence and cuteness we lose as adults).

      Kids at a wedding? Worked for me!

  4. hahahaha

    I went to a free line dancing class with some women I work with only to realize that it was a class for senior citizens. The first dance we did was the Cupid Shuffle and the old women went nuts over how good I was at the dance. Not too complicated for those of us who haven’t had hip replacements!

  5. You get the same sight at bar/bat mitzvahs, with more 13-year-old kids, which can still be super hilarious. Plus, they hand out those inflatable musical instruments so you can make an intergenerational fake band!

  6. I live in north- east Scotland and at a lot of events we have ceilidh dancing, that’s certainly intergenerational and always a lot of fun :)

  7. I love this site. It really gives me ways to relax and have fun. I love dancing with my 93 year old great granddad. It’s adorable

  8. I used to teach Grades 7 & 8 in Canada. We had dances for the 12-14 aged kids about 4 times a year. Occasionally, I would get asked to dance by a student. Realizing that moments like this were very rare, I never refused. It then became important to me to show her, and the inevitable audience, proper dance steps. The girls loved being treated like young ladies. I always ended by bowing to my patner and offering my arm to escort her back to her friends where giggles always ensued. Precious moments all!

  9. I remember seeing a picture my dad took at my Bat Mitzvah of my cousin dancing with her dad. AWESOME! and pretty darn cute!

  10. This was the last entry I allowed myself to read this morning before officially “starting my day” (whatever the hell that means on a Sunday; maybe a pee then a shower, though who the hell showers on a Sunday when there’s no church involved. Anyway.) and as I glanced briefly at that last picture above of the proud grandma dancing with that blissed-out little mister, I set my laptop on the edge of the couch and muttered, smiling and yawning, barely awake or conscious, “That’s awesome.” And it WAS. =)

  11. Indian family parties/weddings/excuses to get drunk and dance are excellent examples of intergenerational dancing. These involve bhangra until the sun comes up and some of the time, the parents out-party the young adults. On rare occasions, if it is a house party, the neighbours may alert the police of the racket and there’ll be a knock on the door at 3:30 am. If you’re ever invited to one of these parties (especially if the hosts are Punjabi), GO. It’ll be the best party you ever go to. And loads of free alcohol.

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  20. I found out about 1000 awesome things because someone gave me step dad The Book of Awesome, and I remember seeing this entry in it and thinking, how is that awesome?! I probably was imagining my parents dancing with a bunch of my friends, which wouldn’t be so awesome for me to see. But I realized now that this is awesome! I went to a grad party yesterday and it wasn’t a very lively one, but after a while, this old lady was the one to get the party started then a bunch of people joined in and started dancing with her. It was awesome! So now, yes, intergenerational dancing is awesome!

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