CITC Retro: Get Your Groove on! The Singles Dance

I'm totally cheating here, re-posting an old post. But this is 6 years old. I doubt anyone out there remembers it. The real reason I'm doing this is research. The original comments to this post got lost several template changes ago.

Please tell us your Best Worst singles dance experience! Or, if you have a GOOD dance experience, let's hear that as well. Use the comments. Thank you!

I just couldn't pass this up. Every Mormon living, single or formerly single, understands about the 'Singles Dance': an institution instituted to benefit the 'singles', to give us a romantic place to meet each other.  Bless them for trying, but a church gym with some balloons taped to the wall and a folding table of chips and punch does not make for romance.

Singles Dance traditions differ in each stake.  Back home, my stake hosted a dance the third Friday of each month.  The Region hosted a dance on the first Friday of each month.  I had to go to my stake's dance because I was my ward YSA (Young Single Adults) rep for forever. The five reps had to rotate dance chores, like cleaning up and DJ-responsibility. Ah, the singles dance DJ. Usually some brave LDS music-geek, or DJ wannabe who didn't mind doing it for free. Our stake was lucky because we had George who owned lots of cool equipment. The DJs at our dances got to use his laptop to program the songs, while he hovered menancingly.

I haven't been to a church dance in years. But I remember in our YSA stake meetings, the issue of song-lyric-cleanliness came up once in awhile. They tried to make us have all songs pre-approved before the dance. That didn't work. But, today as I was surfing the bloggernacle I came across a post from Number1Nun. [Sorry, that blog is long gone.] It's the one starting with, "HOLLA" dated 4/08/04. She writes about her bishop, not only asking for a preview list of songs for the next singles dance, but actually suggesting that the DJ play "I am a Child of God".

Yes.  You read that correctly.  Check her blog and see for yourselves.  Do they want us to stay single forever?? Isn't it bad enough that the People at a dance feel humiliated and nervous?That the music is terrible?  That some sweet white-haired grandma and grandpa missionaries are chaperoning?  That the lights are too bright? That you sometimes find yourself hiding from the creepy old dude or sweaty boy?  Or, the one interesting guy there is 19 and leaving for his 2 year mission next week?  That you sometimes get to watch ex's macking on other people?  That sometimes no one of the opposite sex wants to dance with you, or, they do want to dance with you but  you find them all repulsive?.....No! That's not enough.

Now, at Nun's dance they want her to play sweet, spiritual primary songs to get everyone in the mood. ? How do you dance to that? You couldn't even do the missionary shuffle [walk around in a circle slowly holding hands]. To what end does her bishop want this song played? Here are some of my guesses:

  • To remind everyone to leave some room for the holy ghost.
  • To remind them of their awkward childhood so they feel more confident and flirty.
  • It's a morale booster for those whose egos are getting abused, "It's ok no one wants to talk to you because you are a child of God."
  • So the couples making out in the parking lot will knock it off out of guilt.
  • To prevent the giggling girls from gossiping about each other, "Don't say that about her hair, she's a child of God too!"
  • To remind the RMs that it is their Godly duty to find a wife, so they better get to it.

What's your singles dance story? Enquiring minds want to know.
(This is for a very important project and really matters.)


Sterling Fluharty said...

My fond memories are of the youth dances. We had them every two weeks, with five or six stakes in attendance. It was standing room only at the New Year's Eve dances. Tons of friends, people of every kind, plenty of good music, and more than few romances blossoming. But I have heard too many bad stories about LDS singles dances. You could say I am wary of them. So this weekend I'll be at the other kind.

Lorri said...

I refused to attend YSA dances, years of youth dances scared me off.
When I lived in Illinois dances were okay, I didn't enjoy them but everyone from the stake went and there was always someone to talk to.
Then I moved to Utah. We used to have a "dance recommend" from the bishop which listed every dance for the year in the whole area and my parents decided I had to go to every single one. If I didn't go, they would take away my driving privileges and one notable time they actually showed up at the end of the dance to make sure I was still there!
Ugh, horrible music, horrible sweaty adolescent paws leaving wet marks on the small of your back and the inexplicable break out of the Electric Slide which everyone seemed to know. Do they teach it in school or something in Utah?

JL said...

YSA dances were pretty much the same as the youth ones. Except everyone was older and more sad.

So far, we've got comments from two YSA dance boycotters. I'm happy to have their comments, but let's step it up!

Notes From The Glass Ceiling said...

They are sad attempts at the mating ritual.
And, you know, the Church has done some great things along the way: crossed half of he US by wagon to build a city in the desert, become a worldwide church in less than 200 years, build over 130 temples across the globe. Finding a good way for single saints to get together is not one of them. You would think such a courageous people could put something a little more funtional together. I still believe.