The strains of Human by the killer burst through the floor to ceiling speakers. The dance floor is packed with smiling faces and the two barmaids are as busy as a Saturday night requires running backwards and forwards between pump and till.
You might have been led to believe by that description that I was at some sort of nightclub. You were wrong. I was sat on a velvet covered chair in the local working men’s club visiting my boyfriends family. The ‘turn’ as they’re called up North were a combination of an overly camp lead singer with a leather waistcoat, plenty of gay jokes and a string vest which constantly revealed a hairy nipple, and the backing singer a younger man in a denim sleeveless shirt circa 1995 who sang backing with a much better voice than the lead and played a pair of over large bongo drums.
The dance floor of smiling faces were a group of ladies well past pensionable age and a few middle aged women in their typical dress of black trousers, low heels and stretch material blouses. It was these women that posed the question in me that prompted me to write this post.
Firstly the old ladies. I took them in, there were 3 of them on the tiny dance floor all roughly 70 years old. One was in white linen trousers, leopard print top, brassy blonde hair dye and strings of costume jewellery around her neck. Another had gone for a more simple outfit of floaty skirt and blouse and the third a more vintage style navy and polka dot button up dress cinched at the waist with a red belt. They were dancing that shuffly two step that older women (and men of any age) adopt when they’re not really sure how to dance and they were singing their hearts out and smiling looking to all the world like they were having a great time. It made me wonder. These women were born approx 1930s – 1940s their initial introduction to dance and the social scene would have been something like this:
So how did it become more like this…
And it made me wonder. Which do they prefer? These ladies who would once stand like wallflowers waiting for a man to ask them to dance. Who would wear flowing skirts and ‘court’ a boy before marrying him and settling down. How did they feel now stood next to the booming speakers shuffling to the Killers under the emerald green strobe lights and electric disco balls?
It made me feel sad if I’m honest. It made me think that this was what I had to look forward to if I didn’t get my act together and do something with my life. In 50 years time that could be me in leopard print with bleached hair and too red lipstick dancing to the killers beneath the laser beams.