Baby Boomers grew up with one mission: We would NEVER dance like our old fogey parents.
This explains the Frug and the Boogaloo.
Turns out the joke’s on us. Ballroom dancing is back from the grave like the B-movie zombies who refuse to die.
Every week on TV, couples in sizzling outfits do spicy versions of the rumba and foxtrot.
And here’s the rub: Lots of Boomers like me can’t turn away. “Dancing with the Stars’’ is like a porn version of the Lawrence Welk Show we knew as kids.
I couldn’t even take my eyes off TV sleaze king Jerry Springer last season when he danced his fumbling best. “Nice samba,” I thought. “He’s got class.’’
Jerry Springer?? Class??
What’s happened to the Boomers? Our principals? Our pledge?
“I (fill in your Boomer name) will be True to the Funky Chicken until the end.’’
We were the generation that did the Pony and the Mashed Potato. Partners not required; go-go boots preferred.
Later on, we came down with raging Saturday Night Fever. And we get a twinge in our hip today because we slammed together doing the Bump all those years ago.
But we’ve become a generation of two-stepping traitors.
We’re watching that “old fogey’’ dancing on TV and — horror of all horrors — some of us are even doing it.
This is what happens when you have no plan.
Boomers didn’t consider how ridiculous we’d look trying to do the Jerk in middle age.
It is not a pretty sight.
“Get help! Aunt Kathy is having a stroke!’’
“Nah. She’s just dancing.’’
It’s how a Boomer like me turns to what I once called the Dark Side of Dance.
My tale is like so many others.
It began when our oldest child was getting married. She and her groom had learned a fancy wedding waltz.
My husband and I had two options:
A. Do the Batman at the wedding and look like idiots.
B. Do anything to avoid “A.’’
“Anything’’ turned out to be ballroom dancing lessons at the local junior high gym.
The students were all ages, but the ones having the most trouble were Boomers like us.
My husband’s John Travolta moves were hard to shake. You do NOT thrust your Disco finger into the air during a waltz.
I kept trying to lead. Blame that on Women’s Lib.
Darn you, Gloria Steinem!
After a while, we got the hang of it. We managed a twirl or two, and even showed off our tango at the wedding.
The best part: Nobody called an ambulance.
This winter, we are going to learn Swing. There is no going back now.
The Funky Chicken is dead to us. Forever.