Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Swinging Away

Photo Credit
Dances are fun.
Even for the unenlightened (ie. non-dancer).
In my Dad’s younger days, dancing was one of few forms of entertainment.
Alongside books (Google it) and games.
Let’s face it. It was the 1930s. Electricity was just out of the gate. Radio was the sought-after-but-not-yet-universally-available ‘new’ home amusement and only Jules Verne or H.G. Wells had any conception of electronic devices.
Soooo . . . dances.
Dad went to a lot of them. Some at his school, but most in the basement of the local church.
Taught basic steps by his Sunday School teacher, he tried to wow the ladies in his adolescent circle. In those days, it wasn’t really a necessity. Everyone danced with everyone, regardless of dance ability or social prowess.
One evening, his future brother-in-law, Ken, was one of the dancers.
A Virginia Reel was introduced.
I should probably mention, if you are not already aware, that the Virginia Reel is a fun, old-time dance that involves a lot of swinging. And/or whooping.
Usually at the same time.
But occasionally for different reasons . . .
Ken’s partner was a woman of . . . well, let’s just say she was large and leave it at that.
Ken was a stick of a man. Tall and slender.
The two had been doing well to this point in the dance. Then came the swing.
Hooking elbows in the tried and true technique, they started in.
Now, normally, there is no cause for alarm during this manoeuvre.
The partners simply swing around and return to their usual positions.
Easy.
Except when there is . . . enthusiasm.
And a difference in weights.
As they swung, Ken felt himself being lifted right off his feet.
In a blind panic, he let go.
The woman went down on her . . . erm . . . posterior, and slid ten feet across the dusty, waxed floor; sweeping a nice, clean path two feet wide.
The dancers froze.
Then the whole room erupted into laughter.
The whole room.
Dancers and sliders.
Say what you will about dancing.
Even for the non-participant, it has entertainment potential.

6 comments:

  1. How embarrassing. And hysterical. Maybe dancing should have weight classes like boxing does?

    ReplyDelete
  2. That poor woman. I hope she could join in the laugher.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG. !!! I can just picture it. Poor woman! And your Dad! He must've been so distressed!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good thing the lady was a good sport! And glad there were no injuries.

    And here we all thought break dancing was dangerous :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Who knew dancing was so dangerous? Wish we all did more of it, though!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can see that in my head - including the swathe across the floor!

    ReplyDelete

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