Back in the day I was into all music genre’s. I listened to rock, disco and some reggae. I loved the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Boston, Kansas and the Beatles. But my most enjoyable music pleasure came from dance music. I loved to dance.
Have you seen kids dance today?
What is that?
I miss the days of getting down and dancing with a partner, not this solo crap kids do today.
Mary Kawas from 16th street was by far the best dancer I ever saw from our neighborhood; I used to love watching her and even joining in at times in ‘The Hustle’. The girl had the moves. Whether it be on the parkside or in Laura’s living room, Mary was always eager to dance.
At times I would dance with my younger sister in our living room, just so I could get better… we had a ton of fun. Come to think of it, my mom was a pretty good dancer too.
Getting off the wall and dancing in a crowded place takes a lot of courage; at times I was hesitant to dance but if the right song came on, I was out there. Moving, grooving, getting down to the hottest sounds. There was nothing like it.
My 8th grade graduation dance at Holy Name was a blast…we danced all night long down in the school basement. All I remember from that night was wanting to dance with Joanne Mackay, she was cool with it. Afterwards we all hit Felix’s restaurant down on 5th avenue then it was off to Prospect Park…hmmmm.
Gary Hickey from 13th street and 8th avenue was probably the best male dancer from our neighborhood. The dude had some serious moves. My boys Jimmy Peterson, Ronnie and Hugh Quinn were three guys that could’ve auditioned for Saturday Night Fever, hairdo’s and all. I attended a club out on Long Island one night with these guys and while we tried to dance with a few rich girls, their boyfriends made it clear they weren’t going to stand for any Brooklyn-Bullshit that night.
Brighton 6, Manhattan Beach and many different block party’s around the neighborhood always had great music and dancing. I can’t forget a classic block party on Prospect Avenue between 8th and 9th avenues where they had speakers that were 10 feet high! The music could be heard for blocks and blocks.
During my teenage days I attended a dance at Bishop Kearney High School, at the time it was an all-girls school…great time had by all, except for the fact that many of the catholic girls didn’t want to dance with this ‘outsider’. My self-esteem went through the roof when a tall basketball player from the school came over and asked me to dance with her. The fact that the nuns had their eyes on me made me feel uncomfortable.
The highlight of my dancing career was hitting the hotspots in Manhattan during my 20’s and taking my skills to places like the Funhouse, The Red Parrot, 1018, Studio 54 and the Limelight. One night at the Limelight we saw Rick James out on the crowded dance floor being sandwiched by two very attractive women. Some guys had all the luck…I also saw Madonna at the Funhouse and Mick Jagger at the Limelight strutting their stuff. This was way before anyone knew Madonna.
Watching Chris Robinson doing the ‘Webo’ outside 1018 in front of Kansas basketball star Danny Manning was a classic that I’m sure would be all over Youtube today if someone was recording that night. 1018 was a tight spot for many years. My boy Turk worked the door and always got me in at no charge. Dancing with Brenda K. Starr was most memorable. Some guy got ticked off at me, I think it was her man.
I can’t forget how my boy Jackie Ryan would ease his way onto the dance floor at the Red Parrot with Paulie Medina and scout out the hottest babes in the joint.
I evened joined the super cool crowd made up of NYU and Parson students on Wednesday nights at the Peppermint Lounge on 15th and 5th where we danced to ‘Burning Down the House’, ‘Dancing With Myself’, ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and yes, Boy George’s ‘I’ll Tumble For Ya’.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the first night I went out to the Mustaseed in Bay Ridge. Oh baby! I’ll save that for another blog entry.
I just have one question; how come it was always cool for two females to dance together but you never saw two guys dancing together?