Remember that old song Dancing Queen by Abba? It would come on and immediately you wanted to get up and start dancing uncontrollably. Dancing has always been a part of our society, though it has morphed over the years from a dance in a ballroom to jumping up and down to 24k Magic by Bruno Mars. When that perfect song comes on, you can’t help but get up and bust some moves.
When was the last time you went dancing? Now I’m not talking about the occasional prom or homecoming but actual dancing? Have you ever been line dancing or barn dancing? I was taught once how to do the basics of swing dancing and it was probably one of the most exciting nights of my life. Why can’t we have more of the traditional barn or swing dancing?
Since Halloween is this weekend, I got invited to my first barn dance. Ladies, how long have we been dreaming for some tall, dark, and handsome man to come sweep us off our feet and across the dance floor? It got me thinking that I don’t know how to barn dance. Unwilling to embark on something without knowing a little history about it first I decided to do some research on barn dancing. While reading an excerpt from Jane Austen the other day it dawned on me that dancing for fun has become completely irrelevant over the last couple of years. What used to be a thrilling evening almost ceases to exist. So where did the idea of barn dancing come from?
Barn dancing’s origin dates back to the 1860s in Northern England and Scotland where peasants or farm owners would empty out a barn to imitate wealthy owners who actually had a ballroom. I feel like that would be a thrilling way to spend one’s Friday night. After a long day at work, one would rush out with their sweetheart or husband and spend the evening dancing away to fiddle music in a dimly lit barn. However, as the world changes so do its traditions. By the time the twentieth century rolled around, barn dancing had reached its decline.
Barn dancing never made a comeback until a choreographer named Michal Kidd incorporated a wonderfully choreographed barn dance for the movie, “Seven Brides for Seven brothers.” Which, I have to say, is one of my favorite movies and a must-watch. Then, all of a sudden, barn dancing was in again. It stuck around for several years until the war started. Then things changed again, and it never really made a comeback.
In the movie, Kidd incorporated both men and women from the New York international ballet company to produce the crowd-pleasing dance that lasts almost five minutes. How did something that was so much fun disappear in our society? Do you feel like we should bring it back? If we could get back to the simple things that made life memorable then we can make new memories. Of course, dancing has been on the decline due to the pandemic, but when the world goes back to normal and when all feel safe dancing, barn dancing should make a glorious comeback. Don’t you think?